Handle with care when using propane

  • Published
  • By Christopher Hughes
  • Eglin Fire Prevention
With summer in full swing and backyard barbecues happening practically every weekend, the Eglin Fire and Emergency Flight would like to provide some facts, figures and safety tips on how to avoid an Liquefied Petroleum-gas mishap.

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

U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 1,170 home structure fires involving LP-gas from 2003-2007. These fires resulted in 34 deaths, 135 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.

The leading area of origin for these fires was the kitchen or cooking area. The leading factor contributing to ignition was a leak or break in the equipment.

Safety tips

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 the home.

Never store or use propane gas cylinders larger than a pound 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.

Ensure you have a five to 10 pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher within reach while cooking.

Make sure all combustible material is a safe distance away when cooking.

On base use

Storage of flammable gases in buildings, inside rooms or outside areas shall be approved by base safety and Eglin Fire and Emergency Services.

Portable LP-gas cylinders shall not be stored in facilities. LP-gas fueled grills and other like appliances may be stored in facilities provided the portable gas cylinder has been removed.

Flammable/combustible liquids shall not be dispensed or transferred between containers inside any facility or inside a room of any facility unless area has been approved from Eglin Fire and Emergency Services.

If you follow the safety tips and do's and don'ts provided in this article, you should have no problem when cooking using LP-gas containers. If you have any questions please call Eglin Fire Prevention at 882-3229 option 5, and remember to always dial 9-1-1 in case of emergency.