Above ground propane tank with truck in background

Propane Tanks and Safety

Some people have misconceptions about propane. Occasionally, these mistaken beliefs involve propane storage and the safety of propane tanks. Get ready to learn about just how strong and dependable propane tanks are and why this makes propane such a safe fuel choice for your home and business.

Propane Tanks are Built to Withstand Outside Forces

Propane tanks do not explode or implode under any set of normal circumstances. In fact, propane tanks won’t rupture without having an incredible amount of heat and pressure applied to them.

Propane suppliers make the safety of every home, business, and farm their number one priority. And propane tank manufacturers design tanks with this in mind.

What are some of the measures that propane providers take to ensure customer safety?

Propane Tank Strength

Propane tanks are designed to withstand high amounts of pressure and will not rupture when used properly. Obviously, everyone should take care around propane, as with any flammable substance. But the idea that propane tanks will explode if they get knocked over or are hit by a lawnmower, or even a car, is false.

Extreme heat exposure, over a long period of time, can cause a tank to rupture, but even this is rare. A propane tank would have to endure heat, such as that from a fire, that overcomes its own ability to relieve the built-up pressure through a safety relief valve.

Safety Relief Valves

A big part of what makes propane safe for commercial and residential use is the employment of safety relief valves on propane tanks. Safety relief valves are required equipment on all propane tanks and cylinders to guard against any possibility of a propane tank rupture in all but the most extreme circumstances.

How does a propane tank’s safety relief value work? The valve is held closed under normal circumstances by a strong spring. If the pressure inside the tank rises above a certain level, this pushes against the spring and opens the valve, relieving the pressure. (This may be accompanied by a hissing sound.) The safety relief valve safeguards the propane tank against rupturing in all but the most extreme circumstances.

Additional Safety Precautions

If you’ve ever wondered why propane tanks are made in light colors, it’s actually an additional safety measure. Lighter colors tend to reflect the heat from sunlight, whereas darker colors absorb it. If a propane tank heats up, the propane inside it heats up as well, increasing pressure. The white color of most tanks is a design element that helps prevent excessive pressure buildup and keeps the tank from having to vent and release propane unnecessarily.

On hot days, especially just after a recent delivery, when a propane tank is close to being full, the safety relief valve may open slightly, releasing excess pressure. If this happens, don’t tamper with the tank or the valve! Spraying cold water from a garden hose on an above-ground tank can help to cool it down and relieve some of the pressure. Provided that the relief valve is functioning properly, it will close on its own once the pressure inside the tank decreases.

Call the Professionals

If you suspect a propane leak, don’t attempt to repair any part of the tank yourself! Always contact a professional to inspect the tank and perform any necessary service.

To the experts at Southeast Quality Propane, proper safety measures go hand in hand with excellent customer service. Reach out to us today and learn what propane can do for your home and business!

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Propane flame under a hot air balloon

Propane in Industry, on the Farm, and for Business

Most consumers are no doubt familiar with propane as a fuel for outdoor grilling. Some of these same propane users might also cook indoors using propane ovens and stovetops, or even heat their homes with propane.

Camping and RV enthusiasts know that propane is a great fuel for cooking and heating when you’re trying to “get back to nature” but still want a portable stove to tag along with you. Less well-known is the fact that propane can also be used in hot water heaters, clothes dryers, and even refrigerators.

But if you think that residential heating and home appliances are propane’s only energy contributions, get ready to learn about all that propane does to power industry, agriculture, and commercial enterprises.

Propane and Industry

Well over half of the propane consumed in the United States (the world’s largest consumer of liquified petroleum gas or LPG) is put to use by the industrial sector.

Propane has many industrial applications. It’s used in the production of plastics, especially plastic bags and nylon. Since propane is a cleaner-burning fuel, it makes sense to use it to power machinery in closed spaces such as warehouses and factories. It’s much safer to use propane to power forklifts compared to gasoline or diesel, especially when this equipment will be used indoors.

Road crews also benefit greatly from propane. Heating asphalt with propane facilitates highway repair work. In addition, propane is useful at construction sites for drying plaster and concrete. Due to its portability, propane is also a great fuel for cutting torches and soldering irons.

Since propane is such a clean-burning fuel, it can even be burned safely in underground mines and other enclosed workspaces.

Propane in the Agriculture Sector

Propane is a great fuel source for remote rural areas, since it can be transported in tanks or cylinders by truck or railway, without the need to be piped in directly from a storage facility.

Farmers use propane in a host of ways. Propane can be used to power farming equipment such as tractors, commercial mowers, irrigation pumps, and generators. Farmers employ propane-powered dryers to dry crops and ripen fruit. For organic agricultural sites looking to reduce herbicide and pesticide use, propane flamethrowers are effective at controlling weeds and killing pests.

Finally, farmers use propane in much the same way on their farms as people do in their homes—for heating and to power refrigerators. Propane is a great fuel source for warming barns, greenhouses, nurseries, incubators, and chicken coops.

Propane and Commercial Applications

Restaurants use propane for cooking just as you might use it in your home, but on a larger scale. Propane is better for cooking than electric heat, since propane burners heat more evenly, heat up right away, and cool down more quickly than their electric counterparts.

Fleet vehicles, such as buses and taxis are also commonly fueled by propane, especially in densely-populated areas where having low-emission transportation options is critical.

And for those looking for the bird’s-eye view, propane is even used to fuel hot air balloons!

In Conclusion

Propane is a useful fuel at home or when camping, but it’s so much more than that. Restaurants, farms, factories, warehouses, and recreational facilities all benefit from portable, clean-burning propane.

If you want to hear more about how propane will help your business get ahead, call the experts at Southeast Quality Propane!

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Propane torch with blue flame

The History of Propane and Some Basic Propane Facts

The average person may not spend very much time thinking about propane unless the tank on the family’s propane grill needs to be changed out to get ready for this weekend’s cookout. But propane has an interesting story to tell. Read on to discover more about propane, propane’s history, and the positive impact that the propane industry has on the American economy.

The Properties of Propane

At room temperature, and under normal atmospheric pressure, propane is a gas. In fact, in order to get propane to change into its liquid form, you have to either cool it to below its boiling point of -43.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or put it under pressure. Since liquid propane will become a gas when released from a pressurized container, there’s no need for an intermediary vaporizing device when you wish to use it. This makes propane well-suited for portable stoves, since turning the valve on the tank releases the fuel, ready to burn.

Though propane has no color or odor of its own, it is odorized during processing to make its presence detectable. If propane is simply released into the open air, it will dissipate. On the other hand, if it is leaked into a closed space, propane gas will settle along the ground as it is heavier than air.

How Do You Get Propane?

Propane is produced as a byproduct of both the processing of natural gas and the refining of oil. After production, but before transport, propane is liquified. When in its liquid form, propane is 270 times denser than it is as a gas. This allows for propane to be transferred via pipe systems to large storage facilities where it awaits delivery by trucks, ships, and trains to its destination.

The Earliest Days of the Propane Industry

Although the initial discovery of propane dates to the middle of the 1800s, in France, it wasn’t until the 1910s that the propane industry was launched in the United States. This happened when Dr. Walter O. Snelling, a chemist for the U.S. Bureau of Mines, experimented with vapors escaping from a gasoline tank and discovered that these vapors could be liquified and used as a fuel source for lighting and heating.

Propane and the Economy

Today, propane ranks third, behind only electricity and natural gas, as the fuel used in the most American households. In the state of Georgia alone, propane was the primary heating source for more than 180,000 homes (as of 2015). In that same year, Georgians’ demand for propane topped 205 million gallons, and propane sales, transportation, and storage added more than $800,000 to Georgia’s economy!

In Conclusion

Scientific facts about propane are enlightening, but it’s the way that propane helps fuel the economy that matters the most.

If you want to discover how propane can work for you, reach out to the professionals at Southeast Quality Propane!

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Propane burner with blue flames

The Advantages of Choosing Propane

Wondering whether or not to opt for propane fuel at home or for your business? Get ready to hear about all the advantages propane has to offer!


Propane can be put to a wide variety of uses. You might associate propane most of all with grilling outside during the summer months. That’s great, because propane is definitely an excellent fuel source for cookouts. But did you know that most of the major appliances in your average home can also be fueled by propane?

It’s true! You can replace your old electric water heater with one that uses propane. The same goes for your clothes dryer and your stove. Heating your house with propane in the winter is an option as well. And for those considering moving off the grid, propane can power generators and refrigerators too. You can even get propane-powered vehicles or retrofit your gasoline-powered ones to run using propane!


Propane is an efficient fuel, giving propane consumers more value for their money. For instance, when it comes to household appliances, propane has electricity beat. Propane hot water heaters will heat water faster than electric water heaters can. And propane clothes dryers have the edge over their electric counterparts in this regard as well. Even if the initial cost of a propane appliance is higher than that of an electric one, the propane-fueled machine will quickly pay for itself through its more efficient operation over its lifetime.


As with any combustible item, you must take care when handling or transporting propane. That said, the production and installation of propane equipment is strictly-regulated. In addition, propane will only ignite in an environment within a narrow ratio of propane to air. Propane also won’t ignite unless it reaches a temperature of around 940 degrees Fahrenheit, much higher than that of gasoline, which can ignite at a temperature as low as 430 degrees Fahrenheit.

Environmentally Friendly

Propane is non-toxic. Since it’s a gas at room temperature, it won’t form hazardous puddles that need to be cleaned up if its storage tank leaks. Unlike the burning of coal, propane combustion doesn’t contribute to the formation of acid rain. Plus, propane produces fewer harmful greenhouse gas emissions compared to the burning of gasoline or diesel fuel. In fact, propane is not even classified as a greenhouse gas, as it won’t harm the environment if it is released into the atmosphere unburned. This is not true of natural gas, which, though relatively friendly to the environment, is still not as clean as propane.

In Conclusion

Propane is an adaptable, efficient, safe, and environmentally-friendly fuel. It’s great for homes and businesses, suitable in both industrial and agricultural applications, and can even be used to power vehicles.

Interested in hearing more about propane and what it can do for you? Contact Southeast Quality Propane today!

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