I’m curious too, so asked our city fire code people. Now this code
applies in Kansas, so it’d be best to ask your local fire code
In residential buildings, the amount is limited to what ever is
necessary for maintenance and for operation of equipment, BUT no more
than a total of “30 gallons of any flammable gas”. However, storage
must be in a “controlled area”. Definition of controlled area varies
with zoning. BTW, that 30 gal. total includes stores of paint and
gasoline as well as acetylene and propane.
Regarding acetylene versus propane tanks in the house, I was
told that a propane tank is far more dangerous than an acetylene
one in the house. Propane is a heavy gas and if there is a leak. it
would not be noticed. All one would need do is hit the light switch
and kaboom, the place would go up like a bomb. Is this fact or
As a side note, many cities prohibit propane use or storage below the
ground level. As others have noted, it is heavy and collects rather
than dissipating as would a small leak of natural gas or acetylene.
The local code inspector said that the biggest concern with propane
collecting at the lowest level, is ignition by the pilot light on the
water heater, which is usually close to the floor. I guess that
means all-electric buildings are safer??
Bottom line, call your local fire code office and ask the questions
for your area. Go to the “horse’s mouth.”
Judy in Kansas where it’s another week of heat stroke weather.
Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681