Propane Tank Safety

Propane tank safety information from Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA).

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) regulates propane and boilers and pressure vessels in Ontario — including propane tanks for home barbecues, patio heaters and other appliances.

Home Barbecues

At the beginning of your barbecue season:

  • Clean all burner ports and tubes. Use a pipe cleaner or wire to make sure that burner ports are free of rust, dirt, spider webs or other debris.

  • Check the hose leading from the gas tank to the burner. Replace a cracked or damaged hose.

  • Test for leaks. Spray a solution made of equal parts water and dish soap on all propane cylinder connections or hoses. If bubbles appear, it could mean gas is leaking out. Tighten the connection or replace damaged parts and retest before using your barbecue.

Before you light your barbecue, always make sure it is on level ground, far away from any flammable material, with the lid or hood open. If the propane does not ignite when you light the barbecue, turn the gas off and wait five minutes before you try again. Keep the lid or hood open so any accumulated propane can disperse.

Always barbecue outside in a well-ventilated area. Barbecues are for outdoor use only. They produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can lead to unconsciousness or death. Visit our Carbon Monoxide Safety page to learn how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Do not leave your barbecue unsupervised. Keep children and pets away from the barbecue.

Using your propane barbecue on a balcony

If you live in an apartment or condominium, check with your property manager or building owner to make sure you can use a fuel-fired barbecue on your balcony. 

If you are allowed, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Your balcony must be open, with no enclosures or walls that could restrict airflow.

  • You must keep your propane cylinder on the balcony and connected to your barbecue.

  • Keep your barbecue clear of any combustible material.

  • Make sure the propane cylinder’s relief valve is at least one metre from any building opening below it. Also make sure it is three metres from any building air intake.

When you are transporting a propane cylinder to your apartment or condo, you must use a service elevator. If your building has no service elevators, you may use the passenger elevator, but you must be alone. 

Propane Tanks in Recreational Vehicles

Faulty propane cylinders can quickly produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. If you use a propane appliance in your recreational vehicle (RV), install a carbon monoxide detector that will warn you if carbon monoxide levels rise. Visit our Carbon Monoxide Safety page to learn how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Keep propane cylinders, relief valves and regulating equipment either outside your RV or in a gas-tight compartment that is sealed off from the interior of the vehicle. This way, if your propane leaks, it will escape outside the RV. Consider installing a propane leak alarm. 

Use a tested and certified propane cylinder that is marked with the logo of the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or International or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC). Find out more about Approved Certification Marks.  

Only a registered fuels technician may legally install or remove propane piping, tubing equipment and appliances in any RV. Use our Find a Fuels Contractor tool to locate a registered fuels contractor near you. 

When refilling your propane, shut off all interior burners, pilot lights, appliances and automatic ignition switches. Shut off the RV motor, and have all passengers leave the vehicle.

Storing propane for your RV

Never store propane cylinders indoors. For safety reasons, remove the propane cylinder from any appliance you need to store indoors.

Store propane cylinders upright. Protect them against any kind of tampering, unauthorized movement, dropping, or impact that could result in a leak or fire.

Safeguard stored propane cylinders with tamper-proof, vehicle-proof protection, such as in a locked cage or a fenced-in area. Do not store propane cylinders indoors, in a garage, close to operational heaters, or near smoking areas.

Keep propane cylinders at least one metre (three feet) from any building opening. You must also keep them three metres (10 feet) from any sidewalk or air intake. Keep them the same distance from any adjoining property occupied by schools, churches, hospitals, athletic fields, or other points of gathering.

Do not store more than 25 twenty-pound propane cylinders together.

Transporting propane in an RV

You may transport up to five twenty-pound propane cylinders in your RV. If you transport more than five twenty-pound propane cylinders, you must follow Transport Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations.

Store and transport propane with care. Do not mount cylinders onto the roof or back of the RV. To store and transport your propane, use the designated space in your RV. 

Propane Tanks for Patio Heaters

Visit our Patio Heaters Safety page for helpful tips on how to safely use a propane patio heater.

Propane Tanks on Food Trucks

If you own or operate mobile food service equipment — commonly known as a food truck — visit our Food Truck Safety page.