Explosive propane demonstrations helps train firefighters

By Mackenzie Patterson - bioemail

SEALE, AL (WTVM) - It is the season for cooking out but can grilling your summer time favorites be dangerous?

A group of firefighters from East Alabama got together for a training session on propane tanks, and how to keep you safe, and their demonstration was explosive.

What would you do if your propane tank burst in flames?  Firefighters from across Russell County are making sure they know what to do to keep you safe, and Derrick Swanson with the Alabama Fire College was there to help them.

"We brought one of our props in which is the propane simulator and it will get those firefighters prepared if they encounter a propane emergency," said Swanson.

Swanson, an instructor on site, walked firefighters through how to approach the propane tank one time without fire. Then, the simulator kicked on delivering fires up to 500 degrees.

Swanson told the men and women from 5 different volunteer fire departments propane is something not to be taken lightly even those little tanks you keep on your grill.

"They can wipe out a couple of houses your hose and a neighbor's house very easily," said Swanson.

Seale's Volunteer Fire Chief says there's one key for you to prevent grilling chicken and steaks from turning into something dangerous.

"Once you're not utilizing the propane tank to do any cooking with, what you need to do is take that tank and move it a safe distance away from the main living quarters.  Either put it in a shed or somewhere out in the back of your yard," said Sandlin.

Chief Sandlin said training with propane simulators will help to make sure that even if something does happen, you can avoid injury.

"In a small community like this or in Russell County, a rural area, it is very important that we work together because there is no one else here to take care of us but us," said Sandlin.

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