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It’s been a long winter season for much of the United States, but spring is finally here. While thawing out after another winter season with the annual spring warm-up can be cause for celebration, it’s still important for propane homeowners to prepare for the strong storms that routinely accompany the spring and summer seasons.
Here are some tips to stay safe all storm-season long:
Create an emergency preparedness kit and have a family plan for storm season. Ready.gov has some great ideas to prepare your family.
Consider installing UL-listed propane gas detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. These provide you with another layer of security.
If you are outside and can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightening. Seek shelter immediately and stay away from metal objects, including your propane tanks and equipment.
If threatened by floods, shut off the gas. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
Take action immediately if a tornado is approaching. Go to the lowest level of the building or the center of an interior room on the lowest level if a basement is not an option.
After the storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. High winds and hail can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks.
Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly during a power outage. It’s also important that you never store, place, or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.
Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard. Do not ever turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.
Schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system if you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply.