Safety Tips for Using Propane Tanks, Appliances, and Products Following Storm Damage or Flooding


 Download Safety Tips for Using Propane Tanks, Appliances, and Products Following Storm Damage or Flooding 

Washington, D.C. (August 23, 2007) — Following key safety tips for propane products, appliances, and tanks could help alleviate potential risks associated with storm damage or flooding.  Sixty million homeowners and businesses use propane to heat their water and homes; cook their meals; fuel their farm equipment and buildings; or simply power their gas grills.  For those propane users affected by storm damage or flooding, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) in cooperation with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) recommend the following steps to help ensure safe propane use.

After the storm or flood:

  • Propane appliances, farm equipment, or vehicles with controls or regulators that have been under water should be inspected by your propane supplier before being put back into service. Since water damage to propane equipment and appliances is not always readily apparent, a complete inspection of the entire system before attempting to operate equipment is highly recommended.
  • The number one problem created by flooding is water damage of regulators and controls.  Such damage can cause blockage, corrosion, or other malfunction of the key safety devices that are built into the system. In addition, dirt or debris may have entered the regulator through the vent. While this may not bean immediate threat, selected parts may need to be replaced to ensure the long-range safety of the equipment. Propane suppliers can also determine whether dents to the container or piping caused by flowing debris are serious enough to warrant equipment replacement.
  • If your propane equipment has been flooded, and it is safe to do so, be sure to shut off the service valve(s) at the propane tank(s) if you have not already. This may be accomplished by turning the valve(s) in a clockwise direction. Be sure to have the system and appliances checked prior to turning on the gas supply again.
  • In the rare case you smell gas upon returning to your home, business, or farm, follow these steps:
    1.  No Fames or Sparks. Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.
    2. LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
    3. SHUT OFF THE GAS. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
    4. REPORT THE LEAK. From a neighbor’s home or other nearby building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can’t reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.
    5. DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until your propane retailer determines that it is safe to do so.
    6. GET YOUR SYSTEM CHECKED. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.
  • If severe flooding occurs and your tank shifts, becomes dislodged, or in the event that you find a tank on your property that does not belong to you, immediately call the fire department and/or your propane supplier.

While the effects of flooding can present potential dangerous situations, following these recommendations will help reduce risks.  For additional information on propane, contact your local propane supplier or visit or