Is propane safe? Get the facts
One question we get a lot from people who are considering adding propane appliances to their home is: “How safe is it really?”
As a company that has done thousands of propane appliance installations, propane tank installations and propane deliveries since we started providing gas to our Delmarva neighbors in 1954, we can assure you that propane is as safe as any other home energy source…and probably even more so!
Here are just a few of the reasons why propane is one of the safest ways to power your home:
- Propane leaks are easy to detect due to their strong rotten egg odor (thanks to the Ethyl Mercaptan that manufacturers add to the naturally odorless gas). If you detect the odor of propane, be sure to follow propane safety instructions for a gas leak.
- The propane industry is regulated by strict federal DOT, OSHA, and EPA compliance codes, along with numerous state and local fire and safety laws.
- Propane will not ignite until the air reaches 878° F.; in fact, propane has the lowest flammability range of all alternative fuels (2.4– 9.5 percent). There must be a very specific combination of propane and oxygen for propane to burn.
- If liquid propane ever leaks, it vaporizes into the air, leaving no mess and no toxic burden on the environment; propane cannot contaminate water or soil.
- Propane tanks are constructed from carbon steel, under procedures developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. They are 20 times more puncture resistant than tanks filled with ethanol, methanol or gasoline.
- All propane cylinders with capacities between four and forty pounds must be equipped with an Overfilling Prevention Device (OPD) that cuts off the filling process when the tank reaches 80 percent capacity. This gives the gas room to expand safely if outdoor temperatures rise.
- All propane cylinders and tanks must be equipped with a pressure relief valve that opens to reduce excessive internal pressure in abnormal conditions.
Of course all those considerations don’t even take into account the things WE do to make sure your propane appliances are installed, maintained, and operating correctly.
The bottom line: propane is one of the safest sources of energy around – not to mention one of the most versatile and efficient ways to power just about any equipment you need to keep your family safe and comfortable in any season.
Have any propane safety questions for us? We’re happy to talk about them. Ask a pro at Poore’s Propane and Oil – we’re here to help!