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Propane users urged to keep safe during cold winter weather


Fri, Feb 12th 2016 10:25 am

Editorial by the New York Propane Gas Association

During the extremely cold winter weather expected this weekend, 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:

•Check your chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and propane tank for damage, blockage or debris caused by snow and 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.

•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.

•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 indoor that are designed and approved for indoor use.

If you smell gas inside or outside of your home or business, follow these 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 you suspect gas is leaking.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Do not return to the building or area until your propane retailer, emergency responder or qualified service technician determines it is safe to do so.
  • 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 it is leak-free.

The New York Propane Gas Association also offers an interactive online safety module for winter preparedness at www.propanesafety.com/winterstorm-preparedness.

More safety tips are online at www.nypropane.com and www.propanecomfort.com.

About the New York Propane Gas Association

NYPGA is a member-focused trade organization providing services that communicate, educate and promote the propane industry in New York. The association was formed in 1948 to offer opportunities for training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

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