Thunderstorm Safety with Conger LP Gas
Published on July 23, 2018
Summer is here and that brings fun things like beach trips and lemonade stands, but it also means almost daily thunderstorms in south Georgia. According to Ready.Ga.Gov, Georgia’s greatest threats from severe thunderstorms are damaging straight-line winds and large hail. Straight-line winds can reach speeds in excess of 58 mph and produce damage similar to a tornado. These winds occur about 75 days per year in Georgia and are most common in the spring and summer months, peaking in July. Since 2000, lightning has been the #2 weather-related killer in Georgia, behind tornadoes. Lightning on average kills one to two people in Georgia each year, and injures an average of 12 people.
While all of that sounds scary there are some simple things you can do to keep your family and your home safe from our friends at UsePropane.com.
1. Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it with everyone in your family. Post a list with contact information for emergency services (fire department, etc) and your propane retailer along with instructions for turning off propane, electricity, and water.
2. Consider installing UL-listed propane gas detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. These detectors provide you with an additional measure of security. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.
3. If you are outside and can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go seek safe shelter immediately. Metal objects such as propane tanks and equipment, tractors, and telephone lines can conduct electricity. Do NOT go near them. If you are caught outside and cannot get to a safe dwelling find a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Make sure the place you choose is not subject to flooding.
4. In the event that a flood threatens your safety, you should shut off the gas. 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). Also, it’s a good idea to turn off the gas supply valves located near individual indoor appliances. You may have to evacuate your property or move to a higher level within your home.
5. If a tornado is approaching, immediately take action. If you are inside your home or a building, go to the lowest level possible such as a basement or a storm cellar. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level. If you are in a mobile home, trailer, or vehicle, get out immediately and seek shelter in a sturdy building or storm shelter.
6. After the storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank. High winds and hail can move, shift, or damage gas lines and tanks. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles. Immediately call your local utility company or propane retailer if any of these hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
7. Never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly during a power outage. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death. These include such appliances as outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use. It’s also important that you never store, place, or use a propane cylinder indoors or in enclosed areas such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
8. Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, they can create a fire hazard. Do not ever turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect your household appliances while standing in water. This can result in electrocution.
9. Schedule a time for a qualified service technician to perform a complete inspection of your propane system 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. 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. Do not attempt repairs yourself.
10. Exercise sound judgement. As with any challenging situation, your composure during thunderstorms and other severe weather events will ensure you don’t take unnecessary risks or pose any additional dangers to your family and home. Stay calm; use radios, television, and telephones to stay informed and connected. If any questions arise, contact your propane retailer or local fire department.