Anyone who watched early 2000s cartoons will know that propane is a great, clean-burning fuel.
But even though this gas is heralded by the King of the Hill himself, it isn’t something to work with carelessly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, most grilling fires were using gas grills, rather than charcoal.
In this article, we’ll cover five ways of using propane safely, including how to handle and store propane tanks. Let’s dive in.
What Is Propane?
Propane is liquefied petroleum gas. A fossil fuel that is non-toxic, colorless, and odorless. In fact, an identifying odor is added to the gas so that it can be detected.
Using Propane Right
Many homes use propane for heating and cooking. This can be through a gas range or using propane tanks on external grills.
So let’s begin with some basic tips and tricks.
1. Turn off the Gas!
When using propane (either at a gas range or for a grill), you’ll need to release gas and ignite it quickly to begin cooking. This is typically done with a striker (something that creates a spark and ignites the gas).
If, however, the striker doesn’t work (often a repeated clicking on most grills or stoves) turn the gas off and wait for the gas to dissipate. Allowing gas to continually pour out can lead to a rapid ignition and catch something on fire.
Give plenty of time for the gas to dissipate. You should no longer smell it before you start. Then, release gas again and use the striker to try and ignite it.
2. Use a Match if Necessary
If it continues to not ignite, turn off the gas, wait, then use a match to ignite the gas. Fires are common when the gas is let loose for too long and the striker ignites, igniting that gas causing a large burst.
3. Cover Pilot Lights
If you have a gas-heated water heater or furnace, likely there’s a pilot light. These flames burn perpetually, so long as there’s gas running to your home.
If they are not covered, usually with a protective grate, there’s the possibility of problems.
The first is that someone could burn themselves. Small children may reach underneath a water heater and find themselves quickly burned, for example.
The second possibility is that the pilot has a higher chance of being blown out. If this is the case, and the gas is still running, your home could quickly find itself drowning in propane gas.
4. Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It’s for this specific reason you should install protective monitors. Carbon monoxide poisonings kill over 400 Americans annually and are caused when invisible gases, like propane, fill the air and prevent us from getting enough oxygen.
5. Storing Propane
Depending on if your home operates from an external tank (something common in rural places), you’ll need to ensure the tank is protected. Likely a covering is good, to ensure that weather damage doesn’t puncture the tank.
If you grill with propane, you want to make sure your smaller tanks are protected. And if you’re someone who’s unsure how much propane you need or use, this guide will help calculate your monthly propane usage.
Finally, keep these tanks away from direct heating sources!
Use Propane Safely
Like all fuels, using propane requires a bit of work. While it is a non-toxic, clean-burning fuel, it doesn’t mean that it can’t harm you if misused.
Keep storage tanks away from open flames, use caution when igniting grills or stovetops, and keep protection grates over any pilot lights that are in your home. It sounds like a lot, but will soon become second nature.
Like this content and want to learn more about how to keep a happy and healthy home? Check out some of our other blog posts below.