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Safety -- Make sure you are safe!

View Poll Results: Do you have propane tank(s) in your house?
Yes, but only a maximum of 2 one-pound tanks 75 10.59%
Yes, I keep my BBQ tank right next to me in the studio. 208 29.38%
No, it always stays outside. I run the lines through a door/window. 245 34.60%
No, it always stays outside. I have a plumbed line through the wall. 180 25.42%
Voters: 708. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 2005-06-24, 6:20am
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I see NO evidence of anybody "harassing" or "attacking" anyone in this thread.

Quite frankly, safety is not something most people "plan ahead of time" on, it is usually "after the fact".

"After the fact" in the sense of AFTER a minor accident, AFTER more thought when the "newness" of lampworking wears off, or AFTER someone points out a few problems in their setup.

I think that all Dale is trying to do is to bring it into the "forefront" of your minds, and to do that, he has to make an "impressionable" statement to get your attention.

We should be VERY thankful that we have people like Dale, who "keep an eye out" for safety issues. I'm sure if Dale were to see my studio, that he'd be able to find problems with it too.

Oh, and one more thing, WHY was this poll set up as a PUBLIC poll ?? I can certainly see why people would NOT want to vote in the poll, especially if they have a problem, because their names are shown !! I believe there would have been MORE results, and probably MORE truth, if this had NOT been a public poll !!

Respectfully,

Bill

Last edited by BillBrach; 2005-06-24 at 6:28am.
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  #32  
Old 2005-06-24, 6:29am
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Bill - that's because Dale removed via editing all his previous posts. I'll not comment on that further.

And for the poll - I was trying to get an idea of what the percentages were of "good way" versus "not good way". As for the listing the names, I am unaware that there is a way to hide the names. If there is, would the administrators, please change the poll to a "private" poll? It was not my intention to have names listed.

Last edited by MikeAurelius; 2005-06-24 at 6:31am.
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  #33  
Old 2005-06-24, 6:40am
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For the love of Pete... would you guys stop picking on eachother? I see everyones point. Everyone has a different approach to how they deliver the safety message. Diversity will reach everybody. Arguing on who's approach is best dilutes the origional intent of this thread. I'm sure there are people that appreciate and need both approaches. Telling me it's not safe may not do the trick, but telling me I could blow up my neighborhood, just might get my attention... and vise versa. I think both approaches are valid and have their place.
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  #34  
Old 2005-06-24, 6:41am
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Thank you Su and Bill for the continuing support of safety in the studio.

Dale

Last edited by Dale M.; 2005-06-24 at 6:43am.
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  #35  
Old 2005-06-24, 6:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAurelius
Bill - that's because Dale removed via editing all his previous posts. I'll not comment on that further.

And for the poll - I was trying to get an idea of what the percentages were of "good way" versus "not good way". As for the listing the names, I am unaware that there is a way to hide the names. If there is, would the administrators, please change the poll to a "private" poll? It was not my intention to have names listed.
I don't see a way for me to make it private. I'll ask the admins to check it out. They have more control over the site.
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  #36  
Old 2005-06-24, 7:49am
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This is all about Safety. I think we need to keep that in mind. I want to hear what you both have to say. If there is an iffy situation then let us moderators handle it. As long as no one is handing out bombs or dishing out names we are good. I like hearing or should I say seeing both sides of the story. Yes I think your Tanks should be outside. That does not mean that they are in all cases. But if we can educate lampworker's on the importance of this then we might make a difference. But if we fight over the situation then that puts doubts in peoples head. Let’s not put doubt in there heads. Let’s stick together and make this a place to learn about safety.

Laurie
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  #37  
Old 2005-06-24, 8:09am
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Let's hear more about why it's dangerous to have them inside...

Propane gas is heavier than air. If there is a leak in your system, in an enclosed space, it will settle near the floor. This will build up and if it reaches an ignition source, it can cause quite a boom. Even if your tanks are stored outside, it is necessary to turn them off when not in use. The torch valves or hoses can malfunction and you could end up in the same boat... with it all leaking inside a closed space. I think the "why" to all of this is just as important when discussing the main problem. I'm sure you can all add to my feeble attemp at explaning the science behind the danger.
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  #38  
Old 2005-06-24, 8:17am
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Quote:
This is a 'hot' topic, and we might as well get it discussed right off the bat. My intention is not to point any fingers but to get an idea of how many people are working safely with propane, and how many are not.

For those who aren't, what can we do to convince you to get that propane outside where it belongs?
That's all I need to say.
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  #39  
Old 2005-07-07, 10:37pm
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I can't vote...because my answer isn't up there! "No, my BBQ tank stays outside, & I bring my hothead attached to it's rolling computer cart outside to torch whenever I can"
So I never actually have propane in the house...tho if I can figure out a way to safely run hoses for the winter...that might change...but it's not looking promising I'll likely have to just give up torching from Nov-May.
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  #40  
Old 2005-07-08, 1:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lunamoonshadow
I can't vote...because my answer isn't up there! "No, my BBQ tank stays outside, & I bring my hothead attached to it's rolling computer cart outside to torch whenever I can"
So I never actually have propane in the house...tho if I can figure out a way to safely run hoses for the winter...that might change...but it's not looking promising I'll likely have to just give up torching from Nov-May.
Why don't you just run a hose through a window? Until I get my permanent set-up built, I have a board in my window to give enough space to run the hose through, but still keep the cold/hot/bugs out. When I finish, I disconnect my hose from the tank and bring it (hose) in to close the window. I'm wayy to paranoid to to bring the tank in and it's wayy too hot to torch outside. (too many skeeters, too!)
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  #41  
Old 2005-07-08, 9:30pm
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Oh--I have a basement apartment with a kind of weird set up--so I'm trying to figure out a "good way" to do the window thing....weird windows & all....Most of my windows are at "eye level" so the hoses would "hang" into the house when I was torching--I don't have any windows level with any tables....and I wasn't sure how the hothead would react to that since propane wants to flow down anyway....ah, the joys of living "underground"
~~Lyn
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  #42  
Old 2005-07-09, 5:18am
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Lyn - torching with propane in a basement is never a good idea, it doesn't matter whether it is with a hothead or a oxy/propane torch.

Ventilation is difficult to manage, as is the problem of propane pooling. And running full pressure propane...I don't even want to think about it.
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  #43  
Old 2005-07-09, 6:16am
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I have a sort of non-related question for those of you who teach classes....

Where do you keep your propane when teaching? We teach in a bead shop. We have 4 torches going, and keep our propane in a separate room. Well, not really a room. The store is in an old building (about 9000 sq ft) and only the front half is finished. The back half is a large warehouse. There is a wall in the middle of the building. Where we teach is right along the back wall, and we put our propane in the back half of the building and run the hoses through the door. Is there anything better someone can suggest? We don't leave the tanks there. We take them for the class, and take them home when it's done.

Yes, we have good ventilation, BTW. So good that we have problems with it blowing the flames around if we aren't careful...
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  #44  
Old 2005-07-09, 9:23am
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There is a lot of things better........

First off the rules for propane storage may differ in a commercial zoning than a residential zoning situation... And from one area to another the country.

The best situation you can have is that propane tank be outside building, PERIOD. By placing it outside that keeps any possibility for propane that may be leaking from tank from accumulating inside building. Also be aware that a tank subjected to excessive heat (fire) will "blow off excess pressure" (tank safety valve) when INTERNAL PRESSURE of tank reaches 375psi, this may be caused by fire near location of tank. Best scenario would be tank placed in outside secure metal cabinet with ventilation holes top and bottom or a wire cage security enclosure..Also mark outside storage with "FLAMMABLE GAS" warning signs. By piping in gas in metal piping you remove danger of large volume of gas (tank) inside building. Propane should be piped in at LOW PRESSURE, NFPA codes state you can bring propane in at max pressure of 20psi. This can be done by having a fixed pressure regulator at tank. Also you should have shutoff valve (2) for gas piping one immediately before it enters building and other at "end" of piping before you distribute gas to adjustable regulator(s) or manifold (s) where hoses from torches attach. Each gas valve should be clearly marker that it is a "FLAMMABLE GAS SUPPLY" and clearly its "OFF and ON"" positions. Also suggest you include city building permits and inspection in piping processes and qualified or at least gas knowledgeable experienced people in plumbing process. Having it done right will cut down on liability issues with insurance and legal actions in case there is any litigation in case of fire or personal injury.

If situation is temporary, it still would be best to have hose long enough to keep tank outside... Temporary situation create a gray area where NFPA and local regulations may not apply. But good safety practices dictate tank be out side. Also where hose goes through doorways, use some sort of stop so hose is not pinched or cut by "closing" door.

Dale
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Last edited by Dale M.; 2005-07-09 at 9:37am. Reason: Fix some bo-bos
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  #45  
Old 2005-07-09, 10:20am
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Chad, when I moved my teaching studio to its present location, the building inspector and fire inspector both came through and did inspections. The fire inspector used NPFA (which our city has adopted as its fire code) rules. Propane has to be outside. All connections from the propane tank to the point of distribution have to plumbed in metal pipe, no rubber, even "T" grade. There have to be shut off valves outside before the line goes through the wall, inside after the wall entry, and at the point of distribution. Every 20 feet, the fuel gas line has to be marked with a sign indicating the gas in the line and direction of flow.

Visible on the outside of the building I had to put the NFPA diamonds for propane, compressed oxygen and liquid oxygen. The Rubbermaid "box" that I keep the propane in had to be protected from impact from vehicles (concrete filled steel tubes driven into the ground). Flexible metal hose from the tank to the main fuel gas line.

Valves had to be NFPA approved gas valves, ordinary water or compressed air valves are not code.

All connections had to be flare fittings or threaded fittings, not compression fittings.

No screw type hose clamps on any of the "T" grade rubber hoses. The ones I had needed to be removed and replaced with the twin ear compression type hose clamps.

Any place where the rubber hose could be bumped or moved was to be protected, so that the hose would not chafe or be cut or compressed accidentally.

If teaching is going to be a regular part of the studio activity, I strongly recommend that you bring the fuel gas installation up to NFPA standards BEFORE you have inspection. Chances are that if it is not to standards, the building inspector or fire inspector could red tag you and shut you down until the entire studio is brought up to code and re-inspected.
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  #46  
Old 2005-07-09, 5:29pm
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Propane is nothing to mess with, keep it outside. Period. This weekend my hubby's cousin just lost his 12 year old daughter to a propane explosion from a leak building up under their house. They used it for cooking. She didn't make it out of the house alive.

~Suzy~
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  #47  
Old 2005-07-09, 7:24pm
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I'm sorry to hear that.... Prayers go out for your familys loss...

Dale
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  #48  
Old 2005-07-09, 9:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeAurelius
Lyn - torching with propane in a basement is never a good idea, it doesn't matter whether it is with a hothead or a oxy/propane torch.

Ventilation is difficult to manage, as is the problem of propane pooling. And running full pressure propane...I don't even want to think about it.
Yeah...it's a "walk out" basement (house built into the side of a hill--one side is "ground level"--but my doors are on that side, no windows) but that's why I take the torch outside & melt glass in the driveway--the tank lives outside in the shade of the porch, torch & table come inside when I'm done. I'm just peeved we've had a LOUSY summer so far & thinking of that 6 months of "too cold to torch" is making me crazy! (wonder if I can convince my brother in law his lawn tractor doesn't need to be stored in his shed? )

Prayers & hugs to your family Suzy....
~Lyn
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  #49  
Old 2005-07-09, 11:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsody Fire Beads
Propane is nothing to mess with, keep it outside. Period. This weekend my hubby's cousin just lost his 12 year old daughter to a propane explosion from a leak building up under their house. They used it for cooking. She didn't make it out of the house alive.

~Suzy~
That's horrible, Suzy. I'm so sorry. Please give him and all of your family my condolences.

My friends' cabin in Crested Butte, CO. blew up because of a propane pipe leak in the basement. Luckily, they had gone home two days before. They usually turned off the gas from their large tank outside the house when they left but some people were coming the next week so they left it on. Thank god there were no casualties. It was still a traumatizing experience for them, so PLEASE be careful with any kind of fuel gasses. Parts of their cabin were found TWO BLOCKS away!

If you keep your propane tanks in a container outside, make sure you have vent holes near the bottom for the gas to get out and holes near the top for fresh air to get in. You don't want to open it with propane all pooled in there!

Also-- if you go the natural gas route, make sure you have a gas-certified plumber install your lines. If not a plumber, make sure the installer is gas-certified. Make sure you have on-off valves where they are easy to reach and are clearly marked ON-OFF in case of a problem. Have all lines and valves re-checked by a gas-certified inspector at least once a year.

Lots of things can ignite natural gas or propane in an enclosed space-- it's nothing to mess with. If you have any natural gas or propane lines in your house, they should be checked by a gas-certified inspector regularly. If you ever smell gas in your house, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Go to a neighbor's house and call the gas company. Let them come and turn off the gas and check for leaks. They have sophisticated leak-detecting equipment and can turn the gas off from a remote location if neccessary.

I know of way too many bad things happening to people, like my friends here in New Orleans who were killed when the shed that they kept their hot water heater in exploded when they opened the door. None of us here want to seem like school-marms or hall monitors but we also do not want to hear about something terrible happening to anybody.

Fuel can be dealt with safely and with a minimum of risk as long as we all take the necessary precautions to make it so. Replace compromised equipment when it breaks down, don't have large quantities of flammable gas in your house, check for leaks in your hoses and regulators once a month, and have a gas-certified inspector check all your gas appliances, lines and valves yearly. All of those precautions will minimize your risks, and you can torch to your heart's content, safely and happily.
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  #50  
Old 2005-07-10, 2:03pm
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The problem with our tank being outside is that we are on the second floor. If we were to move the tank outside, we would need at least 150 feet of hose, if not more. And, we are in a busy downtown area, so I'm not sure it would be safe outside.

I believe there is natural gas in the area, so I'm trying to convince them to tap into their natural gas supply to run the torches (plus it would be easier than me lugging tanks back and forth) but I don't know if that will happen any time soon...
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Old 2005-07-10, 2:04pm
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My condolences, Suzy.
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Old 2005-07-10, 2:46pm
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My god, how awful. I am so sorry to hear that. Folks, this is ***exactly*** why propane should always be outside. It's not difficult to drill a whole through a wall and have the propane piped in from the outside. It could save a life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhapsody Fire Beads
Propane is nothing to mess with, keep it outside. Period. This weekend my hubby's cousin just lost his 12 year old daughter to a propane explosion from a leak building up under their house. They used it for cooking. She didn't make it out of the house alive.

~Suzy~
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  #53  
Old 2005-07-10, 5:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo
The problem with our tank being outside is that we are on the second floor. If we were to move the tank outside, we would need at least 150 feet of hose, if not more. And, we are in a busy downtown area, so I'm not sure it would be safe outside.

I believe there is natural gas in the area, so I'm trying to convince them to tap into their natural gas supply to run the torches (plus it would be easier than me lugging tanks back and forth) but I don't know if that will happen any time soon...
Maybe propane is not a practical fuel in your situation.

Dale
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Old 2005-07-10, 7:09pm
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We just had our propane water heater replaced with an electric one, and after the horror of hubby's Cousin, I am so glad there is no propane wandering around under our house anymore! Their house just exploded and then burned to the ground, and the 12 year old Daughter was blown clear out in the front yard. They couldn't even find her for quite awhile!! Everyone else was sleeping and she was on the computer downstairs. Her Dad, had just finished a new family room, and had the propane turned on before bed, so they so could all have a nice family breakfast together in the new addition. Everyone else got out. It was the house my hubby grew up in, in Kansas. A big beautiful farmhouse!! So sad. Where I had never met them personally, it still makes you feel so bad for them, to loose their Daughter like that.
I had a good healthy fear of propane before, but now........???? I just don't understand why anyone would ever take the chance of loosing their child, or other loved one, or their own life??? Just get it outside!!! I'd rather NOT make beads, than risk everyone, and everything I love. How fun would it be to make a bead, after arranging a funeral?

~Suzy~
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Last edited by Rhapsody Fire Beads; 2005-07-10 at 8:21pm.
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  #55  
Old 2005-07-11, 5:38am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale M.
Maybe propane is not a practical fuel in your situation.

Dale
Maybe not, but until they get their natural gas hookup, it's what we're going to have to do. It's sort of a double-edged sword... they don't want to get the natural gas hookup until they see that the classes are going to happen pretty regularly, but I can't teach classes with anything but propane.

I am, however, forwarding the shop owner this web site. This particular thread, actually. So hopefully that will be more convincing than I am...
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Old 2005-07-11, 9:38pm
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Question for Dale or anyone else who gets there first?
I am moving to a new house and putting a studio on the second floor. There is a walk-out, open air porch off the studio/bedroom. Would this be a safe place to keep a tank, as if there is a leak, the propane can still be blown away by the air? (I haven't done it yet, just want to know what would be the best way.)
Thanks much for a very informative thread.
Nikki
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Old 2005-07-12, 4:50am
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If the porch does not have a staircase from ground level, the use/storage of propane tanks on patios or balconies on 2nd floor or higher is usually banned. The reason is usually having a house fire, not leakage of the tank. If there is a house fire, having the tank on the 2nd level will increase the amount of devastation a tank explosion would cause - think of a bomb dropping - an air burst causes much more damage than a ground burst does.
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Old 2005-07-13, 7:38pm
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Ahhh... thanks for the answer. Very appreciated.
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Old 2005-08-05, 8:22am
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Just curious..... If there is a propane leak in a basement that does not have a walk out, how do you get the pooled propane out of the basement?
Thanks.
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Old 2005-08-05, 8:32am
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It will dissipate eventually but you might have to use fans to help it outdoors. They make special fan setups to do this, you've probably seen them when you drive past a street manhole that is being worked in. They have a fabric covered 'tube' attached to then to control either the pickup or discharge location.
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