Safe propane storage can prevent summertime accidents


MISSOULA, Mont. - Between 2009 and 2013, 160 people were injured and 10 were killed from grill fires. Five of six of those fires involved propane.

People use more propane than ever this time of year to fuel their summer activities. With the summer heat comes more reason to be careful of propane accidents, says George Hettman, the owner of Star Rentals in Missoula.

Storing propane inside a closed vehicle can be very dangerous, especially during the summer months.

"When you fill the propane, if you're at 50 degrees, and then you get some 80, 90-degree weather, the propane can expand inside the vehicle. And go inside the vehicle and through a seep hole in there. So definitely something you don't want to leave in a warm vehicle."

Hettman said propane should be stored outdoors, on a level surface, in a dry place and away from any source of ignition.

For Missoula resident Richard Hofmeier handling propane comes easy after years of practice. He uses propane to power the appliances in his camper.

"I usually make sure it's sitting right side up. I usually make sure it doesn't bounce around, or roll around," he said.

If you have safety questions you should ask the person selling the propane to you before you leave the shop.