Propane Safety During Hurricane Season
Written on: June 28, 2022
A Guide To Keep You & Your Home Safe in a Storm
Hurricane season has barely started here in South Florida, and yet we’ve already seen record rainfall, flooding, and near-tropical storm-force winds pass through. What’s more? The National Hurricane Center is predicting another busy season in 2022, thanks to the effects of La Nina. While Miami hasn’t had a direct hit since 1992, it’s no reason to be complacent about the weather.
In general, propane is very safe, and in flood-prone areas like Miami, large aboveground and underground propane tanks are required to be placed safely and securely anchored. But in extreme weather situations, it’s important to take additional precautions that will protect your family and property.
Propane Storm Preparation
Here’s what you need to do prior to, during, and after a powerful storm:
- Order propane. Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank. It’s critical to never let your gauges go below one quarter—25%—if you’re a will-call customer before placing a delivery order…and this is especially true before a storm approaches! Both during and after a major hurricane, propane and other types of fuel may not be readily available, as roads leading to your home or farm might not be accessible for delivery.
- Know how to shut off the gas. If a hurricane threatens your safety, you should turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise). It’s also a good idea to turn off the gas supply valves located near individual indoor appliances.
- Keep important info handy. Post a list with contact information for your propane retailer and emergency services (including the local fire department, etc.) along with instructions for turning off propane, electricity, and water. If you do need to turn off your propane, contact a service technician to inspect your propane system prior to turning it back on.
- Check the area. After the storm passes and it is safe to do so, check all around for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. High winds and floods can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. Use flashlights, not candles, if it’s dark, and immediately call your local utility company and us if any of these hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself. If you find a propane tank on your property that is not yours, or if your propane tank has become dislodged or is missing, contact Forever Propane or your local fire department immediately.
- Operate appliances safely. Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly during a power outage. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Appliances such as outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators should ONLY be used outdoors. Never store place, or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
- Check for damage. If your home or property was flooded, inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. Appliances that have electric components can create a fire hazard if they have been exposed to water. Never turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
Be Safe, Not Sorry When Dealing with Propane
Above all, listen to local authorities and follow directions to evacuate your home or property. Use extreme caution when returning to your property, and 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.
If you suspect any of your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been under water or damaged, or you have turned off your gas supply, contact us to inspect and test your system. Never use or operate appliances, equipment, or vehicles, or turn on the gas supply, until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician. At Forever Propane, your safety is our number-one concern. Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about keeping safe during and after storms.