News Room

Decorative Tank Covers ~ Article by Dennis Carroll - Over the years, there has been a multitude of ideas and products to hide a propane tank. The latest method is the “hollow rock”. They are made out of a lightweight material in the shape of a rock and are designed to fit over a propane tank. They are advertised to fit up to a 500 gallon tank and have an access door in the top and some vents in the bottom.

While the idea sounds good, they appear to be a safety hazard and some states do not allow them. I have only read the advertisements about the product and have not actually seen the real thing but here are some concerns:
The 2008 version of NFPA 58 section 6.4.7 says that structures shall not be permitted around or over containers unless they meet certain specifications. This regulation is a result of a BLEVE at a tank that was partially covered for aesthetic reasons. The structure contributed to the ignition but the real problem was that the fire department was unable to apply a water stream on the tank surface to keep it cool. The hollow rock type cover would not allow a water stream in the event of a fire.

There does not appear to be an opening for the relief valve to vent unobstructed. In this case it would be possible for a venting tank to ignite causing a “blow torch” on the tank itself and greatly increase the potential for a BLEVE.

If the tank is covered, how would the driver ever visually inspect the tank?

Based on what we know today, the MPSC would not allow the installation of this type product