Safety Tips: Using Propane Tanks, Appliances and Products Following Storm Damage

MILLIONS of homeowners and businesses use propane to safely heat their water and homes, cook meals, fuel farm equipment and buildings and power their gas grills. For those propane users affected by storms or flooding, the Minnesota Propane Association (MPA) recommends the following steps to help ensure safety.

After the storm or flood:

  • Propane-powered household appliances, farm equipment or vehicles with controls or regulators that have been underwater should be inspected by your propane supplier before being put back into service. Since water damage to propane equipment and appliances might not be apparent, MPA highly recommends a complete inspection of the entire system before attempting to operate equipment.
  • The number-one problem created by flooding is water damage to regulators and controls Such damage can cause blockage, corrosion or other malfunction of the key safety devices built into the system. In addition, dirt or debris could have entered the regulator through the vent. While this poses no immediate threat, parts may need to be replaced to ensure long-range equipment safety. Propane suppliers also can determine whether container or piping dents caused by flowing debris warrant equipment replacement.
  • If your propane equipment has been flooded, be sure to shut off the service valve at the propane tank. Do this by turning the valve in a clockwise direction. Be sure to have the system and appliances checked prior to turning on the gas supply again.
  • Should you smell gas upon returning to your home, business or farm, extinguish all smoking materials and open flames. Exit the building immediately. Do not touch electrical switches, light matches or use the phone. Turn off the gas valve on the outside tank, meter or service area. Telephone the fire department and your propane supplier from a neighbor's phone. Do not re-enter until the building has been inspected.
  • If severe flooding occurs and your tank shifts, becomes dislodged, or in the event that you find a tank on your property that does not belong to you, immediately call the fire department and your propane supplier.

While flooding can present potential danger, following these recommendations will help reduce risks. For additional information on propane, contact MPA at http://www.mnpropane.com.

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