#14: Take Steps for Propane Tank Safety

Below is some helpful information regarding propane tank safety in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster.

  • Make sure above- and below-ground propane tanks are securely anchored. For earthquake hazard mitigation, above-ground tanks should be braced or anchored either to the residence foundation or with anchors driven into the ground to prevent being dislodged. More information about the anchoring of propane tanks can be found by clicking here.
  • Have the propane connections inspected by your supplier annually. For earthquake hazard mitigation, have a flexible connection installed between the tank and the supply line that enters the residence.
  • Create an emergency plan including contact information and instructions to shut off the propane to your residence and review it with members of your household. Make sure they know where to find this information. Automatic shut-off valves triggered by shaking associated with seismic events are available. Consult your propane dealer for more information.
  • To prevent storage tank flotation caused by flooding (including flooding from coastal storm surge), have your residential storage tank topped off in the spring and, as appropriate to usage, again in August (in advance of the local peak hurricane season).
  • Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank. During and after hurricanes, propane deliveries may be delayed because of extraordinary demand and impassable roads serving your home.
  • If a hurricane threatens your safety, you should shut off the main gas supply by turning the valve on your tank clockwise. It is good practice to shut off the gas supply valves on indoor appliances as well.
  • If you turn off your propane, contact a professional to inspect your propane system before turning it back on to prevent any potentially dangerous situations.
  • When it’s safe, after a hurricane passes, check your area for damages to power lines, gas lines, and the propane tank. If it is dark, DO NOT use a candle, only flashlights.
  • If you find any power source or its parts damaged, contact a professional right away. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
  • If you find that your propane tank has become dislodged or is missing, or find a tank that isn’t yours, contact a propane professional or local fire department immediately.
  • Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors, especially during a power outage. Only use indoor appliances for inside use and never store, place, or use a gas cylinder indoors.
  • Inspect your gas appliances for water or other damage. If the electrical components were exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard. Do not ever turn on a light switch, use any power source or inspect your appliances while standing in water.
  • If you suspect any propane appliance or equipment was underwater, call a professional service tech to perform a complete propane system inspection.

Remember, be prepared; stay safe.

Tidelines Editors

(Source: Town of Seabrook Island; Image credit: flickr)