Safety Tips for Using a Propane Camping Stove

Safety Tips for Using a Propane Camping StoveA propane camping stove offers a versatile method for cooking food. This stove is portable and convenient to take camping, hiking or for a day of cooking a hot lunch at the park. Remember when using a propane camping stove, it is about safety first. Keeping the canister rust-free and well maintained will aid in preventing accidents. Also, following simple guidelines of having a clean and and grease-free stove will prevent food from catching on fire. Finally, keeping an open flame away from propane tanks and lit stoves will minimize the risk of explosion.

Canister Care

Before using a canister, create a mixture using 1 tbsp of dishwashing detergent to 1 cup of water and lightly pour on the outside of the canister to determine if there are any leaks. The mixture will lightly bubble if there is a hole in the canister with escaping gas. The propane canister should be used carefully when attaching and detaching from the camping stove. Making sure that the nozzle is tight and that there are no leaks or holes will assist in the stove working and functioning properly. The canister should be stored in a cool dry location away from heat and additional flame. The canister should not be shaken or dropped as this could cause the canister to explode. Additionally, making sure the propane canister is the appropriate size for the stove will prevent a gas leak.

Stove

Make sure that the stove is in a properly ventilated area outdoors. Never use a propane stove in a camper, tent or a garage. Propane gives off carbon monoxide. Too much carbon monoxide will cause a person's oxygen level to be depleted and may lead to death. Make sure that the propane cylinder that attaches to the stove is not rusted or broken anyway. Also, make sure that the knobs that connect the stove to the cylinder are not stripped and have a secure and tight fit.

Burner

One of the most important parts of the propane camping stove is the burner. The burner uses the gas flow from the canister to ignite the burner. The burner establishes a flame which is controlled by the temperature knob. If the burner has any breaks or rust in its shape, it will likely not perform up to proper temperature standards. Most burners can reach temperatures up to 400 degrees F, while some are higher depending on the size of the stove.

Ignition

Making sure that the stove ignites properly and quickly is beneficial in it reaching the recommended temperatures. Ignition occurs when a switch is engaged and the friction from the switch meets the gas flow to establish a spark. The spark ignites the burner and the stove begins to heat up. For ignition problems, checking to see if a battery needs to be replaced is a safe troubleshooting method. It is not recommended to ignite a stove with a match or lighter if the igniter switch is broken. Doing so can cause a small fireball of gas to rise and possibly cause burns on the person igniting the stove.

Lighting

Lighting the stove should always be done using the stove's igniter--a safe method because the spark is isolated inside of the stove. The metal stove resists fire and backlash from a small gas explosion, should one occur. Making sure that fingers, arms, face and other body parts are away from the stove during the ignition process will reduce the risks of burns and serious injury.

Article Written By Julie Boehlke

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

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