Updated: Jan 9
Propane is a safe and efficient fuel used in a variety of applications, from home barbecuing to large-scale construction projects. However, propane cylinders must be handled with care, as they can pose a fire hazard if they are exposed to sources of ignition. On construction sites, propane has many uses, including fuelling equipment such as construction heaters, torches, tarpots, and kettles.
It's important to be aware of the potential dangers posed by propane cylinders. Here are five propane safety tips to keep in mind: 1. Check for leaks
Spray a soap and water solution on all connections to the equipment as well as the cylinder's service valve. If you see bubbles, you know you have a leak! Any leaking cylinder must be removed from service and stored away from any source of ignition. Contact your supplier to retrieve the leaking cylinder.
2. Keep propane cylinders away from sources of ignition
Propane cylinders in storage or in use must always be at least 10 feet from sources of ignition. This includes open flames, sparks, and lit cigarettes.
3. Burn off your line when finished
If you have completed a task using propane-powered equipment, always close the cylinder's service valve before turning the appliance to the off position. By closing the service valve first, the appliance will burn off any gas still in the hose.
4. Always ensure proper ventilation
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, oil, and wood are burned. CO is odourless and colourless, and it can be deadly. Never use propane-powered equipment indoors without proper ventilation. This is especially important for indoor construction sites, so make sure to open doors and windows to let fresh air in. Symptoms of CO poisoning includes dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and unconsciousness. If you experience these symptoms, go outside for fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.
5. Ensure all propane handlers are trained
Jurisdictions across Canada require approved training for operating propane-powered equipment on construction sites. In Ontario, workers must have a current Record of Training (ROT) approved by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). This training must be retaken every 3 years. By receiving proper training, you can help ensure that you and your co-workers are safe when working with propane.