Installing a propane tank requires applying for a specific permit. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 58), this is managed by local authorities. Propane companies usually obtain propane tank permit on your behalf since they are familiar with the application procedure and local authorities. It is important, when comparing quotes from different propane companies for your propane tank setup, to check whether a propane tank permit is included or ask that it be included in your negotiations if you want to avoid the hassle of applying yourself.
Reasons for having a propane tank permit
Propane tank permits are important for two reasons: First, they are crucial safety component of your propane installation since they enable local authorities to identify and map the location of flammable material (propane falls under this category) and respond quickly to emergencies if they occur. Second, propane tank permits allow for better planning of the future setup of utility lines since they let authorities know where underground objects and lines are situated, especially in the case of underground tanks and yard lines.
Process of applying for a propane tank permit
Applying for a propane tank permit is relatively simple: You need to pay a permit fee ($25-50) and submit an application form with a drawing and description of your tank. The application includes a detailed drawing of your tank with the distances between your tank location and other buildings and structures to ensure you comply with distance rules. Local fire inspectors usually inspect your propane installation setup and confirm that it is appropriate. A propane tank permit is valid for the tank’s lifetime.
Consequences of not having a propane tank permit
Skipping propane tank permit applications have several drawbacks. Having a propane tank without the required authorization from local authorities is illegal. Beyond legal considerations, remember that installing utility lines also requires local authorization. Therefore, if local authorities inspect your property as you install other types of cables and find that you have an unauthorized propane tank on your property you will be fined. Furthermore, your tank will be disconnected (and uprooted if it is underground) to allow for a proper inspection. This is costly, all the more so because you will require a leak test (around $50).