Propane gas is an affordable and clean-burning fuel, which is why it is often embraced as a fuel source. However, like all fuel gasses, it must be handled and stored safely to reduce the chance of human injury that can occur when propane safety precautions are not followed.
Read on to learn two tips for working with propane gas safely.
1. Understand the Hazards of Propane
Understanding the hazards of propane can help you understand why you need to handle it carefully.
Propane Liquid Hazards
While propane turns into a gas when inside of a highly pressurized environment, such as a propane tank, it is naturally a liquid. While airborne propane gas is unlikely to irritate skin, propane liquid is extremely hazardous to skin and eyes.
In fact, if just a small amount of liquid propane comes into contact with skin, mild to severe skin frostbite can develop. If propane frostbite is severe, tissue death can occur.
In addition, if propane liquid comes into contact with eyes, it can cause permanent eye damage and even blindness.
For these reasons, always wear proper safety gear when working with propane.
Propane Gas Hazards
While propane in gas form is unlikely to harm skin and eyes when it comes into contact with them, inhalation of too much propane in gas form can cause nausea and vomiting, rapid heart rate, convulsions, coma, and even death.
In addition, propane gas is extremely flammable, so a gas leak could easily lead to a fire if this gas comes into contact with an open flame in an uncontrolled environment.
2. Learn How to Detect Gas Leak
Propane gas leaks that can endanger human health and pose a fire hazard can be prevented with routine inspections and maintenance of a propane gas system. However, even well-maintained systems can occasionally leak, so everyone who works with propane gas should learn the common signs of a propane gas leak.
Just like natural gas, propane gas is naturally odorless. However, a propane supply company typically adds a special scent to the propane gas to help people working with it detect leaks more easily. Ask your propane supplier what the propane gas they offer smells like to aid in propane leak detection.
Every facility that utilizes propane gas should also have several propane gas leak detectors on site. You can increase detector effectiveness by installing them where propane gas is most likely to accumulate when a leak occurs.
Since propane gas is heavier than air, these sensors should be placed close to the floor instead of higher up on walls. Also, avoid placing them in areas where an air current is common, such as near doors and windows, and instead place them where the air is still and gas tends to build up, such as in the corners of rooms.
If you work with propane gas, then follow these tips to stay safe while you work. Your propane supply company may have additional propane safety tips for you to consider.