Safety of Using Propane Burner Indoors

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Dannypittman

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About 8 years ago, a man blew his house up in Gainesville, Ga. He was cooking meth in the basement with a 100lb propane tank. This explosion left a sizable crater and killed his three kids. The blast shook my house bad enough that I went to see if a tree had fallen on the house. I lived 2 miles away.
Propane is heavier than air, so it seeks low areas. It will sit there until properly ventilated. This is why those turkey fryers and propane grills say "OUTDOOR USE ONLY"
 

Catt22

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About 8 years ago, a man blew his house up in Gainesville, Ga. He was cooking meth in the basement with a 100lb propane tank. This explosion left a sizable crater and killed his three kids. The blast shook my house bad enough that I went to see if a tree had fallen on the house. I lived 2 miles away.
Propane is heavier than air, so it seeks low areas. It will sit there until properly ventilated. This is why those turkey fryers and propane grills say "OUTDOOR USE ONLY"
More than likely it was the meth chemicals that exploded, not the propane. The turkey fryers and propane grills say, "Outdoor Use Only" because it is illegal to use a bulk propane tank in an inhabited building, including an attached garage or similar structure. I'm sure it also has something to do with product liability issues. I like to keep multiple fire extinguishers around the house. I would rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it. Much like my 45.
 

Sawdustguy

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More than likely it was the meth chemicals that exploded, not the propane. The turkey fryers and propane grills say, "Outdoor Use Only" because it is illegal to use a bulk propane tank in an inhabited building, including an attached garage or similar structure. I'm sure it also has something to do with product liability issues. I like to keep multiple fire extinguishers around the house. I would rather have one and not need it than need one and not have it. Much like my 45.
I disagree. If the meth chemicals exploded it would have destroyed the home but it would be very unlikely to leave a crater blowing through a concrete basement floor slab. Fire extinguishers are absolutely useless if you have a fire involving propane. Sure you will put the fire out but probably blow yourself up. The only way to put out a propane fire is to shut down the propane.

From the NFPA site:

In any propane emergency where there is fire, flames should not be extinguished unless by doing so the fuel supply can be turned off. If the fire is extinguished and the supply of fuel is not turned off, an explosion hazard greater than the fire hazard may be created.
 

Catt22

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I disagree. If the meth chemicals exploded it would have destroyed the home but it would be very unlikely to leave a crater blowing through a concrete basement floor slab. Fire extinguishers are absolutely useless if you have a fire involving propane. Sure you will put the fire out but probably blow yourself up. The only way to put out a propane fire is to shut down the propane.

From the NFPA site:
I seriously doubt that the explosion blew through a concrete floor slab and I would only believe that if there was some convincing evidence to back it up. I have no doubt that the house was pretty well detroyed, but think that the floor slab was probably left pretty much intact.

Well then, I guess we can at least agree to disagree on the fire extinguisher thing. I do agree that it would be a good idea to shut off the propane if possible, but that should be obvious to even a child. I think if my house were at risk, I would give the fire extinguisher a try so long as the fire was not too far advanced. There are fires and then there are fires. Some common sense and good judgment would be nice to summon up in such a situation. That's what I usually try to do in that type of situation. So far, it's worked well for me, so I plan to continue that way for a little longer.
 

Catt22

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"In any propane emergency where there is fire, flames should not be extinguished unless by doing so the fuel supply can be turned off. If the fire is extinguished and the supply of fuel is not turned off, an explosion hazard greater than the fire hazard may be created."

Well, no ****!
 

Sawdustguy

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"In any propane emergency where there is fire, flames should not be extinguished unless by doing so the fuel supply can be turned off. If the fire is extinguished and the supply of fuel is not turned off, an explosion hazard greater than the fire hazard may be created."

Well, no ****!
Touche........:):):):)
 

Catt22

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http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/detector-lp-gas-parts.htm?source=googleyour local RV dealer sells propane sensors, in retrospect they are cheap.
I would never think of using LP indoors without one ore more of these
Good suggestion. I do have a CO detector and a smoke alarm in my brewing area, but I don't have a propane or flammable gas detector installed. I think I will look into getting one though. I'm mostly concerned about the tanks I have stored in the garage possibly leaking and possibly making for a really bad day. I would store them outdoors, but the local meth heads would likely grab them.
 

Sawdustguy

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http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/detector-lp-gas-parts.htm?source=googleyour local RV dealer sells propane sensors, in retrospect they are cheap.
I would never think of using LP indoors without one ore more of these
Make sure you put that detector on the floor at the lowest point. Propane is much heavier than air. Thats why it is so dangerous. People are going to use propane indoors no matter what. There is nothing I can say to change any ones mind. To me it's not worth the risk of burning your home or getting hurt just to make beer. I just hope nothing bad happens to anyone.
 

Catt22

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Make sure you put that detector on the floor at the lowest point. Propane is much heavier than air. Thats why it is so dangerous. People are going to use propane indoors no matter what. There is nothing I can say to change any ones mind. To me it's not worth the risk of burning your home or getting hurt just to make beer. I just hope nothing bad happens to anyone.
+1 Using bulk propane tanks in an inhabited building cannot be justified under any circumstances. Many of us weigh the risks and do so regardless. We will have only ourselves to blame if something goes seriously wrong. I am aware of the risk and I am very cautious. I would go electric or NG if I had the option, which presently I do not. My brewing area is in a garage with concrete floors, walls and ceiling, so while a fire could be bad, I don't think it would burn down the rest of the house.
 

rico567

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+1 Using bulk propane tanks in an inhabited building cannot be justified under any circumstances. Many of us weigh the risks and do so regardless. We will have only ourselves to blame if something goes seriously wrong. I am aware of the risk and I am very cautious. I would go electric or NG if I had the option, which presently I do not. My brewing area is in a garage with concrete floors, walls and ceiling, so while a fire could be bad, I don't think it would burn down the rest of the house.
THIS. I use the 20 lb. propane cylinders in my garage, both for brewing and to run the grill. But my garage is a detached Morton building, and with the overhead doors open, there's more than adequate ventilation. I would never brew in a house or in an attached garage. I don't even like the idea of an attached garage, a common convenience that is a storehouse for most of the inflammable / combustible / toxic stuff in the household: gasoline, oil, kerosene, solvents, pesticides, herbicides. Also the constant use of mechanisms that can ignite them: internal combustion engines, electric motors, torches......need I elaborate further? I would never own a house with an attached garage unless I had no other choice.
 
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