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Propane Tanks and Fire Protection

3:40 PM · May 18, 2021

Proper placement and routine yard maintenance around large stationary propane tanks goes a long way in protecting structures from wildfires. Stationary propane tanks should be located at least 30 feet away from all structures. Ensuring that the tank is up off the ground and properly installed on blocks helps prevent direct flame impingement upon the propane tank itself. A good rule of thumb is to keep a 10-foot radius around propane tanks that is clear of flammable material. This includes vegetation, trash, wood piles, or any combustible material that could be consumed by fire. Grass, leaves, and needles should be scraped down to mineral soil around the tank. This is a yearly task that should be completed prior to the start of fire season. For a more permanent solution, consider spreading base material or gravel around the tank to prevent vegetation growth. Propane cylinders, such as those used for barbecues, should be stored in a manner similar to that of a large residential propane tank. They should sit on a level fireproof surface with the surrounding area clear of debris, tall grass, or other combustible material. Because cylinders are portable, they can easily be moved to a new location in the event of a wildfire. If you have been ordered to evacuate or are in the path of a fire, there are important actions to undertake prior to leaving the area. Note…these steps should only be taken if time allows to safely complete. • Close the propane tank service valve by turning the handwheel clockwise • Close all appliance valves and gas valves inside the house(s) or structure(s) • Move propane cylinders away from structures to an area where fire impact will be minimal. Do not move propane cylinders into or around houses, garages, or other structures. • If you have large stationary propane tanks, contact your propane company to inform them of your evacuation status after leaving the area and again when it is safe for you to return. Re-activating your propane gas supply (if it was shut off) needs to be handled by the propane company as your LP gas tank system will need to be inspected. Via DFPA

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