Safe Handling of Propane Cylinders
Written on: January 4, 2023
Propane tanks & cylinder safety requirements
It’s important to know the best practices for safe handling when it comes to propane cylinders. That’s why we take the time to always educate our customers about why and how tank specifications deserve attention and contribute to propane safety.
Cylinder safety tips
According to the Propane Education & Research Council, most of today’s propane tanks – including portable cylinders – are built according to safety specifications laid out by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
- Take steps to prevent overfilling– Cylinders up to 40 pounds must be fitted with an overfilling-prevention device (OPD).
- Look for the safety label– Their cylinder valves are easy to identify, as they are shaped like a modified triangle and say “OPD” on them.
- Be aware of exceptions– Unfortunately, not all cylinders require an OPD. Following are two exceptions:
- cylinders used in industrial truck service
- cylinders used for industrial welding and cutting gases
- Mind the valves– Regardless of whether they are labeled with an OPD, cylinder valves should never be used as a handle when lifting a cylinder. Ensure the valve is tightly closed and the locking pin is engaging in the cylinder. Position the tank in a way that prevents the liquid propane from coming into contact with the relief valve. Protect the valve from any damage and CLOSE it before breaking connections.
- Get and stay educated– At Georgia Gas Distributors, your safety and the safety of your employees and customers is our priority. We are proud to offer our customers FREE in-depth propane safety training designed to increase safety awareness and education on how to handle propane fuel safely. Get more safety tips and learn about the training you can receive from Georgia Gas Distributors.
- Maintain safe storage– Store propane cylinders upright, and keep them secure — out of harm’s way and in a place where they will not be struck.
- Keep up with inspections & assessments– We offer an assessment to ensure that you are, at all times, in compliance with the safety regulations and standards of the following:
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Know your propane cylinder DON’Ts
- DO NOT change a cylinder using metal tools.
- DO NOT allow a cylinder to get too hot.
- DO NOT use excessive force when opening the valve — always handle with care. (Never drag, drop, roll or slide a cylinder.)
- DO NOT use matches or a flame to check for leaks. Instead, if you smell gas, test for leaks using a soapy water solution or a leak detector.
- DO NOT mount more than two cylinders on any forklift truck.
Know your cylinder’s specifics
You’ll need to know what kind of cylinder you’re working with, in order to make the safest choices when handling your propane tank. Markings on the tank’s collar serve as the cylinder’s identification, including cylinder valve info, design codes, cylinder tear weight, water capacity, manufacturer name, and the test or requalification date.
Know your requalification guidelines
Propane tank requalification is an important safety step in keeping jobs moving smoothly. But do you know why and how cylinders must regularly undergo prequalification?
- Stick with the pros. This process should be done only by trained professionals, at a DOT-registered facility. Likewise, repairs should be completed only by qualified technicians.
- Check the date. Cylinders will indicate their most recent date of requalification. Requalification must typically be completed within between 5 – 12 years.
- Respect the expiration date. If they are out of qualification, they should be marked as such and no longer be refilled.
Contact us today to recertify your tank(s) or to find out if your tanks are due for requalification.
Georgia Gas Distributors puts propane cylinders to work, with your safety in mind!
Make no mistake, when used appropriately, propane is safe, economical and environmentally friendly. At Georgia Gas Distributors, your safety and the safety of your employees and customers is our priority.
Since 1957, Georgia Gas has provided businesses in a range of industries across the Metro Atlanta area with energy-efficient, clean-burning fuel. We are positioned to provide you with the fuel you need — whether it’s for a food truck, a generator, your forklift fleet or autogas vehicles. Consider us your one-stop shop for refueling. Contact us today to learn more about the projects and services we offer! Become a customer today! Georgia Gas Distributors looks forward to serving you.