Winter weather can bring heavy snow, extreme cold, sleet, ice, and blizzards, all of which can cause extended power outages and hazardous travel conditions. It is important to be prepared for such situations to reduce the risks to you and your family. This is especially important if your home uses propane to generate heat or run appliances. By taking a few simple steps, you can help keep your family safe and conserve fuel costs.
Here are ten tips to help you prepare for winter storms when using propane:
- Ensure you have an adequate supply of propane by scheduling regular winter visits with your propane retailer.
- Mark the location of your propane tank with a flag, pole, or stake higher than the average snow cover depth for your area to avoid plowing or shoveling snow on top of your tank.
- Make sure your heating system and appliances are running efficiently by having them inspected and serviced before each heating season.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan and post a list of contact information for your propane retailer and emergency services.
- Prepare a family disaster supply kit that includes several days’ worth of water, canned foods, a can opener, extra clothes and blankets, flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered NOAA weather radio.
- Check your chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and propane tank for damage or blockage caused by snow and ice.
- Consider installing UL-listed propane gas detectors and CO detectors.
- After the storm passes, check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank, and immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any hazards exist.
- Never use a stove for space heating or outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly in the event of a power outage.
- Exercise sound judgment and conserve fuel by keeping thermostats down to 65° during the day and 55° at night, and by closing off any rooms that don’t need to be heated.
By implementing these safety measures, you can help ensure your family’s safety during the winter months. Remember to stay calm, stay informed, and contact your propane retailer or local fire department if you have any questions or concerns.