The inherent danger of propane necessitates careful storage and handling. Propane is a flammable, asphyxiating gas, and pressurized propane containers carry a risk of deadly explosion if handlers puncture or jostle them. As such, there are strict safety regulations for companies that store these cylinders. Propane cylinder storage and dispensing cabinets can increase cylinder lifespan, and they allow for safe containment and distribution to reduce risk and prevent dangerous leaks or explosions within a facility.
Propane Safety & Storage Requirements
For workplaces that use propane, properly storing and handling the cylinders is key. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a number of requirements in place to ensure workplace safety and prevent dangerous accidents. These requirements include:
Facilities must not store propane cylinders in busy areas or in close proximity to stairwells, entrances, or exits. However, the facility may choose whether to store the cylinders indoors or outdoors, preferably in ventilated areas.
Handling of Empty Propane Cylinders
Even when empty, handlers must carefully store propane cylinders. OSHA dictates that facilities store empty cylinders the same way they would full cylinders.
A vital part of safe storage is properly orienting the propane cylinder. When improperly oriented, the cylinder’s relief valve may release. To avoid this hazardous scenario, the cylinder’s relief valve should be in contact with the container’s vapor space.
Proximity to Other Materials
To reduce the risk of explosion, facilities must not store propane cylinders alongside other combustible materials.
Protection From Falling
Support systems such as chains prevent propane cylinders from falling. For added safety, facilities may choose to secure cylinders individually rather than in groups to reduce risk during an employee’s removal of a single cylinder from storage.
The storage container must provide proper ventilation and keep the propane cylinders lifted from the ground at all times.
What Are Propane Cylinder Storage Cabinets?
The goal of storage cabinets for propane is to safely contain the cylinders according to code. These cabinets improve workplace safety by keeping propane cylinders upright in a designated storage location where workers cannot bump them over. If a propane cylinder falls, the risk of a rupture or a valve breaking increases, which would be highly hazardous. Holding the cylinders upright in proper steel propane storage cabinets keeps the valves intact and reduces the risk of accidents or permit lapses for unsafe business practices. It also helps increase the lifespan of the tanks and the interior propane.
What Are Propane Dispensing Cabinets?
Facilities that store their propane in bulk storage tanks will utilize propane dispenser cabinets. These cabinets facilitate the transfer of propane from a bulk tank into a smaller, transportable cylinder at pumping stations. When using propane dispensing cabinets, the operator will hook up the empty cylinder to a pump and hose within the cabinet. They will then pump the propane out of the bulk storage tank and into the cylinder.
At IPS Equipment, Inc., we offer custom-built propane dispensing cabinets in either 4x4x4 or 4x4x6 in diamond plate aluminum. They have an 18-foot motor fuel line and feature the following components:
- Neptune® meters with a 600 register head, 1.0 inch
- Meter vapor returns
- RegO® valves and fittings
- Blackmer® pumps, 1.0 inch
- Pump inlet parts
- 1.5 HP Motor
- LP Gas hoses
- Cylinder fill lines
Propane Cylinder Storage Cabinets vs. Propane Cylinder Dispensing Cabinets
Propane cylinder storage cabinets and dispensing cabinets are both vital for safety, but each has a different function. For simple storage applications, propane cylinder storage cabinets are optimal. For applications in which operators must transfer propane from a bulk tank into a portable cylinder, a dispensing cabinet is necessary.
Choose IPS Equipment for Your Propane Storage & Dispensing Needs
Proper propane storage is key for creating a safe, efficient workplace. For over 50 years, we at IPS Equipment have been distributing reliable and customized propane equipment with plant service solutions, on-site meter calibration, and scale certification services. Our family-run business is dedicated to providing trustworthy customer support to assist our customers in choosing the storage and dispensing solutions that best meet their needs. An experienced team is always available to answer questions, calibrate equipment, and provide guidance.
Contact us to learn more about our family of solutions for the propane industry.