Propane Safety

General Guidelines:

CO2Follow these steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  1. Never use range burners as space heaters.
  2. Never use propane heaters that are not intended for indoor use.
  3. Never use a barbecue grill indoors.
  4. Have all propane appliances tested regularly by a qualified technician.
  5. Always make sure there is plenty of ventilation.
  6. Carbon Monoxide detectors are available in most hardware stores.
  • Modifications or alterations to your propane system should be handled by authorized personnel only. Tampering with the system may cause a potentially dangerous situation.
  • The easiest way to detect propane is by its pungent odor. If the scent of propane is in the air, a potentially dangerous situation may exist. Extinguish all open flames, and immediately leave any area where propane fumes are present.
  • Avoid touching electrical switches or appliances when a leak is suspected.
  • In case of a leak, go to your propane system's storage vessel, open the tank hood, and close the vapor service valve. Then contact a qualified technician for assistance.
  • Electronic leak detectors are available. Contact Parker Oil Company to buy one.
  • Propane is heavier than air. The vapor will descend to the lowest point, for example, your basement. Avoid these areas when a leak is suspected.
  • Never tamper with your system's supply lines or any safety devices, regulators or storage tank fittings.
  • Never use an open flame to test for propane leaks.
  • Please have your propane system checked if you have any of the following symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, loss of muscular control, vomiting, and/or watering of the eyes.

Propane Is Safe:


  • Propane tanks are 20 times more puncture resistant than tanks filled with ethanol, methanol or gasoline. They are constructed from carbon steel, under the procedures developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Propane cylinders are equipped with a device that cuts off the filling process when the tank has reached 80 percent of its liquid capacity. This keeps the tank from becoming over-pressurized.
  • Propane has the lowest flammability rating of any alternative fuel.
  • Propane leaks are easy to detect due to the strong pungent smell that imitates the scent of rotten eggs.
  • Propane will not contaminate water or soil.
  • Unlike other fuels such as gasoline, propane cannot be ingested, due to the fact that it is vaporized internally when released from its container. Leaks do not form a puddle; propane dissipates into the air.
  • In contrast with gasoline's ignition temperature of 430 to 500 degrees, propane will not ignite until the air reaches at least 940 degrees Fahrenheit.


Fuel Safety

Avoid Static Electricity Buildup During Fueling

One potential cause of static electricity build-up is reentering your vehicle during refueling, particularly during cold, dry weather. Friction between clothes and the car's interior surfaces can cause a buildup of static electricity similar to shuffling your feet on the carpet when the air in your home is dry. If you return from your vehicle interior to remove the filling nozzle without discharging the static buildup, in rare circumstances, a brief flash fire could occur at the filling point if the static discharges and the resulting spark ignites gasoline vapors around the fill spout.

fillup.gifA simple precaution to help avoid this problem is to stay near the vehicle's fueling point. Do not get back into your vehicle during refueling - even when using the nozzle's automatic hold-open latch. If you must reenter your vehicle, discharge the static electricity buildup when you get out by touching the outside metal portion of your vehicle, away from the filling point, before attempting to remove the nozzle.

If a flash fire occurs during refueling, you should leave the nozzle in the vehicle fill pipe and back away from the vehicle. Notify the station attendant at once so that all dispensing devices and pumps can be shut off with emergency controls. If the facility is unattended, use the emergency intercom to summon help and push the emergency shutdown button to shut off the pump.

More Tips for Safe Refueling

  • Always turn your vehicle engine off while refueling.
  • Never talk on a cell phone while refueling.
  • Never smoke, light matches or use lighters while refueling.
  • To avoid gasoline spills, do not overfill or top off your vehicle fuel tank. The fuel dispenser will shut off automatically when the tank is full.
  • Use only the hold-open latch provided on the gasoline pump. Never jam or force the hold-open latch open by using some other object such as the gas cap.
  • When dispensing gasoline into a portable gasoline can, use only an approved container. Always place the container on the ground and keep the pump nozzle in contact with the container when refueling to avoid a static electricity ignition of fuel vapors. Containers should never be filled inside a vehicle, in the trunk, on the bed of a pickup truck, a flat bed or on the floor of a trailer.


How To Handle, Store, And Dispose Of Gasoline Safely

Gasoline should only be used for its intended purpose - as a motor fuel - and stored only when absolutely necessary. It should not be used as a solvent, cleaner, barbecue starter or for any other non-engine use.

What precautions should be taken when filling a gasoline container?

  • Keep gasoline away from ignition sources like heat, sparks and flames. Do not smoke.
  • Shut off the vehicle's engine. Disable or turn off any auxiliary sources of ignition such as a camper or trailer heater, cooking units, or pilot lights.
  • Only store gasoline in containers with approved labels as required by federal or state authorities. Never store gasoline in glass or other unapproved containers.
  • Portable containers must be placed on the ground, and the nozzle must stay in contact with the container when filling, to prevent buildup and discharge of static electricity. Do not fill a container in or on a vehicle, including in car trunks or truck beds. (Placing the container on the ground minimizes any static electricity buildup that could lead to a spark and cause a fire.)
  • Fill the container at a slow rate. This will decrease the chance of static ignition buildup and minimize incidents of spillage or splattering.
  • Manually control the nozzle valve throughout the filling process.
  • Keep your face away from the nozzle or container opening.
  • Avoid prolonged breathing of gasoline vapors.
  • Never siphon gasoline by mouth. Do not put gasoline in your mouth - gasoline can be harmful or fatal if swallowed. If someone swallows gasoline, do not induce vomiting. Contact a doctor immediately.
  • Keep gasoline away from your eyes and skin, because it may cause irritation.
  • Use gasoline only in open areas that get plenty of fresh air. Never use gasoline to wash your hands.
  • Remove gasoline-soaked clothing immediately.
  • Fill container to no more than 95 percent of its capacity, leaving room for the fuel to expand.
  • Place cap tightly on the container after filling. Do not use containers that do not seal properly.
  • If gasoline spills on the container, make sure that it has evaporated before you place the container in your vehicle.
  • Report spills to the station attendant.
  • When transporting gasoline in a portable container make sure the container is secure from tipping and sliding, and never leave in the direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.


What is the safest way to store and handle gasoline?

Gasoline must be stored in an approved container or tank. Gasoline containers must also be provided with an approved label as required by federal and state authorities. Storage in anything other than an approved container is strictly prohibited by fire prevention codes.

Gasoline is a flammable liquid and should be stored at room temperature, away from potential heat sources such as the sun, a hot water heater, space heater or furnace, and away from ignition sources. Gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources. Therefore, appliance pilot lights or igniters should be kept more than 50 feet from where gasoline is stored or handled, and elevated. Other precautionary measures include:

  • Do not smoke where gasoline is handled or stored.
  • Always keep gasoline out of the reach of children.
  • For better ventilation, it is best to handle gasoline outdoors.
  • Keep gasoline containers tightly closed and handle them gently to avoid spills.
  • Do not mix even a small amount of gasoline with kerosene or diesel.
  • Do not use gasoline in kerosene heaters or lamps.
  • Store gasoline in a building separate from the house or place of occupancy, such as a shed or garage.
  • Put gasoline in a small engine (like a lawnmower) only when the engine and attachments are cool.
  • Storage of gasoline requires developing precautions for spill cleanup. Minor spills should be absorbed with sawdust, paper or rags. Larger spills may be contained and collected.
  • Check with your local government or hazardous waste disposal center to determine the proper avenues for disposing of spilled gasoline. Place recovered gasoline and cleanup materials in approved, labeled containers for proper disposal. Never dispose of spilled gasoline or cleaning materials on the ground or into your garbage, drains, toilets or sewers. If you do, it might cause a fire, or seep into streams, bays, lakes or your groundwater.
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