How to Prevent Propane Tank Explosions

It’s hard to go through your day without seeing a food truck. They show up at fairs, festivals, carnivals, college campuses, parks, and more. In the United States alone, a couple of years ago, there were thought to be in excess of 4000 food trucks in use. Whether the cuisine served from those trucks is sophisticated or casual, appliances and grills are ordinarily powered by liquid propane. That means using a propane tank.

Where there are propane tanks, there can be what are referred to as “propane tank explosions”. When accidents like that happen, it means horrific injury or death to bystanders, customers, employees, truck operators, etc. These terrible occurrences can be avoided with proper propane tank storage and handling.

In truth, it is extremely difficult to get a propane tank to explode. On their own, these tanks don’t simply come apart or rupture. The following are questions and answers relating to propane tanks and safety.

When Exposed to Heat, Can a Propane Tank Explode?

More times than not, propane tank explosions are a result of a leak rather than the tank being exposed to heat. Gas that is leaking from the cylinder is somehow ignited, causing fire and perhaps an explosion.

In a raging fire, a propane tank could possibly explode. This is because the air inside the tank heats up much faster than it can escape. As hard as it is to rupture a propane tank, they have their limits.

Can a Propane Tank Freeze?

If the ambient temperature drops to less than 44°F, propane tanks will freeze up. When this happens, the propane will not vaporize. This doesn’t mean that you should store your tank indoors during winter, however. Propane tanks are actually safer outside than in an enclosed area.

In warm weather, it’s wise to keep propane tanks stored in shady areas whenever possible. Never expose your tank to temperatures over 110°F.

Will a Propane Tank Explode If Dropped?

Once again, it’s extremely difficult to make a propane tank explode or rupture. Damage can be done to a propane tank if it is handled badly. This damage can cause a leak. A leak can cause gases to escape. Escaping gases will ignite if exposed to an ignition source. If gases have been escaping for a while and have collected, an ignition source could cause a fireball.

To prevent damage and leaks, tanks should always be transported and mounted in a safe manner with equipment that was designed for use on propane tanks.

How Can I Safely Transport A Propane Tank?

Rather than lying on their sides, propane tanks must be transported in an upright position. It’s the law. Additionally, when stored, tanks should also be in an upright position.

When a tank is in an upright position, it allows the pressure relief valve to operate in a manner for which it was designed. The pressure relief valve’s location is at the uppermost part of the tank.

Mickey Genuine Parts carries propane tank accessories and more. At one of our certified service centers, we can install your tank mounts, service your trailer, or – for those who like to do the work themselves – same-day expedite your part order when it is received by 2 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Let’s keep truckin'.

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