Propane Safety for Winter Storm Preparedness

by | Jan 31, 2015 | Blog | 0 comments

Brrr…it’s cold out there! Although we didn’t get the snow that meteorologists predicted for winter storm Juno, temperatures are dropping and some snow is predicted on Super Bowl Sunday into Monday. Low temperatures, high winds, and precipitation can be expected every winter, but propane troubles shouldn’t be. Get familiar with these Propane Safety Tips for Winter.

Propane Safety For Winter

If your family uses propane for heating your home and running appliances, it is important that you know how to keep safe from potential propane dangers. Use these before, during, and after the storm tips to ensure propane safety for winter and lower fuel costs.

Propane Safety Before the Storm:

  1. Collect a list of emergency phone numbers for easy access. This includes local numbers for the Police and Fire Departments as well as your Propane Retailer. Post these on the fridge so everyone in your family knows where they are.
  2. Create an emergency safety and evacuation plan for your family and stick it next to the emergency contact numbers on your fridge. This will include instructions for locating and turning off your propane supply, as well as instructions for turning off the water and electricity.
  3. Make sure you have a good supply of propane in your tank. During inclement weather conditions, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver your additional propane. Have a qualified  service technician inspect and service your propane system and appliances. This will ensure your propane system is safe and efficient, giving you piece of mind and saving you money and fuel.
  4. Locate your propane tank and mark it with a flag, pole, or other object for easy identification. This will prevent snowblowers and plows from accidentally causing damage to your tank and possibly a fatal injury.
  5. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors outside of every sleeping area in your home.
  6. Do NOT store propane in an enclosed area. Store them upright and in a dry and well-ventilated area away from any source of ignition.
  7. Propane gas contains an additive that gives the naturally odorless gas a pungent, unpleasant smell, sometimes described as rotten eggs or a decaying animal. Make sure everyone in your household knows what propane gas smells like.
    • If you smell this gas at any time, make sure to do the following right away:
      • put out all open flames and do not turn on any appliances, lights, or phones. Only if it is safe, open windows to allow for ventilation.
      • evacuate the area as soon as you can and call your local propane dealer once you are safely away from the gas leak.
      • find your main propane gas supply valve and turn it to the right to close it. Call Boulden Brothers Propane if you need help turning your propane supply off – 800-296-2553 – and contact us again when turning your gas back on.
      • Do NOT return to your home until a qualified propane technician or emergency personnel tells you it is safe to do so.
    • For added safety measures, consider installing propane gas detectors. This is especially important if propane is used in a little-used room or if you have  Speak with your local propane company on what you can do to add security to your home.

 Propane Safety During the Storm:

  1. Listen to local news stations and weather reports for the best course of action. During winter months especially, make sure you have enough propane in your tank.
  2. Clear snow and ice away from your propane tank, regulators, vents, piping, tubing, and valves. Use a broom instead of a metal shovel to avoid damaging your propane system’s parts.
  3. Additionally, check all outdoor vents, chimneys, and flues for proper ventilation and reduce your risk for CO poisoning.
  4. If you feel as if your safety is at stake, turn off your main gas line immediately and call your local propane dealer.

 Propane Safety After the Storm:

  1. Look out for downed power lines and other damage around your home. Use a flashlight if it is too dark to see, never a candle or open flame. The ground can be energized up to 40 feet away. Do not go anywhere near a downed power line and call 911 or your local fire department immediately.
  2. If you notice any movement, shift, or damage to your propane gas or gas lines, close off the main gas valve and call your local utility company or propane dealer immediately.

If, for any reason, you suspect damage to your gas leak or damage to your propane tank or appliances, turn off the main gas supply valve on your tank and wait for your qualified propane technician to perform a complete inspection, including leak detection tests. Do not turn the gas back on until your system has been inspected.

Click here for more information on Propane Safety and Maintenance for WinterFor a full propane safety manual, check out Amerigas’s pdf Safety Brochure.

We are continuing our tradition of supporting The Ronald McDonald House by giving a penny per gallon sold to the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, where we personally witnessed the love and support they give to family members of ill children. In fact, with your help, we recently gave them a check for over $5,900.

Visit our Propane Safety page for safety information and links for more in-depth propane heating studies. Visit our other blog post for more information on Propane Safety & Maintenance.
If you have more questions, visit the Propane FAQ page.
Here is a Google Map that shows you where Boulden Brothers Propane Refill Stations are located.
To contact us, you can fill out an online form, call us at (800) 296-2553, or send us a message on Facebook and Twitter.