The fuel industry is in constant flux, and we always keep an eye on any developments that can benefit our clients. Here, we’ll share findings, some research, and our opinions on a wide range of topics related to our industry.

Use Propane to Keep Outdoor Spaces Comfortable, Fun, and Safe in Cooler Fall Weather

Just because the days get shorter and temperatures get lower doesn’t mean that life gets put on hold, and construction crews and families alike rely on propane to keep patios and job sites both warm and comfortable.

Powering our community safely is part of our mission at Core Fuels and Red Cap Propane Ltd., so we have put together some valuable information on safe fall and winter propane use. Whether you’re using propane to keep your site workable or your outdoor patio cozy, have fun and stay safe with these tips.

Understand your outdoor heating options

There are many different methods of outdoor heating, including direct flame found in firepits,  and indirect flame used in radiant heaters. Propane can deliver safe and consistent heat to these heaters via small cylinders which can be refilled at the depot, or by connecting to a larger tank which can be refilled on-site.

Outdoor heaters can range from 40,000 BTU for personal patio heating to 400,000 BTU heaters capable of warming construction sites. It is important to match the specific BTU with the correct size cylinder, and Core Fuels has a full rental fleet of heaters and cylinders for all your cool-weather needs.

Common cold-weather propane hazards

Propane is as flammable as any fuel and is stored at high pressures. As temperatures undergo extreme changes, propane cylinder pressure may also fluctuate—resulting in the inadvertent release of gas via the cylinder pressure release valve. Gas leaks near open flames or combustion engines can prove especially dangerous, so pay close attention to cylinder pressure and be sure to clear the area if you detect a foul odor. When used under the correct supervision, propane-powered heaters are an ideal source of warmth for safe cool-weather outdoor fun.

Meet safety standards and follow these guidelines

While standards vary for commercial and personal use of propane, Core Fuels and Red Cap Propane Ltd. insists our customers adhere to all propane safety guidelines. Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) governs fuel safety standards, strictly enforcing certification requirements on job sites, with Ontario legislation also mandating specific regulations for propane transport and storage. 

Safely using propane at home begins with ensuring tanks are filled by the trained personnel at Red Cap Propane Ltd., and that cylinders are inspected and requalified every ten years and replaced as needed. The strong odor of mercaptan found in propane will alert users to a leak, in which case users should evacuate the area, closing the supply valve if it is safe to do so. Patio heaters should be installed according to the specifications of the manufacturer and should be away from all fire hazards. Adhering to these patio heater guidelines will mean you can spend the winter relaxing both warmly and with peace of mind:

  • Patio heaters should never block exit paths or fire hydrants
  • Potential fire hazards should be cleared from the heater’s surrounding area—including tablecloths umbrellas, awnings, and decorations
  • Keep heaters clear of smoking areas

Ask the experts

There are several resources at your disposal when it comes to propane safety on a construction site or at home, including courses offered by the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA). The service-minded team at Core Fuels and Red Cap Propane Ltd. is committed to answering your questions and keeping you safe, and we are here to make sure that your cool-weather propane use is enjoyable.

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