Propane has one of the best safety records of any home energy source – but it is still critical to know what to do if the unexpected occurs in your propane-powered home, especially in the winter.
Here are six important winter propane safety reminders for your North Carolina home:
Make sure everyone in your family can identify the rotten egg / skunky smell of a propane gas leak – and that everyone knows what to do if they detect it.
Teach the adults in your home how to shut the valve on your main propane gas tank in case of emergency. Contact us if you are not sure how to do this.
Check all carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, making sure you have at least one unit in every level of your home. Test each detector, replace the battery, and replace the unit if it is more than five years old. We also strongly recommend installing propane leak detectors to protect against odor loss in the unlikely event of a propane leak.
If you have a propane whole house or portable generator, make sure it has enough fuel to run for at least a week in case of a power outage. You should also run your generator once a month for about 20 minutes during the winter months to keep moving parts lubricated. NEVER use a portable generator in an enclosed area, including inside your home or closed garage; doing so could cause a dangerous CO build-up.
Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for that purpose; never use outdoor propane-powered appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. Without proper ventilation, deadly carbon monoxide (CO) fumes produced can build up.
If severe winter weather is forecast:
Follow all evacuation and safety instructions by local authorities
Clear snow and debris from vents, chimneys, and flues after a storm to avoid a potentially dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide inside your home
Clear snow and ice away from your propane tank regulators, regulator vents, piping, tubing, and valves. Use a broom instead of a shovel to prevent damage to your propane system components.