Do Propane Tanks Explode?

Do propane tanks explode?

The question of “do propane tanks explode?” is a common question among people who are unfamiliar with propane, propane tanks, propane accidents and explosions involving any type of container storing flammable or combustible material. Propane tanks don’t just explode if they fall over or are hit by a lawnmower or car. Many mistakenly believe that propane tanks in any setting will explode if they are mishandling the tank in some way. Therefore, we will discuss propane tank explosions to give you a better understanding of this topic.

Do Propane Tanks Explode?

Propane Explosions

Propane tanks do not explode. They don’t implode, nor do they rupture or come apart on their own. In fact, bringing a propane tank to the point of “explosion” is an extremely difficult and time consuming task that is not as simple as most might think. Many individuals believe  that a propane tank “explosion” can occur with the slightest of erase. However, this is not the case at all.

Safety devices and mechanisms are in place to prevent explosions, accidents and propane tank ruptures or breaches. Similar to any other hazardous material or activity, human error is a primary factor in preventing or contributing to any type of accident, however serious in nature.

Propane “Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion” (BLEVE)

The term BLEVE is common among firefighters and hazardous materials response teams. It does not solely refer to propane tanks. A propane tank BLEVE will occur when the container is subject to extreme heat, such as in a fire. The tank is being heated, but the liquid propane inside expands as a result of the heating. The safety relief valve will open, which allows pressure to vent the outside atmosphere. If the pressure inside the tank grows to a level exceeding that at which the safety relief valve can expel it from the tank, the propane tank may rupture. In addition, if flames or a source of ignition is present, the propane will ignite resulting in an explosion.

Keep in mind, a BLEVE will occur only if the conditions are right, such as being subject to continuous flame impingement over a period of time. The possibility of a propane tank explosion (BELEVE) is extremely remote.


We hope this answers your question of, “Do propane tanks explode?” For more information on propane safety, or to schedule your propane tank installation or repair service, contact us here at Texas Propane with the link below!

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