Steps to conduct a pre-fill container inspection

January 2, 2024 By    

A propane container, whether an ASME tank or DOT cylinder, must be visually inspected prior to being filled. This inspection takes only a few minutes and goes far to ensure safety.

Drivers of higher insurance costs are supply chain disruptions and more expensive equipment. (Photo by LP Gas staff)

Photo by LP Gas staff

As you approach the container, observe the following:

  • The container must be located a proper distance from an important building, driveway or source of ignition. Refer to NFPA 58 2020 Section 6.4 and Annex I.
  • Look for building additions and ignition sources added after the container was installed.
  • The container must be sitting level on a firm foundation such as concrete blocks or a paved surface.
  • Observe the container for signs of leaks such as odor, hissing noise, oil residue or insects.
  • There must be no corrosion, dents, digs, gouges or abrasions, and the dome and legs (or collar and foot ring) must be securely attached.
  • The ASME container data plate must be securely affixed to the container and legible. A DOT container must have a current requalification marking.
  • All container appurtenances must be in place, leak-free and operating properly.
  • Regulators must be secure under cover with the vent facing down. Second-stage regulators must be vented a proper distance from building openings and ignition sources.
  • Yard lines must be properly buried and aboveground piping secure.

The container is the backbone of the installation. Never service a defective container.

Keep your eyes on safety.

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Benny Gay is vice president of operational support at ThompsonGas. He can be reached at

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