When handled safely and sensibly, propane is an essential tool of today’s mobile farrier; when handled inappropriately, propane can lead to fire, explosion, injury or death. Some key tips are shown below, and more information is available at the PERC consumer website at UsePropane.com.

  • Transport propane cylinders in a secure and upright position. Never keep a filled cylinder in a hot vehicle or trailer.

  • The condition of the propane cylinder is of paramount importance. PERC advises never using a damaged cylinder, one that’s been in a fire or one that’s past its “last inspection date” stamp.

  • Don’t use overfilled cylinders. Propane will expand when exposed to warmer temperatures, which can create hazardous conditions if there’s no place for built-up pressure to go. An overfill prevention device (OPD) on your cylinder can help, and many states don’t allow refilling without an OPD valve on the cylinder.

  • Be aware of any odor when working with propane. Cylinders that get air, water or rust inside them can cause a loss of the “safety” odor. Your sense of smell can be diminished by medical conditions, age or use of alcohol, tobacco or medications. Any odor, no matter how faint, should be acted upon immediately.

  • Check for leaks using the “bubble” test. Apply thick soapy water to connections, open the valve slowly and watch for bubbles. If bubbles still appear after tightening connections, you’ve got a leak that should be fixed before using.

  • Pay attention to your forge. Turn your forge off and allow it to cool before putting it back into your rig. Always bleed the fuel lines before leaving the barn.

  • State and local laws limit the number of propane cylinders that can be transported in closed-bodied vehicles. Your propane retailer can provide details for your area as well as other safety information. Keep in mind that laws may change when crossing state lines.

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