During earthquakes, propane tanks can break free of their supporting legs. When a tank falls, there is always a danger of a fire or an explosion. Even when a tank remains on its legs, its supply line can be ruptured. Escaping gas can then cause a fire. Similar problems can occur with smaller, compressed gas cylinders, which are often stored inside a house or garage.
One way to prevent damage to propane tanks and compressed gas cylinders is to anchor and brace them securely, disaster-recovery officials point out. Using a flexible connection on the supply line will help reduce the likelihood of a leak. Compressed gas cylinders, because they have to be periodically replaced, cannot be permanently anchored, but you can use chains to attach them to a wall so that they will remain upright.
Officials of the federal and state agencies coordinating the San Simeon Earthquake recovery effort provide the following tips for anchoring and bracing propane tanks or compressed gas cylinders. The disaster-recovery agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).