Consumer Alert: Winter warning on propane heating

Dec 26, 2023 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

With the increasing use of propane for various applications, including winter heating, safety during tank refilling has become a concern. The process of filling a propane tank involves precise measurements and strict adherence to safety codes to prevent dangerous situations.

“We often think about propane at the beginning of the grilling season, but propane can be used year-round,” State Fire Marshal Kevin Reardon said. “The person refilling your tank should make sure it’s not damaged, corroded, dented or beyond qualifying requirements before refilling your tank and only fill it to the correct specifications.”

The Division of State Fire Marshal’s Code Enforcement Bureau was recently alerted to potential safety issues at Dance Steel and Farm Supply in Southwest Ohio. There are concerns that overfilling occurred, a hazardous practice that can result in leaks, fires, or even explosions. Refilling LP Gas (Liquefied Petroleum Gas also known as propane) tanks can pose serious safety risks if not done correctly. This situation highlights the critical importance of stringent safety measures and proper training in handling propane tank refills.

Overfilling LP Gas tanks can lead to severe consequences. Filling a tank more than 80% full can result in dangerous situations such as ruptures or leaks which can cause accidents, environmental hazards, and damage to property. A few signs of an overfilled tank:

  • Overwhelming smell of propane gas, or mercaptan, which is added to the odorless propane.
  • Vapor stream of liquid propane can come out of the tank.
  • The overfill prevention device is released.
  • The sound of propane escaping the tank.
  • The gauge on the tank is high after being filled.

The State Fire Marshal created guidance for consumers on how to handle an overfilled tank and the next steps you need to take to safely address it, including guidance on expired tanks. To read the full consumer alert, visit www.com.ohio.gov/PropaneTanks

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