Farm Safety And Propane--All Your Burning Questions Answered

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Around the farm, there are many uses for propane gas, from grain drying to equipment fueling to building heating. A 2014 study by the Propane Education & Research Council shows that 40 percent of farms in the US use propane in one way or another. And farmers are continuing to find new ways to use it. With the growing popularity of propane as a source of fuel, it makes sense to educate those who use it--particularly those in the agricultural industry--regarding its basic properties and safety protocols.

Why do I need to be careful around propane?

Propane is a liquid fuel that is stored under pressure and becomes extremely flammable when it mixes with air. The smallest spark or flame can ignite propane gas. Liquid propane can cause severe freeze burns if it touches your skin. In most systems, propane is vaporized, becoming a gas, before it leaves the tank. 

To add to how dangerous it is, propane is also colorless and odorless, making it hard to detect a leak. If a person inhales enough propane, it can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness, and even unconsciousness. An odorant called ethyl-mercaptan is added to propane to increase the chance that an individual will smell a propane leak before it becomes too much of a threat.

What are some of the basic measures I should take to remain safe around propane?

  • Become familiar with the smell of propane so you can detect a leak. Many describe propane as smelling like rotten eggs or a dead animal. If you detect even the faintest odor, you should respond immediately and contact the correct authorities.
  • Avoid open flames and sparks near any propane source. Due to its extreme flammability, it is required to have a no smoking policy within 25 feet of the tank.
  • If working with liquid propane, wear protective gear. Propane has a boiling point of -44 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning any contact between liquid propane and your skin can result in severe freeze burns or frostbite.
  • ​Become familiar with the proper methods for dispensing propane into equipment. The Propane Education & Research Council has a manual that trains individuals on proper dispensing of propane.
  • If you smell a leak, immediately turn off the propane tank and evacuate everyone from the area. Do not use any electrical appliances in the area. Contact your local emergency responders from a safe place away from the leak.

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11 December 2014

Exploring Seed Types and Growth

Hi there, I am Ella Riddel. I am excited to share all of the knowledge I have gathered over the years about seeds. All of our fruits, vegetables, and flowers sprout from seeds that arrived from all over the world. Each type of seed has a preference about the ideal conditions for growth. In most cases, seeds planted outside of their season will not even sprout. Other seeds may just lie dormant until the right conditions arrive. The way the seed works to produce a plant never fails to amaze me. Furthermore, plants reach maturity and produce seeds of their own to continue this natural cycle. I hope you come by my website on a regular basis to soak in information about seeds. Thank you for visiting. I will see you again soon.