|Be cautious with propane|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
Heavy snow, extreme cold, sleet and ice and near-blinding blizzards may all be part of winter, but being unprepared for them shouldn’t be. If a home or business uses propane to generate heat or run appliances, there are a few simple steps from the Colorado Propane Gas Association one can take to keep their family safe and avoid potential dangers.
—Keep snow and ice clear from the piping and regulators next to the home. Use a broom rather than a shovel, and clear these areas frequently. Be mindful of possible falling snow and ice from the roof that may damage the piping or regulator. Ask the propane supplier about regulator and piping protection options.
—Never use a stove for space heating and never use 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 carbon monoxide 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.
—Take immediate action if gas is smelled inside or outside of a home or business.
Follow these simple instructions:
—No flames or sparks! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate or turn on or off lights, appliances, telephones or cell phones.
—Leave the area immediately! Get everyone out of the building or area where the gas is leaking.
—Shut off the gas. Turn off the main gas supply valve on the propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
—Report the leak. From a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, call a propane retailer right away. If someone can’t reach a propane retailer, call 911 or the local fire department.
—Do not return to the building or area until a propane retailer, emergency responder or qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.
—Get the system checked. Before attempting to use any of the propane appliances, a propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check the entire system to ensure it is leak-free.
For additional information on preparing for winter storms, visit propane.com or contact Baron Glassgow at the Colorado Propane Gas Association.