Propane tanks can be very dangerous and should never be stored in the garage. The tank needs to be inspected frequently by a licensed company that specializes in propane to make sure there are no leaks.
It is important to remember that propane tanks should not be kept in a shed, garage, basement, or attic; they must only be stored in a dry, outdoor, and well-ventilated place. It’s only safe to keep your propane tank inside if it has been entirely discharged of gas.
The risks of storing a propane tank in your garage include increased chances of carbon monoxide poisoning from improper ventilation, poisoning from vaporized fuel, and fire hazards from a leaking object or ignition source. In this article, we’ll explore some of the dangers associated with indoor propane storage.
Propane is stored under high pressure, so if it leaks, it forms a vapor cloud that can cause asphyxiation or fire when exposed to an ignition source. This means that anything near the propane tank could pose a risk.
Indoor storage of propane tanks should be avoided because a leaking tank can release gas through any opening, including small cracks and seams in the tank’s construction. Leaking propane tanks can put you or your family at risk.
Leaks might also develop due to rusting or corrosion, so be sure to inspect your tanks frequently and replace them if they show signs of wear and tear.
Because methane is flammable and odorless, natural gas suppliers often add mercaptans (sulfur-containing organic compounds) to make it easier to detect and avoid accidental ignition. The mercaptans in propane, though, work differently; they don’t give off an odor even if there’s a leak.
Storing propane tanks in garages or sheds because vapors might seep out and concentrate indoors if the valve isn’t fully shut. The perfect location for storing propane tanks is outside on a flat, level surface away from direct sunlight.
Any spark, from something as simple as static electricity or a loose electrical wire, can cause an explosion. The risks associated with storing propane tanks come not just from the tanks themselves but also from other items that might be stored in proximity to them.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is present in the air we breathe and is produced by incomplete combustion. It’s a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal when inhaled; it binds to hemoglobin in your red blood cells and decreases oxygen delivery to your tissues and organs.
Because propane fuel is not pure methane like natural gas, you’ll never get a warning from your propane-powered appliances when there are dangerous levels of CO in the air. That means that even if you’re burning fuel properly, leaks could still cause CO buildup indoors without you knowing about it. A leaking tank left inside for weeks or months can produce enough carbon monoxide to pose serious health risks.
Odorants added to propane for leak detection use the same receptors as those responsible for detecting natural gas, so if you have a leak, you may not even realize it. These odors are added to propane at the point of manufacture and should be present in all propane tanks. In addition, most underground storage tank systems have an odorant that’s injected before any fuel is stored.
The risks associated with propane storage must never be taken lightly; if a problem arises, call a trained expert who can test for leaks and make sure you’re using proper safety precautions at all times.
If a propane tank has been damaged or left unused for 12 months, you’ll need to replace it before using it again – otherwise, you risk running out of fuel unexpectedly or causing an explosion.
Never attempt to refill a storage tank yourself – improper handling could cause an explosion. Propane tanks should never be kept in a shed, garage, basement, or attic; they must only be stored somewhere outdoors that’s dry and well-ventilated.
If there are any signs of corrosion or rusting on your propane tank, it should be replaced immediately. Contact an experienced gas company for more information about safely storing propane tanks inside or outside your home or business’s property.
If you notice any damage or corrosion on your tank, replace it. Exposure to sun and moisture can cause the tanks to rust prematurely; if they’re not replaced in time, there’s a risk of explosion when the metal corrodes.
Note that all propane tanks are labeled with their service class rating, which is an indication of how well they’ll perform in extreme temperatures.
Properly storing your propane tank is a crucial step in preventing an accident that could lead to serious injury or death. Propane tanks should always be stored in an outdoor, dry place.
Following safety guidelines for replacing and storing propane tanks will help you avoid accidents that could put your family or business at risk. Contact a local propane company to learn more about storing propane safely and about replacing old, corroded storage tanks.
See also: Can a Propane Tank Explode if Dropped?