Everyone loves a day of grilling outside with family and friends in the summertime. Although this may be a refresher for some, CES wants to give out some important information a s Labor Day approaches – here are some propane safety tips to keep in mind when firing up your gas grill:
First off, what is propane? Propane does not occur naturally, but is refined from raw crude oil and raw natural gas. Propane is then stored under pressure as a liquid; therefore, the name Liquid Propane (LP). LP gas is the ONLY gas that should ever be put into this cylinder
Propane has some properties that are important for safe consumer use. Water boils at 212°F, at which point it turns to a gas. Propane boils at -44°F, so the liquid propane in your cylinder is below -44°F to maintain a liquid state. For consumers, this means that exposure to LP gas can freeze your skin and the tissue underneath resulting in severe damage. This is also why LP gas is released from the cylinder as a gas, not a liquid, known in the industry as “vapor service.”
Propane is also heavier than air and will seek the lowest space available. This is why consumers should never store a LP cylinder in an enclosed space, such as a garage, shed or basement. If the cylinder leaks or if propane is expelled through the pressure relief valve, an ignition source could spark a fire or explosion. Also, the cylinder should always be stored in an upright position so the pressure release valve can function properly (it is at the top of the tank). As propane is odorless, the manufacturer adds an odorant for obvious safety reasons.
With all that in mind – here are some additional safety tips since we’re half-way through “Grillin’ Season” —
Storing Propane Tanks During Winter
Some of us continue to grill all year long, but if you’re planning to winterize your grill, there are several things you should do to prevent injuries and accidents. Start by coating the grill plates, burners and other internal metal parts with cooking oil to prevent moisture build up over the winter. This will reduce the possibility of rust forming.
If you’re storing your grill outside during the winter months, it’s ok to keep the propane tank connected, just shut it off. Cover the grill with a tarp, and keep it away from your home. This will prevent an accident if the tank explodes, and will protect the grill from icicles that may fall.
If you’re storing the grill indoors, never bring the tank inside! – not even into a detached garage or a storage shed. A small gas leak can cause a huge explosion if the tank is stored in an enclosed space. Starting a vehicle or snow blower can provide enough of a spark to spell disaster. Instead, do the following:
- Disconnect the tank and store it outside in an upright position away from dryer and furnace vents, and children’s play areas.
- Tape a plastic bag over the grill’s gas line opening to prevent insects from nesting.
- If you live in a snowy area, mark the location of the tank to avoid accidents.
So before Summer is over…
Come to Combined Energy Services for all your residential propane needs. From tank installations, deliveries, back-up generator service, or BBQ cylinder refills- we are your one stop shop for all your gas needs!