Power Outage Safety

August 13, 2020 ____ Safety, Home Owners

At Paraco, safety is a core value. Please keep these tips in mind to ensure your safety before, during, and after power outages.

Before the Storm

  • Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and indoor propane appliances. For more information, contact your Paraco sales representative.
  • Make sure your family knows what propane smells like. Propane has a strong, unpleasant smell like rotten eggs, a skunk’s spray, or a dead animal.
  • Never store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
  • Install UL-listed carbon monoxide and propane gas detectors on every level of your home. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.
  • Prepare instructions on how to turn off electricity, propane, and water. Review suggested preparations for weather hazards and natural disasters with Paraco and your other utility suppliers. Advise them of any special needs you may have.
  • Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to stay safe during a potential disaster.

During the Storm

  • Tune in on a battery-powered radio for instructions from local authorities.
  • Turn off all the lights and appliances on your property, keeping one light on to signal when the power has returned. This will reduce any type of power surge from occurring once the electricity returns.
  • If you have one, use a portable generator to keep food from spoiling, computers and other appliances working, and in some cases, life-supporting medical devices operating.
  • To help reduce the potential for injury or death, NEVER:
    • use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
    • use outdoor propane appliances (outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators).
    • store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
    • use a gas oven or range-top burners to provide space heating.
  • And ALWAYS:
    • Use caution when returning to 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.
    • Carefully evaluate the condition of all the structures on your property. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles. Never check an appliance while standing in water.
    • Check for downed power lines; they can create major safety hazards. Some severe weather-related conditions can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. Immediately call your local power company or Paraco if these hazards exist.

After the Storm

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 and create a potentially dangerous situation. To reduce the potential for injury or death, follow these safety rules at all times:

  • Never attempt to repair propane valves, regulators, or appliances!
  • Never turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water.
  • Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard.
  • If you suspect your propane equipment has been damaged by water or you have turned off your gas supply, you must schedule a time for a qualified service technician 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.

If you smell gas inside or outside of your home:

  • Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames.
  • Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones.
  • Leave the area immediately. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  • Shut the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it clockwise.
  • Report the leak from a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, and call Paraco immediately. If you can’t reach Paraco, call 911 or your local fire department.
  • Do not return to the building or area or use any of your propane appliances until Paraco or your utility company determines it is safe to do so.

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