ICW Group mySafetyNews.com
Printed from www.mysafetynews.com - Your Risk Management Resource
Home > All categories, Workplace safety > Propane Tanks- Winter Preparedness

Risk management blog

Propane Tanks- Winter Preparedness

- January 30, 2015 by Guest Bloggers (View all posts by Guest)

Propane is a gas that is stored as a liquid in pressurized cylinders.  As the ambient temperature rises, the liquid propane expands and, in doing so, the pressure inside the tank increases.  Significant changes in ambient temperature can lead to significant pressure changes and the potential for serious consequences.

In cold weather, for example, when a propane tank is brought indoors, the propane expands quickly due to the increase in temperature. Due to the rapid expansion, it is possible for a fire or even an explosion to occur when a tank is more than 80% full.  If all is as it should be, the safety relief valve should expel the excess pressure; minimizing the negative effects.   That being said, it is vital to inspect the valve and fittings for integrity before transporting a cold tank inside.

Here are some more things that should be considered if you use propane in your operations:

  • A fuel tank should be free from leaks.  Before bringing a propane tank indoors you can check for leaks by putting a soap/water solution on the fittings, connections, and lines. Any sign of bubbles indicates that you likely have a leak.
  • Make sure that the tank is not overfilled. Typically, the recommended maximum capacity (considered full), is 80% of the tank.  Do not exceed this.
  • The lines should be free from fuel when a propane powered vehicle is indoors for repairs or servicing.
  • Check for structural damage to the tank after any drop or accident.

Do you know what to do if propane gas is released in a confined space?

  1. Evacuate the area.
  2. Open windows and doors to air out the building.
  3. Keep in mind that propane is heavier than air, the propane will settle near the floor.  Make sure that pilot lights or flames are extinguished.
  4. Eliminate all sources of ignition.
  5. Close off the source of the leak..
  6. Do not restart any ignition sources until after the propane odor is eliminated.

For more on this topic, check out: www.propanecouncil.org.

Categories: All categories, Workplace safety Tags: