Recent Propane Explosions Mean Increased Safety Awareness Needed

Last month's fatal explosion at the Electric Mountain Lodge near Paonia was caused by a propane leak, and now a more recent fire in Mesa County may have had a similar cause. Last Monday, a mobile home practically burned to the ground near Whitewater. Little was left to prove what caused the blaze, but Lands End's Fire Chief Dave Gossett said it was probably a propane leak.

Local fire officials said people who use propane in their homes should not hesitate to call the fire department if they smell gas. They recommend turning off the propane at its source, getting outside immediately, and keeping any possible ignition sources far away.

Mike Page with the Grand Junction Fire Department says if you have trouble keeping your pilot light on, you should suspect a leak in your system. If you use a gas grill for barbecuing, fire officials recommend storing your propane bottles outdoors and in the shade.

When transporting them it's best to use an open–air pickup truck or trailer. Local certified propane technician Butch Grant recommends storing the bottles upright, preferably in a box or milk crate so they don't tip over.


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