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Safety Series: Red and Yellow Tags

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AmeriGas holds a core set of safety beliefs and principals that guide every employee and ensure that we operate with the highest safety standards. In a series of articles, we will detail the major parts that keep our customers and employees safe:

Safety Policy
Cardinal Rules
Leak Checks
Red and Yellow Tags

Red and Yellow Tags
AmeriGas uses red and yellow tags to indicate problems on propane equipment. The red tags, which are also called lockout tags, are used for dangerous conditions that require the equipment/system to be shut off because it is not safe to operate or has not passed a leak check. A yellow tag indicates that while the checked equipment can be operated safely, a condition exists that requires repairs or replacement.

Red (Danger) Tag Conditions

Gas Leaks: 

Gas leaks in piping system including regulators, appliance connector/valves, or appliance that cannot be repaired at the time of the visit.
Any situation where a required Leak Check, Pressure Test, Test for Leakage, and/or System Performance Test cannot be done; for example, a customer refuses to allow entry to the home, a customer is not at home, or any other reason that access is not possible.

Gas piping issues including copper tubing through a floor to a moveable appliance. (*NFPA 54)
Installation of a container (tanks or cylinders) & related appurtenances that is not connected to any appliances. An example of this would be an installation of a first stage system to the building where the third party contractor has installed the inside piping but has not yet connected the appliances.

Appliance Issues: 

Appliance burners problems (rusted burners, flame characteristics [floating/lifting] causing yellow flame/sooting, back-flashing of burner); where the appliance cannot be isolated from the system, RED TAG the entire system; where it can be isolated, RED TAG the appliance. (*NFPA 54)

Water leaks causing hazard to burner or pilot, if appliance cannot be isolated from system. Where an appliance cannot be isolated from the system, RED TAG the entire system. Where it can be isolated, RED TAG the appliance.

Vent, chimney, and flue issues including: 

Improper vent or chimney (*NFPA 54)
Vent termination (*NFPA 54)
Under-sized vent (*NFPA 54)
Missing vent when required or exposed vent pipe is not adequately joined, supported or secured
Spillage from draft hood or vent
Vent connector badly rusted (*NFPA 54)
Plastic materials on gas dryer vent per *NFPA 54
Vent too close to flammables/combustibles – discoloration or charring of combustible material. (*NFPA 54)
Wood or coal burning equipment in same chimney with gas appliance for existing installation and equipment otherwise vents properly. (*NFPA 54)

Yellow (Caution) Tag Conditions
In an appliance, the space that provides combustion air is not large enough to supply the required combustion air for an appliance, but can be temporarily corrected.

Service interruption of a pool heater after leak check has been performed and pool heater needs servicing by Maintenance Company, prior to operating.

Container (Tanks and Cylinder) Issues: 

A leak that is considered non-hazardous on a container of 125 gallons or more water capacity and cannot be repaired at the time of detection must be yellow tagged and shall be scheduled for repair as soon as practical, but this time period can not exceed 90 days from the date that the leak is discovered.
Service and fill valves not operating as originally designed and no fill hose adapters installed on tank filler valves.
Relief valve has debris in it or is corroded.
Relief valve cover missing, weep hole plugged.
Container and dome needs painting or decals.

Regulator Issues:

Regulators improperly installed (e.g. vents upside-down, debris in vent).

No snow/ice protection for regulators located in areas where the local building codes have specified a minimum design snow load for roofs equal to, or exceeding, 125 psf and where anticipated snow accumulation can result in damage.

Piping Issues:

Piping improperly secured or unprotected piping that is not an immediate hazard. (Example: piping too close to walkway)

Other gas piping issues including: 

Improper pipe size
Tubing that is crimped, twisted, or otherwise damaged
Pigtails that are crimped, twisted, or otherwise damaged
PE tubing/pipe showing on transition fittings
Plastic pipe inside building (*NFPA 54)
Flex line connectors in a concealed location or passing through floor/walls or between rooms (*NFPA 54)
Improper tubing/pipe fittings (compression fittings)
No sediment trap (furnace, boiler, and water heater) (*NFPA 54)
No shut-off valve near appliance (within 6 feet) (*NFPA 54)
Unsupported fuel line pipe (*NFPA 54)
Non-approved connector for manufactured home (*NFPA 54)

Vent, chimney, and flue issues including insufficient air for venting, causing combustion problems that can be temporarily fixed.
Any condition which can be temporarily corrected or repaired by AmeriGas employees, the owner, contractor at the time of visit, but requires a permanent repair or correction. (Example of a temporary condition is a can of flammable liquids stored next to a water heater should not be tagged provided the can of flammable liquids is moved to a safe location. If there is a permanent storage cabinet for flammable liquids cans, removing the cans from the area makes the appliance safe.) A yellow tag should be issued indicating that the appliance and permanent storage cabinet must be separated to a greater distance. (*NFPA 54)

*NFPA 54 is one of a few key regulations that AmeriGas follows as part of a complete set of regulations issued by the National Fire Prevention Association specifically regarding the National Fuel Gas Code.