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KEEPING YOUR FAMILY SAFE

Propane & Weather Safety

 Each year, severe weather events put families and properties in harm’s way – including homes with propane systems. By browsing the tips below, you can take steps right now to keep your family as safe as possible, no matter what the future holds.

 

Propane Safety & Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can pose a serious threat to people and property in all parts of the country. In the U.S., over 100,000 thunderstorms occur each year. These storms, which can be accompanied by high winds, hail, and tornadoes, can cause power outages, fires, and flooding.

All thunderstorms produce lightning and should be considered dangerous. Lightning is responsible for over 80 fatalities and 300 injuries per year in the U.S.

10 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Family Safe

If your home uses propane, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your family safe and avoid potential dangers.

  1. Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it with everyone in your family. Post a list with contact information for your propane retailer and emergency services (fire department, etc.) along with instructions for turning off propane, electricity, and water. If you do need to turn off your propane, contact a service technician to inspect your propane system prior to turning it back on.
  2. Consider installing uL-listed propane gas detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. These detectors provide you with an additional measure of security. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.
  3. If you are outside and can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately. Metal objects such as propane tanks and equipment, tractors, and telephone lines can conduct electricity. Do not go near them. If you are caught outside and cannot get to a safe dwelling, find a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Make sure the place you choose is not subject to flooding.
  4. In the event that a flood threatens your safety, you should shut off the gas. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise). Also, it’s a good idea to turn off the gas supply valves located near individual indoor appliances. You may have to evacuate your property or move to a higher level within your home.
  5. If a tornado is approaching, immediately take action. If you are inside your home or a building, go to the lowest level possible such as a basement or a storm cellar. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level. If you are in a mobile home, trailer, or vehicle, get out immediately and seek shelter in a sturdy building or storm shelter.
  6. After the storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area fordowned power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. High winds and hail can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
  7. Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly during a power outage. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death. These include such appliances as outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use. It’s also important that you never store, place, or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
  8. Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard. Do not ever turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.
  9. Schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system. If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply. Never use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
  10.   Exercise sound judgment. As with any challenging situation, your composure during thunderstorms and other severe weather events will ensure you don’t take unnecessary risks or pose any additional dangers to your family and home. Stay calm; use radios, television, and telephones to stay informed and connected. If any questions arise, contact your propane retailer or local fire department.

Contact us for additional information on preparing for thunderstorms and other severe weather conditions. 

Propane Safety & Tornadoes

Tornadoes can occur during any season of the year. In some cases, they can occur with little or no warning, bringing with them winds that can exceed 250 miles per hour. Every year, there are approximately 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries from tornadoes.

PREPARING FOR EVERY POSSIBILITY

Before, during, and after a storm, there are a few key things to consider to keep your family and your home as safe as possible.

  1. Create an emergency plan. Work with your family to create a plan in the event of a tornado. As part of this effort, make sure to post contact information for emergency services and utility companies—including your local propane supplier. You should also post instructions for turning off your propane, electricity, and water. (If you turn off your propane, contact a service technician to inspect your system before turning it back on.)
  2. Install a UL-listed gas detector. To better prepare for any potential damage, install a UL-listed gas detector in your home, which will notify you if a leak ever occurs. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to installation, location, and maintenance.
  3. Plan for communications. Keep a battery-powered radio handy, so you always have a way to receive updates on weather conditions. As storms approach, it’s also smart to charge up your smartphones, so you have an additional tool for communication through a long power outage. Or, consider purchasing a propane generator so you always have reliable power, even during blackouts.
  4. Inspect damage cautiously. If a storm causes harm to your property, be careful when you assess damage as downed power lines, damaged gas lines, and dislodged propane tanks can lead to dangerous situations. In the dark, use a flashlight instead of candles to avoid combustion in the case of a leak, and never inspect appliances while standing in water.
  5. If you sense danger, call the experts. Your utility company, fire department, and propane supplier have expert training, and should handle any potentially dangerous situations with your home’s systems. Additionally, if a storm damages your property, it’s a good idea to have a qualified service technician perform a complete inspection of your propane system, to ensure no harmful damage was done.

Contact us for additional information on preparing for thunderstorms and other severe weather conditions. 

Propane Safety & Power Outages

Power outages can occur during any season and can range from being a simple inconvenience to, in some cases, a life threatening situation. Almost any type of weather-related event can cause a power outage, ranging from snow and ice storms to thunderstorms, hurricanes, and extreme heat.

10 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Family Safe

If your home uses propane, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your family safe and avoid potential dangers.

  1. Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it with everyone in your family. Post a list with contact information for your propane retailer and emergency services (fire department, etc.) along with instructions for turning off propane, electricity, and water. If you do need to turn off your propane, contact a service technician to inspect your propane system prior to turning it back on.
  2. Consider installing UL-listed propane gas detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. These detectors provide you with an additional measure of security. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.
  3. Prepare a family disaster supply kit with several days’ worth of water and canned foods along with a can opener, extra clothes and blankets, flashlights, and batteries. Include a battery-powered radio so you can stay informed as conditions change.
  4. If a power outage occurs due to a severe weather-related condition, tune in on a battery-powered radio for instructions from local authorities. It’s recommended to turn off all the lights and appliances on your property that were operating before the outage occurred (with the exception of at least one light — to help signal when the power returns). This will reduce any type of power surge from occurring once the electricity returns.
  5. Use extreme caution when operating portable generators. During power outages, some people may choose to use a portable generator, allowing them to keep food from spoiling, computers and other appliances working, and, in some cases, life-supporting medical devices operating. Never use a portable generator (gasoline, diesel, or propane) indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death. 
  6. Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly during a power outage. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death. These include such appliances as outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use. It’s also important that you never store, place, or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
  7. If severe weather-related conditions cause the power outage, it is important to use caution in the area surrounding your home or farm. Check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. High winds and severe weather can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
  8. Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. A power outage can cause appliances such as a refrigerator or freezer to leak water, or a sump pump to stop working, which may cause propane appliances to get wet. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard. Do not ever turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.
  9. Schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system if you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply. Never use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
  10.   Exercise sound judgment. As with any challenging situation, your composure during power outages and other severe weather events will ensure you don’t take unnecessary risks or pose any additional dangers to your family and home. Stay calm; use radios, television, and telephones to stay informed and connected. If any questions arise, contact your propane retailer or local fire department.

Contact us for additional information on preparing for thunderstorms and other severe weather conditions. 

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