Severe Weather Propane Safety For Your Home
Propane gas has one of the best safety records around when it comes home energy sources. But like any fuel you burn inside your home, you need to take proper precautions when using propane or propane appliances – and know what to do quickly if a problem arises, especially during severe weather.
Here are some important propane safety reminders for the cold weather months to come.
Winter Propane Safety Tips
- Learn and teach all adults in your home know how to shut the valve on your main propane storage tank in case of emergency. If you don’t know how to do this, contact us – we’ll walk you through it.
- Make sure everyone in the house knows the rotten egg smell of a propane leak – and what to do if you detect it.
- Write down / print out all emergency numbers in advance of a severe weather event in case you lose power or cell service. Don’t forget to include our contact information.
- Be proactive to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) problems:
- Professionally service your propane heating equipment every year – this will help technicians spot a potential CO hazard early.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors, following manufacturer’s instructions for placement and maintenance. Replace batteries at least once a year, and replace the unit as suggested by the manufacturer (usually every five or ten years, depending on the model). We also strongly recommend installing propane leak detectors to protect against the potential for propane odor loss during a leak.
- Clear vents, chimneys, and flues quickly after a storm to make sure your home remains adequately ventilated (see below).
- Learn the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, and what to do if anyone in your home experiences them.
- If severe weather is forecast,
- make sure you have enough propane gas to last at least a week in case of road closures; if you don’t, schedule a propane delivery as soon as possible.
- don’t forget to add fuel to your propane backup generator, if you have one.
- flag your propane tank so that the fill valve is visible and accessible in high or drifting snow.
- always follow the instructions of local authorities for safety, evacuations, etc.
- After a storm,
- be sure to clear a path to the tank once the storm has passed in case you need repairs or a fuel fill-up.
- remove snow and ice from your tank with a broom, never a shovel, to avoid damaging tank valves and gauges.
- clear vents, chimneys, and to preserve proper ventilation for your heating system and appliances (see #3 above)
- if your propane equipment has been damaged or is not working properly, contact us right away. Remember: if you shut down your gas for any reason, the law requires you to hire a licensed professional to restart you system.
For more winter propane safety tips, visit the Propane Education Research Council (PERC) website.
Stay safe this winter – contact Black Bear today if you have any questions about propane safety, or if you need propane service or propane deliveries in Sullivan County, NY!