Propane is an affordable option for cooking, heating, and generating electricity. However, with propane, you have to be a little more cautious. Your local company probably makes enough effort to ensure safe delivery of fuel, but as a consumer, you need to be aware of certain safety aspects. In this post, we have a few propane safety tips listed for your consideration.
Know your appliances
How much propane do my appliances use? That’s one of the most common consumer questions, and the answer largely depends on the size of your home. Check the appliances that are hooked to a propane source and determine the amount of gas consumed by each, which is measured in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. Once every few months, call your local company, who can send certified propane technicians to check your propane appliances for possible leaks or other issues. If you have propane BBQ grills at home, avoid using them inside the house. Portable electric generators should be kept outside the main building, as well.
Other things to note
- If propane fueled appliances are operating properly, you will see blue flames. However, if the gas is not burning correctly, you will find unexpected soot deposits or yellow flames, which can produce carbon monoxide. Don’t delay in calling your propane company in such cases.
- Be careful with the gas connections to your appliances. From time to time, you may need to move your appliances for various reasons. This may damage some of the older connections. Ideally, ask your local propane company to send their experts for the reshuffling requirements of your home, or else, just keep an eye on every connection.
- Vents in your home must be checked regularly, as well. From unexpected mess created by birds and critters to snow, dirt, and debris, a lot of things can obstruct the flow of combustion gases through these vents. Professional cleaning is recommended at least once every year.
- Be vigilant for leaks. The smell of propane is anything but pleasing. If you suspect a leak, then turn off the appliances or any open flames. Make sure that the house is vacated right away. Turn off the gas supply valve of your tank only if it looks absolutely safe. Call your propane supplier immediately for a quick check, and don’t enter the house, unless a team of certified technicians has checked the house first.
- If possible, avoid running out of gas, which can indirectly cause a number of serious safety hazards, including explosion. In some cases, people don’t notice that an appliance valve is still open even after the refilling their propane tank. This can lead to unchecked leaks. If moisture finds its way into the tank, it can cause rust inside the tank. Rust will minimize the odor of propane, and therefore, you will have a hard time detecting a leak.
As a propane user, you need to take the necessary steps to avoid possible accidents. If you have older parents or relatives at home, make sure to install propane gas detectors in the house, preferably in the living room and kitchen.