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Hot Propane Safety Tips for Summer

Written on: July 11, 2022

Make sure you play it safe

grilling tips maineWhen it comes to versatility, propane provides the best option both indoors and outside!

Propane may be used in a variety of ways, including grills, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, pool and spa heaters, deck and patio heaters, and insect traps.

Propane leak response

Thanks to stringent industry standards, propane has an excellent safety record. However, no matter how safe you are when handling propane, if you detect its distinctive rotten-egg odor, you must know what to do. These propane safety tips apply outdoors as well as inside.

  • Extinguish potential sources of ignition including grills, candles, cigarettes, tiki torches, and sparklers.
  • Immediately get everyone, including pets, from the area where you smell propane. If you are indoors, DO NOT USE light switches, thermostats, or telephones on the way out as they can generate a spark that could cause the leaked propane to combust.
  • Turn off the propane supply valve on your propane tank or cylinder if you can reach it.
  • Call 911 right away once you are safely away from where you smelled gas. 
  • Stay back and let the first responders and propane service technicians do their job. In addition to identifying and fixing the source of the leak, there needs to be time for the propane to dissipate and the AFC service technician needs to professionally relight the propane appliances.
  • Wait for permission before returning.

Use, transport, and store propane cylinders properly

Propane cylinders should never be stored indoors or in a garage, shed, carport, sunporch, or any other enclosed space.

Propane cylinders should be kept outside in a dry location, upright and out of direct sunshine. The cylinder may rust if placed on moist ground.

Propane tanks should be stored away from flames and spark-producing equipment, such as your grill.
When bringing in your propane cylinders for exchange or refill, keep them upright. Even if the cylinder seems to be empty, there might still be enough liquid propane to seep out if it’s on its side.

Don’t leave propane cylinders in your car for long, especially if it’s hot out. It’s best to go straight to your cylinder exchange or filling station and then home. If you can’t, make the cylinder exchange or refill station the final stop before returning home.

Be safe when grilling

  • Regularly clean your propane grill, not just the grates, and empty the grease trap after each usage. One in five grill fires is caused by leftover grease (plus the grease can attract unwanted animals and pests).
  • When starting the grill, make sure the grill lid is open and keep it open until you are certain that the grill is fully lit.
  • Never use your propane BBQ grill indoors or in an enclosed or covered area such as a garage, sunporch, or carport. Carbon monoxide, a potentially fatal odorless and colorless gas, can build up to dangerous levels. 
  • To reduce the likelihood of it tipping, place the grill on a flat, level surface.
  • The grill must be at least five feet from the house, furniture, trees, bushes, and other combustible objects.
  • Children and pets need to be kept at least five feet away from the grill.
  • Never leave the grill unattended once it’s lit. Before you begin, make sure you have everything you need such as tongs, gloves, brushes, sauces, food, and platters.
  • If the igniter on your grill is broken, don’t use it. Consider purchasing a grill with an automated ignition.
  • Make sure to turn both the grill and propane cylinder supply valve off once you are finished grilling.

For more Propane Safety Tips, check out our website. As always, please contact us with any questions you have about propane safety or other AFC related items!