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Important Flooding & Propane Safety Tips Learn more Press Release from the Iowa Propane Gas Association Read Now

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Propane Safety During Tornadoes

Seek Shelter in Basements or Storm Cellars

propane iowa In the aftermath of the recent tornadoes that have ripped through Iowa and other states in the Midwest, we wanted to share safety reminders.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an underground area, such as a basement or storm cellar, provides the best protection from a tornado.

If an underground shelter is unavailable, consider these options:

If you have a choice, avoid taking shelter in auditoriums, cafeterias and gymnasiums that have flat, wide-span roofs.

What to Do After the Storm Is Over

Detecting a Propane Gas Leak

Make sure everyone in your family knows the distinctive rotten-egg smell of propane, and what to do if they detect it. Knowing that smell can help you find a potentially dangerous leak that could worsen if your propane tank is damaged during a storm.

Why You Can’t Always Smell a Gas Leak

In its natural form, propane is odorless, but manufacturers deliberately add a chemical compound to give it a strong unpleasant smell. This odorized propane is usually described as something like the odor of rotten eggs or a skunk’s spray.

However, there are situations that may prevent you or a family member from detecting that telltale odor. Sometimes, conditions in your home – or in your body – can make it harder to pick up propane’s scent.

Commonly known as “odor loss,” this can be caused by:

The good news is that there are two precautions you can take.

  1. Install a propane gas detector (or detectors, depending on the size and layout of your home). A propane gas detector, not to be confused with a carbon monoxide detector, is an inexpensive but vital piece of safety equipment. For the best results, follow manufacturer instructions for placement and maintenance.
  2. When in doubt, follow propane safety procedures. React at once to even the faintest propane odor and follow propane safety measures to get your family to safety.

More Propane Safety Tips

When appliances work properly, propane burns with a blue flame. If you see yellow flames—or notice significant amounts of soot on any equipment–the gas may not be burning completely. This can create carbon monoxide. Contact your Iowa propane company for service if you notice a yellow flame or soot on your appliances. If you don’t have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, install them as soon as possible for safety’s sake.

You should also regularly check the outdoor vents of your appliances to make sure combustion gases flow unobstructed to the outdoors. Insects, birds and small animals can build nests in vent pipes. To prevent any damage, use a broom or a soft brush to remove any debris.

If you have questions or concerns about propane safety, be sure to consult with your Iowa propane company. Read more safety tips.


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