Propane Safety Tips for Winter

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COLD WEATHER AND SNOW IS HERE!

Hirschman Oil & Propane knows that as temperatures continue to fall, it is important to know how to be prepared for the season. Knowing how to deal with harsh winter conditions and beat that winter storm is the key to keeping your family safe and warm this winter. Propane safety should be at the top of your list! Here are some simple steps to help you make sure you are prepared.

MAKE YOUR TANK VISIBLE
It is important to mark your tank by attaching a brightly-colored flag to the top of it so that your delivery driver can easily find it. This will also help the driver as they are positioning their truck to reach your tank.  Most propane tanks are white and can be difficult to see in the snow, especially if it is buried in snow.  Making your propane tank easily visible helps ensure that both your tank and the drivers are safe.

CREATE A PATH TO YOUR TANK
Snow and ice can make it difficult to access your tank for proper maintenance and refilling. It is important that you keep a path cleared to your tank.  This will allow you to monitor how much propane you have left in the tank as well as allow our drivers to fill your tank properly.

REMOVE SNOW FROM AROUND YOUR TANK
Your tank should always be accessible for inspection and refills. Once you clear the path, switch to a broom to clear the snow around and off of your tank.  Using a shovel for this could puncture your tank and cause a leak.

CHECK YOUR FLUES AND VENTS
Making sure there is no damage or blockage caused by drifting snow can reduce the potential for CO poisoning. Use a broom to clear all flues and vents regularly.  As an added precaution, install Carbon Monoxide detectors and maintenance them regularly as well.

MONITOR YOUR PROPANE LEVELS
If you are not on a keep-full plan, check your propane level on each tank to make sure there is an adequate supply of propane.  The last thing you want is to run out of propane during very cold weather or bad storms.  We recommend that you call us to schedule a delivery when your tank is no less than 20% full.  Keep in mind that as we move into more inclement weather, the number of delivery requests increases and road accessibility is more challenging.  Setting up a regular delivery service and calling us in a timely manner help us make sure we can get to you in time. There are also tank monitoring systems available that allow you to check your tank levels through a phone app.  Call to inquire about any of these systems.

KNOW HOW TO CHECK FOR LEAKS TO YOUR TANK
Get your tank inspected regularly and check for leaks. Propane has an additive that has a rotten egg or skunky smell.  If you smell this, first, get out of the house.  Next, turn off the main gas supply valve on your tank if it is safe to do so.  To close the valve, turn it to the right (or clockwise). Once the valve is shut, call your provider or 911 right away from your cell phone or a neighbor’s house. Do not return to your home until it has been cleared by a qualified professional.  Get your system tested and inspected by your propane provider before using any appliances.  If you have questions, call us at 989-868-9833.

Snow and ice can make this time more difficult since they can freeze and crack pipes, regulators, valves, and other types of propane equipment.  Taking the steps above can help you be better prepared and ready for the harshness of winter.  If you have any questions, please call us at 989-868-9833.

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