It’s been one of those summers in Michiana. Storms and power outages have been frequent– and for some Franger communities more than they can count!
During these times, our customers can enjoy the benefits of propane as their power source. Propane is a reliable power source during storms – both in winter and summer – to heat your home, run your refrigerator and operate your stove so you can continue to cook. You might also be able to maintain hot water for showering or cooking and even power your lights and air conditioner.
While powering your home with propane can certainly help you avoid the headaches and frustrations that come with a power outage, there are still several safety precautions we want our customers to understand.
We all know the basics when it comes to preparing for a power outage. Flashlights, and batteries on hand – in an easily accessible spot should the lights go out unexpectedly at night. But, when we are talking about homes fueled by propane, there are other safety precautions your family should take during and after a power outage.
By taking a few simple propane-related safety precautions, and discussing them with your family, you can reduce the potential for property loss, personal injury, and even death. These helpful tips from the Propane Education & Research Council are excellent guidelines to follow.
Before a Storm – Be prepared
- Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and indoor propane appliances. For more information, contact us here at Franger Gas. Our team will happily walk you through this and answer any of your questions.
- Make SURE that you and your family know what propane smells like. Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell similar to rotten eggs, spray from a skunk or even a dead animal.
- NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
- Have a list of instructions on how to turn off electricity, propane, and water. Review suggested preparations for weather hazards and natural disasters with us here at Franger Gas, and any other utility suppliers connected to your home. Advise your utility companies of any special needs you may have.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to keep them safe during a potential disaster.
During a Power Outage – What should you do?
If a power outage occurs due to a severe weather-related condition, tune in on a battery-powered radio for instructions from local authorities on the appropriate course of action to take. You can use data from your mobile device to access weather updates as well – but we recommend conserving your battery charge if you can and opt for the old-school radio.
During these periods, it is recommended to turn off all the lights and appliances on your property that were operating before the outage occurred (with the exception of one light—to help signal when the power returns). This will reduce any type of power surge from occurring once the electricity is restored.
During extended power outages, some people may choose to use a portable generator, allowing them to keep food from spoiling, computers and other appliances working, and, in some cases, life-supporting medical devices operating. Use extreme caution when operating portable generators.
To help reduce the potential for injury or death, there are additional safety rules you should observe at all times:
• NEVER use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning or death.
• NEVER use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators.
• NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
• NEVER use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.
Since there are several types of severe weather-related conditions that can cause power outages, and other types of damage and destruction, it is important to use caution in the area surrounding your home or farm. If you have any doubts about your safety, leave the area immediately and have your property inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before re-entering. Take the time to carefully evaluate the condition of all the structures on your property. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles.
Look carefully around the entire area. Check for downed power lines; they can create major safety hazards. Some severe weather- related conditions such as high winds or tornadoes can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist.
After a Power Outage – What to do, and what safety concerns remain
A power outage can cause appliances such as a refrigerator or freezer to leak water, or a sump pump to stop working, which may cause propane appliances to get wet, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
To help reduce the potential for injury or death, there are general safety rules you should observe at all times:
- Do NOT under any circumstances, try to modify or repair valves, regulators or other appliance parts.
- NEVER turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.
- DO inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard.
If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or they have been damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply:
- DO schedule a time for a qualified service technician from Franger Gas Company to perform a complete inspection of your propane system. The technician can also perform a leak test on the system and re-light your pilot lights.
• DO NOT use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician from Franger Gas Company.
Be prepared with Franger Gas!
Make sure your supply is full and contact Franger Gas with any remaining questions about propane safety during a power outage. You can have peace of mind that you are powering your home the best way possible with propane from Franger Gas!