Winter Safety Tips For Your Home
While following proper propane safety practices is important throughout the year, the peak winter season in North Carolina presents specific challenges and potential hazards.
Your propane company’s priority is to always keep you safe and comfortable, so here are some tips to help you remain secure as you hunker down in your propane home during the rest of winter.
Avoid Fuel Run-outs
As a general rule, you should schedule your next delivery when your tank gauge reads 30%. You can make the rest of winter a lot easier on yourself by asking your propane company if they offer automatic delivery service. If they do and you qualify, they’ll schedule your deliveries automatically based on your usage patterns and the daily temperatures.
Read Your Propane Tank Gauge
Look for a round dial (like a clock face) on your cylinders or tanks. Often, the dial is under the lid of the cylinder or tank, although sometimes it’s located on the top of a cylinder.
Next, see what number the hand is on. That number is the percentage (not the gallon count) of propane in your cylinder or tank.
To determine the number of gallons, multiply the capacity of the cylinder or tank by the percentage. If you have a 120-gallon cylinder and the gauge reads 70%, multiply 120 x .70, which equals 84 gallons.
As noted before, if the gauge reads 30% or less on your tank or cylinder, arrange for a delivery from your local propane company.
If you’re having trouble reading your gauge or don’t know the capacity of your storage, contact your local propane company for assistance.
Propane Tips For After A Storm
- If there’s been a snow storm, clear a path to your propane tank at least one foot wide for the propane delivery driver.
- Clear any snow from your propane tank, including from piping, tank regulators, vents, tubes and valves.
- Always clear any snow and ice from your driveway so your driver can safely navigate his truck.
- Use a broom (not a shovel) to clear snow from all vents, chimneys, and flues to reduce the risk of toxic carbon monoxide gas backing up into your home.
- If you believe that any of your propane equipment has been damaged, don’t use it and contact your propane service contractor immediately for an inspection.
Check Your Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
Your home should have at least one CO detector on each level—and there should be one outside every bedroom. Once a month, test them, and replace the batteries if necessary. Every five years, replace your CO detectors.
Test Your Generator
Once a month, run your propane generator for about 20 minutes to keep all of the moving parts lubricated. Check to ensure that you have enough fuel to last at least a week. Don’t wait until a power outage to find out your generator is low on propane.
Use Propane Gas Appliances Safely
Never use any outdoor propane appliances—including propane grills—in an enclosed space or inside your home. (This includes garages and sunporches.) DO NOT use your propane-fueled stove for heating or for any reason other than its intended purpose.
Read more about propane safety.