Propane is an ideal energy source for RV’s due to its portability, safety and long shelf life. It keeps your camper warm, water hot and drinks cold. Before you hit the open road this summer, prepare your RV’s propane tank with these important safety tips:
- Inspect your propane system regularly.
Rule #1 is: Check the expiry date on your propane tank. The year of manufacturing is indicated with a ‘stamp’ on the tank handle (see picture or watch Dave’s video). New propane tanks are good for 10 years before they require re-certification. If the stamp reads 09, it will have expired in 2019, and will need to be re-certified with a new valve.
- Inspect propane cylinders and holding mechanisms for any signs of rust, corrosion, fatigue, or wear and tear. Have one of our certified RV technicians inspect your RV propane system at least once a year, to check out any issues. They’ll check the system for leaks, inspect valves and fittings and certify that tanks are free from rust, dents and other potential hazards. If you are bringing additional propane cylinders, make sure they are stored secure, upright, and in an area where there is proper ventilation.
- Inspect your propane-operated appliances.
- You should also inspect your RV’s propane-operated appliances, such as the refrigerator, stove, furnace and other devices. Check that the supply lines running from appliances to the propane tank are in good condition and not rubbing against any sharp edges or corners. Inspect connections leading to your propane appliances for frays or damage.
- Install and maintain detectors.
- Make sure your RV has at least one Class BC fire extinguisher and operational propane, carbon monoxide, and smoke detectors. If you need to replace or install a new detector, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location and maintenance. Exit your RV immediately if any detector goes off.
- Check for debris.
- Check exterior vents and clear any debris, sticks, dust, twigs, insects, or other items that may restrict venting.
If you smell gas:
- Immediately disconnect the power by turning the battery switch off, then unplug your RV from the power source so that lights and/or appliances can’t spark or trigger an explosion or fire.
- Immediately put out all smoking materials, pilot lights, and other open flames.
- If you are able to, safely turn off the gas supply valve on your cylinder or container.
- Open all doors and other ventilating openings.
- Immediately leave the area and call 911 or the local fire department.
- Before you restart or use any of your propane appliances, have a qualified RV service technician inspect your entire system.