Fire experts urge propane tank safety heading into winter season

Fire experts urge propane tank safety heading into winter season
Published: Nov. 9, 2023 at 5:49 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - As the weather gets colder, fire officials are urging Northlanders to be careful when using propane tanks as a heating source.

Propane is a combustible gas and without proper care can lead to leaks, fires, and even an explosion. Many people use propane tanks to keep their hunting and ice shacks warm, but experts say that can be dangerous.

Minnesota State Fire Marshal Daniel Krier knows the dangers of propane tanks and wants Minnesotans to check for any future complications.

”Should be regularly checked for leaks and to make sure that it is passing a pressure test because as propane goes from liquid form to gas it’s gonna increase pressure inside of the vessel,” said Krier.

Just this week, a Chisholm mother and her son suffered severe burns after their cabin caught fire from a propane tank explosion. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s office says a 20 lb. propane tank was attached to a heater when it exploded inside the cabin Sunday.

With snow on its way, Steven Pelton with MMT Heating & Cooling wants northlanders to make sure they keep up with heating maintenance inside their homes.

“Having your stuff maintained annually is very important as well as changing your filter monthly is usually recommended and also making sure your vents are clear outside,” said Pelton.

Along with clearing out your filters, Pelton recommends homeowners clean out their furnace filters frequently.

“They should be changed monthly,” said Pelton. “The one inchers should be changed at least every 30 days and the 4 inch filters at most three months.”

Making sure your filters are clean can protect you from a fire, but Krier also wants Northlanders to make sure they’re keeping up to date with smoke alarms.

“We say replace them every ten years,” said Krier. “So when they’re ten years old we want to get rid of them.”

Experts also say if you’re concerned about combustible gas Krier suggests buying a portable gas detector to keep you and your family safe.

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