New PHMSA Video Warns Against Refilling DOT-39 Cylinders

Posted on January 8,2018 by Roger Marks

“Never refill a DOT-39 cylinder.”

Propane-Fuel-Blog.jpgThat’s the message behind a new PHMSA YouTube video. DOT-39 cylinders are designed for one-time use; they are not designed to be refilled. Once empty, these cylinders—which have thin walls weakened by the stress of refilling—should be recycled or disposed of properly.

Citing refilling of a DOT-39 cylinder as the cause of a fatal 2016 coffee-stand explosion in Everett, Washington, PHMSA urges businesses and consumers to use DOT-39 cylinders once, and only once.

If you don’t know if your cylinder is refillable, contact an authorized refiller.

Check out PHMSA’s new video on YouTube here.

While you’re at it, check out Lion’s YouTube Channel too!


Bad Advice from YouTube

Unfortunately, PHMSA’s new YouTube video joins numerous other videos on the site in which the creator demonstrates “how to refill 1-lb. propane tanks.” Refilling these containers is an unsafe practice that can lead to explosions and death—don’t let a YouTuber convince you otherwise.

While we often turn to YouTube for “how to” videos in the digital age, keep in mind that the practices these videos espouse may be questionable or even downright dangerous. When it comes to dealing with highly flammable gases and other hazardous materials, not every citizen with a camera is an expert, and many are probably altogether unaware of safety regulations and restrictions they are encouraging you to violate.

To protect your personal safety and the safety of your co-workers and employees, take your advice from trusted sources and seek out guidance from safety professionals, industry groups, and government agencies.


Dealing With a Propane Release

The video also includes tips for identifying a propane release by the “rotten egg” smell, and what to do if you suspect a release:  
  • Extinguish all flames or sparks—do not operate light switches, appliances, or cell phones
  • Leave, and warn others to leave, if necessary
  • Call 911
  • Do not re-enter until responders have deemed it safe


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Hazmat_Loading_Dock_shipper.jpgGet the training you need to ship hazardous materials by ground in the US. Trusted since the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) came into existence, Lion’s collaborative hazmat training workshops give you a step-by-step approach to prepare shipments. From classifying hazmat to packaging, marking, labeling, loading, unloading, and documenting your shipments, you will learn what you need to know to stay in compliance with the latest 49 CFR rules for 2018.

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