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    Safety Recommendations for Propane Users in Hurricane Season


    Washington, DC (May 26, 2006) – Federal officials are anticipating a stronger than average hurricane season and are urging Americans to be prepared when the storm season officially starts June 1.  Safety should be a top priority in the face of weather emergencies and in most cases, local weather alerts offer time to make essential preparations before damaging storms hit.

    For those homeowners relying on propane gas during hurricanes for heating, cooking and power needs, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) offers reminders on safely preparing for, and recovering from, these strong summer storms.

    STORM PREPARATION:

    • Properly secure propane tanks, if safe to do so.
    • Turn off the gas supply valve in a clockwise direction at the tank
    • Turn off the appliance pilot lights, control valves, and manual shut-off valves
    • Be sure there is an adequate supply of fuel in the tank
    • Consult local police, fire department, civil defense, and other authorities for suggested courses of action.
    • Remember that propane tanks should NEVER be stored indoors
       

    STORM RECOVERY:

    • If propane equipment has been flooded, be sure to shut off the service valve at the propane tank if you did not do so before evacuating. Have the system and equipment/appliances checked by your propane supplier or a qualified technician before turning on the gas supply.
    • Look for visible structural damage. If you smell gas upon returning to your home, business, or farm, be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and open flames. Exit the building immediately. Do not operate electrical switches, appliances, telephones, or cell phones because these can cause flames or sparks  that can  trigger a fire or explosion.
    • If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas valves on the outside tank, meter, or service area. Contact your propane supplier and/or the fire department from an outside source. Do not re-enter the building until it has been inspected and the gas system and appliances have been checked by your propane supplier or a qualified technician. 
    • Propane-powered household appliances, farm equipment or vehicles with controls or regulators that have been underwater should be inspected by your propane supplier or a qualified technician before being put back into service.
    • Damage to regulators and controls is a significant problem resulting from flooding.  NPGA recommends a complete inspection of the entire system by your propane supplier or a qualified technician because water damage to propane equipment and appliances is not always readily apparent.
       

    To learn about the role of propane in emergency preparedness and planning, including real-world stories from Hurricane Katrina, visit http://www.propanecast.com/.

    More than 50 million Americans choose propane as their safe and reliable energy source. For more information, visit www.usepropane.com.