With temperatures dropping across the country and energy bills rising, more homeowners are turning to alternative options like propane for their heating needs. Propane safety is more important than ever during the winter because, even though propane is a cost-effective clean energy source, these savings can be easily canceled out for those who aren't properly prepared for harsh winter weather.
Here are some simple safety tips to prepare your home propane supply for winter storms:
- First and foremost, your propane system should be inspected periodically by a trained professional to make sure it's running efficiently and safely.
- Make sure your family knows how to detect a propane leak—it smells a little like rotten eggs.
- Know how and where to turn off the propane supply to your home.
- If you ever suspect a propane leak, send everyone outside immediately, turn off the gas supply and contact your propane provider right away.
- Flag your propane tank with a stake higher than the average snow depth.
- Ensure your propane tank is adequately filled, in case roads are blocked after a storm.
- Create instructions for how to correctly turn off your home's propane, electricity and water.
- To prevent carbon monoxide hazards, never utilize outdoor propane appliances, gas ovens or range-top burners for indoor space heating.
AFTER THE STORM
- Use a broom to remove any snow or ice from around your propane tank and all outdoor vents.
- Check the propane tank regulator to make sure there's no dripping or ice buildup.
- Report any downed trees and power lines or damaged propane equipment immediately
- If it's dark when returning to your residence after a storm, use flashlights instead of candles.
- Do not attempt to modify or repair appliance parts—always wait for a propane service technicians.
- Clear your driveway of snow and ice so emergency or service trucks can easily reach you.
The Propane Winter Storm Safety Tips are courtesy of Charter Fuels, which provides clean-burning propane to 46 counties across Wisconsin, upper Michigan, northern Illinois, eastern Iowa and eastern Minnesota. Visit www.charterfuels.com for more information.