Storage of Propane/Gas Question : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

I am storing propane (small) cannisters in my clothes closet b/c I am in an apt. and have noplace else to store them. My question is: what could possibly ignite these cannisters if they are kept cool? If this is definitely playing the wild card I would rather rent a storage space for it (and also for gasoline eventually). Also I heard something about keeping gas off the ground (on blocks or something) so that it doesn't freeze and also to add Stabil to preserve the gas? Anything else I should know about storing flammables?

-- NSmith (, July 08, 1999


There are several links below that answer your question, but .......

While its probably relatively safe to store propane in your closet, I'm sure most "safety experts" would have a fit. Its just not worth the risk of a "leak and a stray spark" (even static electricity). So I would not panic but try to store most of it in a sorage shed as soon as you can work it out (I'd keep SOME propane in my closet, you don't want to HAVE to go to a storage shed immediately in case of emergency).

Really, if you CAN't find another place, the risk with propane, if you're careful, is not very high.

Gasoline of course is much more dangerous. Again discussed below, but it doesn't need to be kept off ground --- maybe you were talking about keeping Propane of ground, which I guess most tanks do by having the actual tank on some kind of rim or stand.

-- Jon Johnson (, July 08, 1999.

See also,

Cheapest Source for Fuel Treatment


Gasoline Safety

-- de (delewis@Xinetone.cet), July 08, 1999.

Don't tell the storage place what you will be using it for. They normally require an agreement that you will not store flammables or other dangerous materials. So, if something does happen, you could be personally liable for all damages.

Another thought, how far would this storage place be? Is it within SAFE walking distance in January?

-- Jon Williamson (, July 08, 1999.

Propane is actually VERY safe, and almostr NEVER explodes. If it were unsafe, stores couldn't keep shelves full of filled bottles for your purchase. People fear what they don't understand.

Just keep em cool and you'll be fine. (Actually to get one to blow, you'd need to hold a torch to it for a fairly good period of time)

-- Dennis (, July 08, 1999.

Propane will leak if you put the tank on something and then remove it again. For example, screw it to a camp stove, use it, then unscrew it and store it. If that little spring-loaded valve doesn't seat perfectly, the fuel will leak. I have had this happen, no disastrous effects. Whew.

Try Alco-Brite from Walton instead, if you haven't already invested everything in propane. Alco-Brite is like Sterno on steroids. Comes in 16 ounce cans, buy in a case of 12 or 24. Even after paying the shipping from Walton, it costs 1/3 of Sterno, and I figure it generates about 150% the heat of Sterno. Order their little clip-on stove and you have a cooker.

You can use the stuff indoors, no carbon monoxide. It generates water vapor, and it *does* use oxygen, so need a little venting. They also sell a free-standing heater. They say each can is 10K btu.

I've tried in in a Pyromid stove with the oven attachment on top. That makes it the only ~sterno powered oven I know of.

My rough tests suggest a can of Alco-Brite has about 3/7ths the cooking power of one tank (what is it, 18 oz or something? The fat tank.) of propane, and costs about $3 per can. So it's not the cheapest way to go, but a whole bunch safer.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), July 08, 1999.

That 150% is ounce-to-ounce, not can-to-can. An ounce of Alco-Brite is about 150% the heating power of an ounce of Sterno.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), July 08, 1999.

PLEASE keep in mind that propane vapor is heavier than air. If your stored tank(s) leak, the vapor will seek out the lowest point. If your floor is flat, it will hug the floor. If you have a step-down area near the storage closet, it will fill the lower area first, then spread out on the floor. One reason propane leaks are hard to detect by smell is that most noses are above the plane of the tank. In the US and probably most parts of Canada, gasoline won't freeze. Diesel will gel at -25F or so, but gas won't be a problem.

-- Ninh Hoa (, July 08, 1999.

I have read that because propane is heavier than air, if you put those small canisters in a big garbage can, any that gets out from a tiny leak will stay in the can

-- y2kbiker (, July 08, 1999.

NSmith : Please don't tell your landlord you have LP gas cans in the apt. You'll be kicked out real fast ! course you knew that !! Lp gas is heaver than air and in an apt it will reach a height of about 10 inches above the floor,and stop. So any thing alive at floor level would be dead before it reaches you. Like cats,dogs,bugs. Go to an RV dealer and find an LP gas detector that works off 120 volt. But most work off 12 volt systems, that's why RV's have detectors at floor level. Oh if it leaks and you don't smell it your feet will be very very cold,then it's too late,just don't smoke !!! Furie...

-- Furie (, July 09, 1999.

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