Refill propane tanks safely
Cookout season is fast approaching, so it’s a good time to review your safety practices for propane tank refill and distribution. At minimum, these should include:
- Proper training and certification of all employees involved in propane refill. If employees don’t have this training, don’t let them refill the tanks.
- Do not refill tanks unless they are equipped with an overfill protection device (OPD). Tanks with an OPD have a triangular- shaped hand-wheel, with the letters “OPD” printed on it and on the side of the valve. Do not fill tanks that have a round or star-shaped hand-wheel.
- Inspect each tank for the date of manufacture. Tanks are usually good for 12 years from that date.
- If the date isn’t stamped on the tank or the label has been removed, do not fill the tank.
- Check the tank and valve for leaks after partially filling an approved tank by applying a soapy water solution around the tank and valve. A leak will cause bubbles to form. If the tank has a leak, do not continue to fill it.
- Make sure customers wait in a designated area at least 10 feet from the dispensing area. This helps reduce distractions that can cause filling errors and protects the customer.
- Inspect all equipment used in the refilling process.
- Post visible and easily understood signs that outline your safety requirements and designate areas that are off-limits to customers. Also post a “No Smoking” sign at the dispensing area.
*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.