With 2014’s Independence Day just 014 days: 13 hours: 58 minutes: and 12 seconds away (counting from when I typed this post up) how many of you by a show of hands plan on having a barbecue and watching the fireworks?
If you have a propane tank – even if it’s only one of those 20 pounders – you might want to look into having it serviced for safety and to ensure that a barbecue grill injury doesn’t send you to the emergency room.
Every year, according to U.S. Fire Departments, there is an estimated 600 fires or explosions caused by overfilled and unsafe propane tanks. Tanks that probably should have been put out to pasture long ago!
Propane Tank Information You Need to Know
So, how do you know if your propane tank needs to be replaced? First, let’s determine its age by looking at its knob. Older models have a five-prong, circular knob, whereas newer models have a triangular shaped knob.
Secondly, is it equipped with an overfilling prevention device (OPD)? An OPD is a special valve, which is required on all propane tanks manufactured after April 2, 2002, that is designed to close the valve when the tank is 80% full.
Having your propane tank serviced by a professional propane dealer is probably one of the safest and cost-effective measures you can take to ensure that your Independence Day barbecue goes off without a hitch of trouble.
If your propane tank needs to replaced, your cheapest alternative is to exchange it at the dealership for a new one. A new tank that meets the strictest safety regulations start at $50.00 and go up from there depending on the size you need.
Barbecue Safety Tips
- Inspect your grill’s hose for any signs of cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. You should additionally ensure that there are no sharp bends.
- Keep gas hoses as far away as possible from any hot surfaces, tools and grease.
- Always use and store propane tanks in the upright position.
- Never keep your spare propane tank under or near the grill.
- Never store or use flammable liquids, like gasoline, near the grill.
- Never store the propane tank in your house.
- If you smell a strong odor of gas, vacate the area immediately.