March is a transition month with frequent freeze thaw weather cycles. With the warmer weather comes the risk of sudden flooding, so it's important to know about flood preparation and safety.
These tips are supplied by the Canadian Propane Association in their Flood Safety brochure. Download a copy here.
"Whether caused by heavy rain, spring thaws or other emergencies, floods can create disruption for unprepared propane users. Fortunately, a little knowledge and a few simple measures can help keep your home and family safe. While propane is among the safest energy sources available – it is non-toxic and dissipates quickly if accidentally released – always be cautious when floods threaten.
When flood warnings are issued, take these safety precautions:
• Shut off the propane supply to your propane tank and appliances, as well as the houses electricity supply. This is the most important step.
• Do NOT drain your hot water tank but shut off both valves – the one allowing water into the tank, and the one controlling water coming out.
• Speak to your propane retailer or a certified technician about the possibility of temporarily removing your propane tank, hot water tank and appliances, as well as the electrical components of your furnace. Plug or cap piping if appliances are removed.
• Go over your emergency preparedness plan with your family, including escape routes and a safe place to meet.
• Listen to local broadcasts for the latest information and advice. After a Flood – Stay Safe! Once waters have receded and authorities say it is safe to return to your home, remain cautious. Floods can have serious effects on your home’s structure, appliances, and energy supply.
• If you have any doubts at all about your house’s overall safety, have an engineer inspect it.
• If it is dark, use a flashlight – avoid any flame or spark.
• Do not turn your propane or electricity supply back on until all water has been removed, and you have had a provincially certified technician inspect and repair the entire system.
• Do not use propane improperly e.g., using a propane stove as a space heater or using a barbecue indoors.
MORE FLOOD TIPS
• Propane tanks (even full ones) will float in water, so ensure your tank is secured to a fixed object.
• Make sure your family recognizes the smell of propane – like rotten eggs or a skunk.
• Learn how and where to shut off the propane supply to your tank and appliances. • Keep a good supply of propane in your tank, as a flood could disrupt deliveries. • Your propane retailer can help you with flood-proofing procedures and advice.
Any time you smell propane, here are five simple safety tips to follow:
• FLAMES OUT – cigarettes, fires, sparks or electronic devices.
• PEOPLE OUT – get everyone out of the building and don’t go back in until experts say it is safe.
• PROPANE OFF – if it is safe to do so, shut off the main propane supply valve on your propane tank.
• CALL IN – call your propane retailer – if you can’t reach them, call fire services.
• CHECK UP – don’t try to use your propane tank or appliances until a qualified inspector has checked out your entire system."
We are always happy to answer customer's questions about propane use and propane safety. Give us a call if we can help or if you'd like a propane quote.