Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Propane - The Prepper Fuel Of Choice

Propane has no apreciable shelf life.  This is the one fact that makes it so attractive to preppers.  Unlike other petrolium based fuels, no additives are needed ane one does not have to ever concern themselves with rotation.  Combine this with the vast choice of propane fueled appliances and we quickly see why the prepper community has embraced this source of energy.

Already available in todays society, we an see uses for propane ranging from small camping appliances such as lanterns, heaters, and cookstoves all the way up to delivery trucks and fork lifts in the industrial setting.  In travel trailers, propane is used for cooking on (almost) full sized stoves with ovens, central heating. water heating, and refrigeration.  Many off grid applications use propane appliances in the same way.

Contrary to popular belief, propane does not produce carbon monoxide when burned.  It does however consume oxygen, so its use in closed confined areas should be avoided.  There are but a few concernes about propane safety.  Propane should not be stored indoors.  Like all my fuels, I store propane tanks in a shed set away from the house and other out buildings.  That's not to say that it is completely unsafe to have propane in the home.  Tanks that are being used and connected to appliances are fine.

The biggest issue with propane is leaks.  While propane is scented, leaks can be a dangerous thing.  When the right mix of propane and oxygen exists, there can be an explosion caused by the tinyest of spark.  There are many carbon monoxide detectors on the market that also detect for gases such as propane or natural gas.  If you have one of these detectors and it goes off or you suspect a propane leak, DO NOT CAUSE A SPARK OF ANY KIND!  Avoid turning on or of any light switches, do not use the telephone or operate your cell phone and do not use a flashlight.  The only light source considered safe to use durring a suspected gas leak is a cyalume stick.

A little care must be taken to keep your propane tanks as safe as possible.  Rusty or dark colored tanks reflect the suns heat less, whick can lead to overpressue and open the safety valve.  Keep tanks painted light colors and have rusty or pitted tanks inspected or replaced.

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