Propane safety

Published on August 22, 2012
Safety Tip

  • Handle any propane-powered equipment cautiously and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Cylinder tanks for equipment such as stoves and ovens must be located outside of the home.
  • Never store or use propane gas cylinders larger than one pound inside the home.
  • Never operate a propane-powered gas grill inside the home.
  • Have propane gas equipment inspected periodically by a professional for possible leaks or malfunctioning parts.
  • Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions when lighting a pilot.
  • If you smell a strong odor of gas, leave the area immediately and call the fire department from outside the home.
  • For more information, visit the Propane Education and Research Council Web site.

The leading equipment involving in LP-gas home structure fires was a grill, hibachi, or barbecue.

  Facts & figures

  • U.S.fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 1,170 home structure fires involving LP-gas in 2003-2007. These fires resulted in 34 civilian deaths, 135 civilian injuries and $48 million in direct property damage.
  • Spark, ember or flame from operating equipment was the leading heat source for LP-gas home structure fires.

Source: NFPA's "Natural Gas and LP-Gas Home Structure Fires"  report by Jennifer Flynn, January 2010.

More information on this topic

  • Overfilling Prevention Devices (OPDs) are safety devices incorporated into the filling valve of a propane cylinder. The device shuts off the flow of gas to a cylinder after 80% capacity has been reached. As of April 1, 2002, OPDs are required on all propane cylinders between 4 and 40 pounds propane capacity.
  • NFPA, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), and the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) have issued a free  Fire Safety Analysis Manual, which provides forms and a step-by-step method for completing a written Fire Safety Analysis (FSA) as required in NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code.

Updated 5/10

In This Section
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