Propane Safety and Preparing for Winter Snowfall
There’s no time of the year where having access to clean, reliable, economical heat is more important than in the winter. Fortunately, propane is one of the most affordable, flexible, efficient, and environmentally friendly fuel sources on the market.
Since 1941, Heller’s Gas has served customers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond and is proud to offer automatic delivery, tank monitoring, live customer service agents, online portal, and much much more! We know that questions often arise about propane safety when snow starts to fall, so we’ve prepared some simple advice that will help protect you and your loved ones when winter’s worst hits.
4 Winter Safety Tips for Propane Users
1. Mark Your Tank
Depending on where your propane tank is located, it’s not uncommon it to become partially or fully covered by snow during a winter storm. Even if not completely buried, it can be surprisingly easy to lose track of where exactly your tank is.
This can be a real problem when you need to remove accumulated ice, make an adjustment, or schedule a fill. That’s why Heller’s Gas recommends customers mark the location of their tanks with a tall, brightly colored flag, stake, or pole ahead of the storm.
2. Inform Plow Operators
Although propane is one of the safest fuel sources available, it can still pose a danger when treated irresponsibly. That’s part of why marking the location of tanks is key to propane safety.
It’s also why it’s a good idea to inform local snowplow operators and any contractor you employ to clear snow from your property that you use propane and note where your tank is located.
3. Shovel a Path to Your Tank
If you are scheduled to get a fill during or after a snowfall, kindly shovel a path to the tank for our delivery drivers. If you are not able, please inform our office before the driver arrives.
4. Remove Ice & Snow with Care
It’s important to keep your tank free of ice and snow to ensure deliveries can be made, but there are also scientific reasons that make this a top priority.
Since propane tanks are pressurized containers, a collision with one can be hazardous, as described above. Also, leaving tanks covered can cause the propane inside to contract, resulting in pressure loss and poor performance. Finally, ice and snow can damage the valves, vents, piping, and regulators. After heavy snowfall, carefully remove any accumulations on or around your tank. Beware of snow and ice falling onto your tanks from your roof. Use care around your tank to prevent damage.
Heller’s Gas Helps You Heat Your Home
As a family-owned business, Heller’s Gas has always prioritized the care and well-being of our customers. You can rest assured that our experienced and professional employees take propane safety seriously. Whether you’re switching to propane or are a long-time propane user, Heller’s Gas has you covered!
Winter Weather Safety Tips
When the weather outside is frightful, a propane-heated home sure is delightful. But before you say “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,” it’s important to review some propane safety precautions and preparation tips!
For nearly 80 years, Heller’s Gas has been the premier go-to company for residential propane delivery, commercial supplies, and propane-fueled fireplaces throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. With decades of experience under our belts, no one understands the relationship between propane tanks and cold weather better.
Here are some essential propane safety tips we at Heller’s Gas recommend during these chilly winter months.
Keep Your Gas Supply Up to Date
It’s hard to imagine a worse time of year to realize your propane tank is running low or, worse yet, is empty than in the dead of winter. An unheated home isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also cause serious complications, such as frozen and burst water pipes.
Fortunately, Heller’s Gas has options to help ensure you have gas when you need it most! We recommend customers enroll in automatic delivery or remote tank monitoring so we can track your usage trends and schedule fills based on that information. Because no system is perfect, it’s important that customers continually monitor their tank levels and call if they find that they are at a critically low level.
Create an Emergency Plan
Work with your family to create a plan in the event of a winter storm. It’s important to post contact information for emergency services and utility companies. Keep our emergency number handy: 1-800-422-0560.
You should also post instructions for turning off your propane, electricity, and water. Please note that if you turn off your propane, you will need to contact our customer service team and they will dispatch one of our highly trained and qualified service technicians to inspect your system before turning it back on.
Install a UL-Listed Gas Detector
To better prepare for any potential damage, install a UL-listed gas detector in your home, which will notify you if a leak ever occurs. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to installation, location, and maintenance.
Plan for Communications
Keep a battery-powered radio handy, so you always have a way to receive updates on weather conditions. As storms approach, it’s also smart to charge up your smartphones, so you have an additional tool for communication through a long power outage. You can even consider purchasing a propane generator so you always have reliable power, even during blackouts.
Clear Ice & Snow from All Equipment
Heavy snowfall can result in propane tanks becoming all but buried. For this reason, it’s a good idea to mark the area where your tank is located to make it easier for our team to find later. More importantly, one of the most crucial propane safety measures of all is to clear your propane tank of ice and snow regularly and create a clear path to the tank.
Ice and snow can prevent adequate ventilation–leading to a dangerous build-up of carbon monoxide–as well as damage regulators, gauges, valves, pipes, and tubing.
When in Doubt, Call the Experts
If you sense danger, your utility company, fire department, and propane supplier have expert training, and should handle any potentially dangerous situations with your home’s systems. Additionally, if a storm damages your property, it’s a good idea to have one of our qualified service technicians perform a complete inspection of your propane system, to ensure no harmful damage was done.
Stay Warm this Winter with Heller’s Gas
Whether you need to refill your tank or you’re looking for someone to repair your system after suffering winter wear and tear, there’s no one better equipped to help you with all your home heating needs than Heller’s Gas. Sharing our knowledge of propane safety is just one of many ways we hope to make your experience with us the absolute best you’ll ever have.
Heller’s Gas offers quick, convenient, and flexible residential and commercial propane delivery, installation, and maintenance services designed to fit your schedule and your budget. Contact us today and let us keep you warm on those cold winter nights.