EPSOM, NH – Now that New England has seen its first winter storm, people everywhere are back in the winter mindset and need take a few important steps to be better prepared for future storms.
During the extremely cold winter weather expected this weekend, and snow expected in several areas across the Northeast, homes and business that use propane to generate heat or run appliances should make sure to take the following steps to keep everyone safe and warm:
1. Check your chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and propane tank for damage, blockage, or debris caused by snow or ice. Use a broom rather than a shovel, and clear these areas frequently. This will help reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning due to blocked or damaged chimneys, flues, and vents.
2. Keep path to propane tanks clear as winter progresses. Ensure that there is always a clear path to your tank for deliveries, including your filler pipe.
3. Use extreme caution when operating portable generators. Never use a portable generator (gasoline, diesel, or propane) indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.
4. Never use a stove for space heating and never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. 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.
If you smell gas inside or outside of your home or business, follow these instructions:
1. 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.
2. Leave the area immediately. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
3. 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).
4. Report the leak. From a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can’t reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.
5. Do not return to the building or area until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.
6. Get your system checked. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.