Winter Storm Preparedness
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Another major winter storm is on its way to the east coast. For those of us who love the snow, this storm is set to bring some snowman and snow-fort worthy accumulations. On the flip side, the storm is also expected to produce heavy snow fall, ice, and potentially damaging winds.
If you are in this storm’s path, you’ve probably already visited the grocery store to stock up on food and emergency supplies. Did you know there are preparations you can take for your propane system?
Review the important safety information below to ensure you and your family know what to do before, during, and after a winter storm. For a complete list of winter storm safety information please visit www.propanesafetyfirst.com.
- Make sure your propane tank, whether it is located above or below the ground, is marked properly by a flag, pole, or stake that is higher than the average snow cover depth for your location. This will increase the odds of it being seen by someone such as a snowplow operator, reducing the changes for a potentially fatal accident.
- Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank. During and after a winter storm, roads leading to your home or farm might not be accessible for delivery. It is recommended that you establish a regular delivery schedule with your propane retailer.
- Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and indoor propane appliances. For more information, contact your propane retailer.
- Make sure that you and your family know what propane smells like. Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal.
- Never store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent
- Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to keep them safe during a potential disaster.
- Listen to your local authorities, or television or radio stations, for instructions on the appropriate course of action to take. Although it is recommended to always have an adequate supply of propane in your tank, it is especially important during the winter months because in the event of a storm, roads leading to your home or farm might not be accessible for additional delivery.
- Make sure to clear snow and ice away from all outdoor vents,chimneys, and flues, thereby reducing the potential for CO poisoning. Whenever possible, use a broom instead of a shovel in order to not damage your propane system components.
- Clear snow and ice from around your propane tank. If the pipes freeze and crack, gas can pool in the snow, causing it to become an ignition source, creating a potentially dangerous situation
- After a winter storm, use caution in the area surrounding your home or farm. If you have any doubts about your safety, leave the area immediately and have your property inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before re-entering. Take the time to carefully evaluate the condition of all the structures on your property. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles.
- Look carefully around the entire area. Check for downed power lines;they can create major safety hazards. High winds or falling ice can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist
As a reminder, follow these general propane safety rules:
- Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use.
- Never store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
- Never use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.
- Do not under any circumstances, try to modify or repair valves, regulators, or other appliance parts.
- If melting snow or ice floods any part of your home or farm, never turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.
Even when the forecast doesn’t call for a blizzard, make sure you are prepared by reviewing our service guidelines for a worry-free winter.Safety is our highest priority. For more propane safety information, please visit www.propanesafetyfirst.com.