AUSTIN –– For many Texans, summer means a quick trip to refill propane cylinders that fuel outdoor lanterns, barbecue grills, patio heaters and other equipment for entertaining outdoors. The Railroad Commission of Texas—the agency in charge of propane safety—reminds Texans to transport and store propane cylinders safely.

“Check the cylinder’s shutoff valve to make sure it is securely closed,” said Commission Chairman Elizabeth Ames Jones, “Don’t transport any cylinder that is leaking. Carry the cylinder with the relief valve upright, and secure the cylinder in an upright position with a tie-down or bungee cord while it’s in your car trunk or pickup bed.”

Commissioner David Porter said, “Propane cylinders should spend as little time as possible inside the trunk of a car or truck bed. After having a cylinder filled or exchanging an empty cylinder for a full one, take the cylinder directly to your home or business, remove it from the vehicle, and store it outdoors.”

Commissioner Barry T. Smitherman reminded users to store propane cylinders where they will be least exposed to excessive heat, physical damage or tampering. “Cylinders should never be stored inside a residential building or garage,” Smitherman said. “They need to be stored away from clothes dryers or furnace vents and children’s play areas.”

The Commission advises consumers that both steel and composite propane cylinders are available for outdoor uses. Cylinders made of specialty composite materials offer consumers the advantages of lighter weight and transparency, which allows the user to see the level of liquid propane in the tank.

For more information on how to use propane safely, contact the Railroad Commission’s Alternative Energy Division at (800) 64-CLEAR or visit http://www.propane.tx.gov/.