Propane, also called LP-gas, is a safe, economical, clean-burning, and versatile fuel when properly used. Regardless of the type of energy you use, safety is extremely important. An understanding of how your delivery system and appliances work, and what to do in case of a leak or other safety-related emergency are extremely important when dealing with propane as with electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and gasoline. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost 84% of liquefied petroleum (LP) gas fires in homes involve ignition by some form of equipment. The most common types involved were open-fired grills, hot water heaters and stoves, due to part failures and leaks.
Follow these important safety tips when using propane at home:
- Handle any propane-powered equipment cautiously and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Cylinder tanks for equipment such as stoves and ovens must be located outside of the home.
- Never store or use propane gas cylinders larger than one pound inside the home. Any gas leaking from a cylinder could build up and be ignited by a flame or spark, causing an explosion or a fire.
- Never operate a propane-powered gas grill inside the home or on a balcony or porch. High levels of carbon monoxide gas can be generated causing serious illness or death.
- Have propane gas equipment inspected periodically by a professional for possible leaks or malfunctioning parts.
- Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings concerning lighting an appliance pilot.
- If you smell a strong odor of gas, leave the area immediately and call the fire department from outside the home. To make propane easier to detect in the event of a leak, manufacturers deliberately add a chemical compound to give it the distinctive rotten egg smell.
- For more information visit, the Propane Education and Research Council Web site at www.propanecouncil.org.
Guest Contributor & Article Credits: Fire Marshal Alan Perkins, CFPS (Live Safe Foundation, Liaison to the Fire Department Community) – Alan’s career in the fire service spans more than 30 years. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist through the National Fire Protection Association and a member of numerous similar safety organizations. Alan consults with numerous fire departments throughout Ohio and in 2005 was chosen by the Ohio Department of Health as the fire service member on the Ohio School Inspection Advisory Committee. He was also awarded Ohio Fire Official of the Year in 2009 by the Ohio Building Officials Association. Alan is the Fire Marshal for the Washington Township Fire Department in Dublin, Ohio. The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union Counties.
Live Safe Foundation is an Ohio based non-profit organization (501c3), devoted to making and fire and life safety education, awareness initiatives and life saving tools available on a broad basis to communities, campuses, and institutions in an effort to reduce national fire fatalities and fire losses.