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Winter Storm Propane Safety Tips

Photo courtesy of Google


As Winter is now all around us, take a few moments to review what PERC (Propane Education and Research Council) has put together with regards to propane safety during the Winter season. There are 10 helpful hints that you can do to keep your family and business prepared and safe from Winter storms.

1. Make sure that you have an adequate propane supply. AmeriGas recommends that you call for a delivery service when your tank is at 30% full. This will avoid running empty in times of heavy snowfall when roads may be inaccessible for delivery.

2. Mark the location of your tank with a flag, pole, or stake. Make sure the marker is higher than the average snow cover depth and should be planted firmly and highly visible. These markers will help you avoid plowing into or shoveling snow on top of your tank. Should your tank become covered in snow, use a broom to clear it, as a shovel may damage the tank.

3. Make sure your heating system and appliances are running efficiently. Have a qualified service technician inspect and service your appliances and propane system. This will ensure that your appliances are running as safely and efficiently as possible, thus conserving fuel and saving you money.

4. Create and emergency preparedness plan and review it with everyone in your family or office. Post a list with contact information for your propane retailer and emergency services such as the fire department for your local community. Included on this list should be instructions for how to turn off propane, electricity and water. Please note: if you do need to turn off your propane, please contact a service technician to inspect your propane system prior to turning it back on.

5. Prepare a family disaster supply kit. This should include several days’ worth of water and canned foods along with a can opener, extra clothes, blankets flashlights and extra batteries. You should also have a battery-powered NOAA weather radio so that you can stay informed as weather conditions change. Make sure to keep rock salt, firewood and snow-removal equipment accessible from the inside of your home.

6. Check your chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and propane tank for damage, blockage, or debris caused by snow and ice. Use a broom rather than a shovel to clear these areas frequently. This will help reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning due to blocked or damages chimneys, flues, and vents.

7. Consider installing UL-listed propane gas detectors and CO detectors. These detectors provide you with an additional measure of security. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.

8. After the storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. Immediately contact your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself.

9. Never use a stove for space heating and never use the outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly in the event of a power outage. Proper ventilation is necessary for their safe operation, and CO fumes emitted can be lethal. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use. Never store, place or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas.

10. Exercise sound judgment. Stay calm, your composure should ensure you don’t take any unnecessary risks. Use radios, television, and telephones to stay informed and connected. Winter storms can last several days and roads may be inaccessible for fuel delivery. You can conserve fuel by keeping thermostats down to 65 degrees during the day and 55 degrees at night. Be sure to close off any rooms that do not need to be heated, If any questions arise, contact your propane retailer or local fire department.

Taking the above steps can help your family home and business stay safe all season long. AmeriGas wishes you, your family and friends a very happy, healthy and SAFE New Year!

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