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VOL. 11 NO. 2
Take a class

Propane safety

Follow these steps to stay safe on your boat

Safety on the ice

Our propane system gets a lot of use in cooler weather. Do you know how to safely operate yours? Propane, if not handled properly, can become a hazard.

Heavier than air, propane will run downhill into your bilge if it finds an opening in what is supposed to be a closed system. Keep propane tanks in an outside locker, sealed from the inside of the boat, with a vent at the bottom to let leaking gas escape overboard. We close the valve on our tank when our stove is not in use. Propane stoves should be equipped with a solenoid switch, which displays a red light when open.

Our standard operating procedure for lighting and shutting down the stove is simple and safe:

  1. Open the valve at the tank, watching for leaks.
  2. Turn on the breaker (12-volt system).
  3. Turn on the solenoid switch. A red light lets you know the valve is open.
  4. Light your burner or oven, cracking open a port or hatch for ventilation.
  5. When you are done, turn off the solenoid switch first; this is one of the most important safety steps. With the switch off, the burner should extinguish. This shows that the solenoid is functioning properly by shutting the safety valve that allows propane to the stove. Don’t forget to turn off the burner after it is no longer lit.
  6. Turn off the breaker, and close the tank valve.

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