Vapors from flammable products such as gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner, and solvents, can be ignited accidentally by the pilot light of a propane appliance.
Flammable vapors are often heavier than air and may travel along the ground and collect in low or confined areas (such as a basement or pit). Sometimes the vapors may follow air currents in the building to higher levels. Any source of ignition in these areas (such as a pilot light, spark, heater element, or electric motor) could cause an explosion or a fire.
TO HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF FLAMMABLE VAPOR IGNITION:
Store flammable liquids in well-sealed containers outside.
Do not use gasoline, cleaning fluids, oil-soaked rags, or other flammable liquids inside a building where propane appliances are located.
Before filling a cylinder, make sure you are aware of the following information regarding safety and handling procedures:
Know your facility's fire prevention and emergency evacuation plans, including where and how to operate emergency shutdown and pump controls. Locate the nearest fire extinguishers and make sure they are in proper working condition. Only use fire extinguishers to create an escape route—not to fight a propane fire. The only safe way to extinguish a propane fire is by stopping the flow of propane.
Before operating a filling station, ensure there are no ignition sources within 25 feet of the points of transfer, or metal-working operations including grinding, oxygen-fuel gas cutting, brazing, soldering, or welding within 35 feet.
Be sure that valves are protected properly with a valve cap or protective collar, and always use proper cylinder handling techniques. The Overfilling Prevention Device (OPD) should never be used for determining if a cylinder is full. The OPD will not always stop the flow of propane into the cylinder at the proper fill amount.
When filling a cylinder, always follow the training materials provided to you by your Propane provider, and please contact your Propane provider if you require replacement training materials.
Never fill a cylinder without wearing all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.
Never allow your employee or anyone else to operate the dispenser without first ensuring that they have been properly trained in safely operating the dispenser and inspecting and filling cylinders.
Never allow customers, spectators, or individuals not involved in the dispensing process within 10’ of the point of transfer. This is the point where the cylinder connects to the hose.
All employees should be aware of the potential danger of unwanted static electricity at the dispensing location. In the right conditions static discharge or spark may cause the ignition of some fuels, including gasoline and propane. In order to reduce the risk of ignition from static discharge, identify where Static Discharge Control Areas are and where static electricity may be coming from. This is typically any area where propane vapor may be present.
If you are working in or near a Static Discharge Control Area, there are a few simple measures you can take to limit your chances of producing a static spark:
Wear static-safe footwear or temporary foot grounders
Wear cotton and cotton blends as they will generate less static electricity than most synthetics and polyester materials
Never put on or remove garments inside a Static Discharge Control Area
Remove all plastics and other synthetic materials from the area
Make sure all your equipment is properly grounded
Limit access to the area to only those people necessary to conduct normal business activities
Informing customers about cylinder and container safety is an important responsibility for the tank exchange retailer, propane refiller, or propane dispenser operator. Operators should make sure that all customers understand how to transport cylinders safely.
Important propane safety tips for your customers include:
Always transport and store a cylinder in a secure and upright position so it will not fall, shift, or roll
Never keep a filled cylinder inside a hot vehicle
Always proceed directly to your destination and immediately remove the cylinder from your vehicle