Propane Equipment Hurricane Season Tips
Written on: August 22, 2022
Propane Safety Basics
In general, propane is an incredibly safe fuel source. When in storm- and flood-prone areas like southern Florida, large aboveground and underground propane tanks are required to be precisely placed and securely anchored. But as we head into peak hurricane season, it’s smart to review basic propane safety to ensure all remains in order throughout the worst storms that come our way:
Identifying Propane Gas Leaks
Propane has a distinct rotten-egg smell to help you quickly notice leaking gas. Make sure everyone in your home can recognize the odor. And if you do smell gas:
- Leave the area immediately.
- Avoid all flames or sparks—including lights, appliances, phones, or cell phones—which could ignite the gas.
- If you can, shut off the gas at the main valve on your tank by turning the main valve clockwise until tight.
- Call us, or 911 from a safe area.
- Stay away from the area until help arrives.
Propane Safety Dos and Don’ts
Even when it’s not an emergency, there are some basic practices you should follow when dealing with propane equipment:
- Don’t store cleaning fluids and flammable substances near your propane tanks.
- Do clean your furnace and/or AC filters regularly; dirty filters can cause your systems to overwork and experience troubles.
- Don’t let your tanks hit completely empty. The loss of pressure can lead to a variety of problems and will require pressure tests before refilling.
- Do set up automatic delivery to avoid running out of gas.
- Don’t attempt to relight a pilot light if you smell gas. If you do relight a pilot light yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly.
- Do call us if a pilot light goes out frequently.
- Do let us know if flames are yellow or you notice a significant amount of soot. Gas flames should be mainly blue when burning correctly.
Knowing When and How to Shut Off Your Propane Tank
Under certain emergency conditions, you may need to turn off your gas at the tank. It’s not hard—but it’s important to familiarize yourself with your tank so you know what to do when it’s an emergency:
- Know where the shutoff valve is. Your tank should have a large round lid with a hinge. When you lift the lid, you should see the gauge and a round knob that looks like a small steering wheel. That’s your shutoff valve.
- To stop the flow of propane, turn the knob all the way to the right, or clockwise. If you have more than one tank, turn them all off.
When to turn off your propane:
- If you smell gas and suspect a leak, turn off the gas at the tank (if it’s safe to do so) and stay outside and away. Call 911 and Beeline once you are away from the building.
- If there has been severe weather, flooding, or a natural disaster and your tank appears to have moved, or if there appears to be damage to the tank or the gas lines. Once you’ve turned off the gas, move away from the area, then call Beeline or 911.
If it feels unsafe to turn off the gas, first move a safe distance away and outside and then call for help. Once you’ve turned off your propane, do not go back in the house until a certified technician has confirmed that it’s safe. Also, never turn the propane back on yourself.
Turning the gas off changes the pressure in the lines, which can cause the seals around pipe fittings to contract and create a leak. A professional propane technician needs to perform a leak test to check the integrity of these joints and seals. Pressure tests are required by state and federal law, as well as insurance rules.
Beeline Propane Puts Your Safety First…Always!
While it’s a highly flammable gas under certain conditions, leaks are rare and propane is a safe and clean-burning way to heat your home and water, plus run many of your appliances. As with any fuel, there are certain steps to take to ensure you and your home are safe and comfortable. Knowing what to do if you smell gas can help ensure the situation is resolved safely and quickly.
If you have any questions about this information or any other propane safety issues, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.