Refill propane tanks safely

Propane Tank

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.
Propane Tank
This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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