Texas City: Oversized Propane Tanks Unsafe

December 2, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Residents of Camelot RV Park and Loop 289 RV Park in Lubbock, Texas, depend on oversized propane tanks to get them through the winter. They say they are virtually hassle free because the propane company comes to them to refuel. But this convenient practice will soon change, an overlooked city ordinance has declared it unsafe, Fox News reported.

“It’s just going to be a headache, a big one,” Camelot resident Robert Pitts said.

“The elderly people that aren’t able to lift it up and change it on a weekly basis, I’m concerned for those people,” Camelot resident Tempie Christy said.

“We got several in the park that would be handicap to them because they can’t lift the bottles,” Loop 289 resident Arnold Smith said.

RV park residents will have to switch over to much smaller propane tanks that require more work.

“I don’t like that at all,” Pitts said.

Fire Marshal Garett Nelson said their lives may depend on it.

“What I don’t want is the tanker truck going in to residential areas and filling the tanks, that’s where the potential for a problem occurs,” Nelson said.

“RVs have their appliances on the outside of the trailer and they in take air and combustion air from the outside, and their pilot light is also on the outside,” Nelson said. “So if you do have that flame of gas, now you have ready ignition starters all around.”

Nelson said a code was put in place around 1955 that banned the tanks from residential areas. It was rewritten around the year 2000 because of Y2K fears. But gas companies have been installing the large tanks for the past several years, without the proper permit. They went unnoticed by the city until a concerned citizen placed a phone call.

“We’re a big enough city that in an area that walls like Camelot, we’re just simply not going to see that,” Nelson said.

He said residents can hold on to their tanks through the winter, but they must find an alternative solution by the new March 1 deadline.

“Sometimes we have horrible storms where we’re not able to even get out of the house and if our propane goes out and we don’t have any way of getting to a store, then some of the elderly people could have health problems,” Christy said.

“But going till March 1 is really going to help us a lot,” Smith said. “Maybe we can get by the winter.”

Nelson said residents should stick to the factory tanks their RVs came with. He said they may be small, but they’re the safer bet.

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