Written on: August 23, 2022
While your portable propane cylinder (aka bottle) can certainly stand up to our typical afternoon rain showers during the summer, the answer to the question, “Can I leave a propane tank in the rain?” gets more complicated when we add high winds into the rainy mix.
The answer is still yes, you can leave a propane tank in the rain because you really have no choice. You never should store tanks of any size in any enclosed environment, including a shed, garage or your home.
But when high winds are involved, you must secure your portable tank outside as best as you can to prevent it from becoming a dangerous flying projectile during a hurricane.
If you live in a flood zone, even large stationary propane tanks should be anchored securely to avoid potentially dangerous situations. This is required by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). Your propane supplier can give you further advice on this.
Natural disasters such as hurricanes can result in the exposure of cylinders to a variety of hazardous conditions. This includes submersion in floodwaters, impact from flying debris, damage from falls, and exposure to foreign contaminants like mud, sewage, oil, and grease.
Obviously, any damage can affect their integrity and safe operation of cylinders and related equipment. Keep in mind that the cylinder contents are stored under pressure, which can cause the contents to leak if the container or related equipment is damaged.
Cylinders that have been damaged or leaking can pose serious hazards and must be addressed only by trained emergency responders with HAZMAT training or the cylinder supplier. You should never attempt to vent or even handle cylinders that you suspect have been damaged.
Contact information for the cylinder supplier is listed on the cylinder label. If a label is not present, the cylinder neck ring can be used to identify the cylinder supplier.
Even if your propane cylinders have escaped storm damage, there are a number of safety tips you should follow year-round.
Remember: propane cylinders incorporate special components such as valves, connectors, and other parts to keep them safe for use with grills and other propane appliances. Damage to any component can cause a gas leak. Don’t risk it! Contact your propane retailer or a qualified service technician for assistance.
As always, stay safe out there. Read more about propane safety.