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Propane Cylinder Exchange Programs

Propane cylinder exchange cabinets for gas grill and recreational vehicle cylinders have become increasingly common at gas stations, hardware stores, convenience stores and other retail outlets. Organizations that offer propane exchange services should take the following precautions for the safety of customers, employees and property.

Propane Cabinet Construction

Propane cylinder exchange cabinets are effective if they protect the cylinders and allow adequate ventilation to the atmosphere. Cabinet doors should be equipped with locks to prevent tampering with valves or theft of the cylinders.

Propane Cabinet Placement

Propane cylinder cabinets should be located at least 5 feet from any building entrance or any other building opening, and should be at least 20 feet from fuel dispensers. The cylinder cabinets should also be protected from vehicle impact by being placed away from vehicle traffic areas, being located on a 6-inch curb or by installing barriers between the traffic area and the cabinet.

Propane Cabinet Signage

Propane cylinder exchange cabinets should include signs that warn the public of the hazard present. A sign should be posted which reads: Propane—No Smoking.

All cylinders available for exchange need to be equipped with an overfill prevention device (OPD).

Training Employees for Propane Cylinder Exchange

Training should be provided to all employees who work with the cylinder exchange to ensure that acceptable cylinders are exchanged. Training should include:

• General Guidelines for Acceptable Propane Cylinders—Characteristics of a cylinder acceptable for exchange. This may include limits on dents, gouges, age and other company or code requirements.

• Overfill Prevention Devices (OPD)—The need for all cylinders to be equipped with this device in order to be exchanged.

• Cylinder Exchange Procedures—Formal procedures for accepting and rejecting cylinders and the proper procedures for placing the used cylinders in the cabinet. Cylinders should always be upright when placed in the cabinet.

Develop written procedures for cylinder exchange to ensure consistent rules and application. Provide and document refresher training for all employees at least every three years.

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