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Can Grill Propane Tanks Explode?

Can Grill Propane Tanks Explode?

The summer is here and a lot of you are ready to have friends, families, and coworkers come over and enjoy delicious BBQ in the backyard.

But since you have to keep everyone’s safety in mind, you may be wondering if your grill propane tank could explode.

Yes, grill propane tanks can unfortunately explode, but it doesn’t happen frequently. Propane explosions are usually caused by the leakage of gas buildup in a closed area coupled with an ignition source.

These explosions are a type of a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE) that occurs when the pressure in the propane tank surpasses the pressure it can securely vent, causing the tank to burst.

Now that you are aware that there is a possibility of a propane tank explosion, you don’t need to be too alarmed, as there are a few strategies to help you avoid the explosion.

But before we get there, let’s examine what actually sets off the tanks’ explosions. 

Causes of Grill Propane Tanks Explosion

Propane tanks are a great source so that you can have fuel in case of an emergency, but it also comes with some risk features. Large tanks are frequently used to store and transport propane.

The size of these tanks can span from larger tanks, which are used to power the appliances, to smaller tanks, which are used to fuel an outdoor grill.

Propane tanks would never spontaneously explode unless there is an external cause, but there are a few situations that could result in a propane tank explosion.

Leaking Propane

Unfortunately, the combustibility of propane is also a factor that can be risky and, in rare cases, cause an explosion.

Propane explosions are caused by two main factors. The first is not related to the propane tank. Instead, the explosion occurs when propane leaks from an open tank and ignites the gas supply as it is exposed to flames or extreme heat.

Most propane grill tank explosions are caused by this.

Manufacturing Error

Due to the volatile contents, propane tanks are built to strict specifications to keep users safe.

If there is a manufacturing flaw somewhere in production, whether it is a defective design or something that happened during the manufacturing process, the propane tank may explode.

White propane gas tank

Improper Maintenance and Installation

Propane tanks, like their construction, necessitate careful maintenance and installation by knowledgeable professionals.

A propane tank outburst can also occur if it is installed incorrectly, maintained improperly, or not maintained at all.

Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE)

Occasionally, propane grill tank explosions occur whenever the pressure in the tank exceeds the pressure at which the tank can safely vent.

When the increased pressure builds up, the tank bursts open. This is known as a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE).

A propane tank BLEVE occurs when the tank is exposed to high heat, such as during a fire. When the tank heats up, the propane inside the tank expands because it is heated.

The pressure will be vented to the atmosphere as the safety vent opens.

Some Safety Measures to Prevent Propane Tank Explosions

You can take the following steps to save yourself from propane grill tank explosions.

The following are recommendations from the United States Department of Consumer Protection:

  • The best way to avoid a BLEVE is to always ensure that the propane grill tank is shut when not in use
  • Ensure the propane tank nozzle is closed when not in use
  • Keep propane tanks away from open flames
  • Check the hoses and connections for leaks on a regular basis
  • Keep containers upright at all times
  • Never keep flammable liquids, such as gasoline, near the grill
  • Never leave a full tank in a trunk or hot car for an extended period of time
  • If you are allowing your gas grills to heat up, keep an eye on them
  • Never attempt to repair or modify regulators, valves, or other appliance components. Use only licensed and certified technicians
  • Don’t store a propane tank next to an active tank. If other tanks are kept close, high temperatures can trigger valves to open, which can boost a fire and cause a chain reaction
  • Make sure you are familiar with the smell in the event of an emergency.

Final Words On Grill Propane Tanks

Propane tanks, also known as LPG tanks, are a great source of heating fuel for a number of people.

Despite their numerous advantages in cooking, and running home appliances they are at the risk of explosion. 

However, they are not frequent and are mostly caused by the pressure in the tanks.

Therefore, to prevent yourself from any danger, you must look upon the recommended guidelines to save yourself and your loved ones from propane tank explosions.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.