Small Cylinder Safety
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SMELL GAS?
put out all smoking materials and other open
If you are
able to, safely turn off the cylinder valve. To
close the valve, turn it to the right
leave the area and call 911 or your local fire
restart the appliance, have a qualified service
technician inspect your cylinder and appliance.
Some people may
have difficulty smelling propane due to their age
(older people may have a less sensitive sense of
smell); a medical condition; or the effects of
medication, alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. Consider
purchasing a propane gas detector as an additional
measure of security.
Odor fade is an
unintentional reduction in the concentration of the
odor of propane, making it more difficult to smell.
Although rare, this can be caused by the presence of
air, water, or rust in the cylinder. New and
reconditioned small cylinders that sit too long
before being filled are prone to internal rust when
moisture and air get inside.
SHOULD I STORE SMALL CYLINDERS?
NEVER store or place a
propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area
such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
NEVER store or place a
propane cylinder in an area of excessive heat
(120 degrees or higher) or near a stove,
fireplace, or other heat source. The heat builds
up pressure inside the cylinder, which may cause
the pressure relief valve to release propane.
Flash fires or explosions can result from
exposing cylinders to heat.
NEVER store or place a
spare cylinder under or near a barbecue grill.
NOT smoke or have any
ignition sources such as flames or
spark-producing electrical tools in the area
while handling or transporting cylinders.
SHOULD I TRANSPORT SMALL CYLINDERS?
ALWAYS transport and
store a cylinder in a secure and upright
position so it will not fall, shift, or roll.
ALWAYS close the
cylinder valve and, if required, seal with a
plug, even if the cylinder is empty. Ask your
propane retailer if a plug is required.
NEVER keep a filled
cylinder inside a hot vehicle or transport it
inside a closed trunk.
ALWAYS place the
cylinder in a well-ventilated area of the
directly to your destination and immediately
remove the cylinder from your vehicle.
places limits on the number of cylinders and the
amount of propane that can be transported in
closed-bodied vehicles such as passenger cars
and vans. Ask your propane retailer for more
information on state and local codes that apply
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A PROBLEM
WITH MY CYLINDERS OR OUTDOOR APPLIANCES?
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY TO MODIFY OR REPAIR
VALVES, REGULATORS, OR OTHER CYLINDER OR APPLIANCE
PARTS. Propane cylinders
incorporate special components such as valves,
connectors, and other parts to keep them safe for
use with grills and other propane appliances. Damage
to any component can cause a gas leak.
DON’T RISK IT!
Call your propane retailer or a qualified service
technician for assistance.
TO TEST FOR PROPANE LEAKS
It is important
to inspect your cylinder and outdoor gas appliances
for leaks. Do this before using them for the first
time each season, as well as on a regular basis.
This can be accomplished with a simple “bubble”
detector solution or thick soapy water to the
connection(s) between the cylinder valve and the
regulator outlet. These connections are marked
with an “x” on the diagram below.
the cylinder valve and watch for bubbles.
appear, close the cylinder valve, tighten the
connection, and repeat the process. If bubbles
still appear, call your propane retailer
IS AN OVERFILL PREVENTION DEVICE (OPD)?
SURE YOUR CYLINDER IS EQUIPPED WITH AN OVERFILL
PREVENTION DEVICE (OPD).
An OPD is a safety feature that helps prevent small
propane cylinders from being overfilled. An
overfilled cylinder doesn’t have enough space left
if the liquid expands when exposed to warmer
temperatures. This can cause an increase in cylinder
pressure and create potentially hazardous
with OPDs have special triangular handwheels with
the letters “OPD” on them. In many states, cylinders
without OPDs cannot be refilled. If you are
uncertain as to whether your cylinder has an OPD
valve on it, ask your propane retailer.
SHOULD I DO WITH MY OLD OR DAMAGED CYLINDERS?
use a damaged cylinder or a cylinder that has been
in a fire. All cylinders must be inspected before
they are refilled. The law requires periodic
inspection of cylinders, and it is against the law
to refill out-of-date cylinders. The last inspection
date is stamped on the cylinder.
SHOULD I DISPOSE OF CYLINDERS?
dispose of your propane cylinder by throwing it in
the trash. Check to see if there are municipal
programs for collection in your area, or contact
your propane retailer for guidance on disposal of