Propane gas has many different uses in commercial applications, and many manufacturing facilities and warehouses need large propane storage tanks on site. The requirements of storing large amounts of propane may differ from place to place, or there may be local requirements to consider, but the propane gas supplier can often help.
Propane Storage Concerns
Many industries use propane-powered forklifts and other vehicles inside their facilities. These vehicles require refueling from time to time, so storing large amounts of fuel on-site is often needed. The storage tanks need to be close by but not so close as to put the facility in danger if there is a rupture or leak from the tanks.
Propane gas weighs more than air, so it settles on the ground when it is leaking, causing pooling in low spots that can be extremely dangerous. Containing the fuel inside a gated area is a good option. In the event of a leak, a pit around the tanks can contain some propane, but the gas could end up inside if the tanks are too close to the facility.
Talk with the fire inspector, building inspector, and propane gas provider when you are deciding where you will place the tanks so that you can get to them when needed but still maintain a safe distance between the building and the propane storage tanks. You may need to fill propane tanks for your equipment off the vehicles and then transport them to the warehouse or facility and change them there, instead of filling them while still on the equipment.
Securing The Tanks
Propane gas storage tanks should be behind a fence with a lock if you store large amounts. Making it difficult for anyone to get in and tamper with the tanks is the goal, and locking it up is often the best deterrent.
A fence with concrete bollards or posts in front of the fence is the best way to ensure that the tanks will not get hit by a car or truck. If your propane gas tanks are in an area that there is a lot of truck traffic, keeping a trailer from hitting them when backing up could be critical.
While the propane gas tanks you are storing fuel in have safety devices in place to vent the gas and reduce pressure in the event of a problem, a sudden impact on the tank can cause a rupture that the safety devices will not be able to deal with. The best way to ensure that your tanks and facility are safe is to keep vehicles away from them if you can.