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Lakes Gas Blog

Propane prep: Thinking ahead

The propane shortage of 2013 caught many users by surprise- resulting in panic for many who depend on propane to dry their crops, heat their homes, or fuel scores of other day-to-day activities.

This year, many consumers are taking action to better prepare in case of another propane shortage.

A recent article by C Magazine, a trade publication by farm cooperative CHS, outlined some tactics farmers are taking to avoid running out of propane this year. Here are some tips from the article.

Increase your storage

Scott Judisch, a North Dakota farmer interviewed for the story, said he plans to add more propane storage this year- a 30,000 gallon tank that will hold his estimated requirements for the season.

Increasing your storage capacity now is a great way to ensure you have the propane you need. Fill up those tanks and it’ll be business as usual for you, even if other consumers are waiting weeks for their deliveries.

Stock up during the off-season

Locking in low prices now can benefit you if another shortage occurs. During shortages, many companies halt taking new customers so they can serve customers with existing programs, like Lakes Gas Co. did last year. You’ll enjoy locked in prices while those who waited for cold weather to buy will pay major premiums, or not be able to purchase at all.

Need to stock up now? Contact Lakes Gas Co. and ask about our pre-buy programs.

Ladies of Lakes Gas Recipes: Frozen Lemonade Pie

Bonnie S. from our Lakes Gas Co. - Kingsford, Michigan location has kindly submitted a recipe that would be great for a 4th of July party or a cool, sweet treat at the end of a hot summer day!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounce) container of Cool Whip
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (make sure it is chilled)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can frozen lemonade (keep frozen)
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust (buy already made or make on in pie pan)

Instructions:

  1. Whip together Cool Whip and sweetened condensed milk until stiff (do not over beat).
  2. Add the frozen lemonade then whip again. Be careful not to let it get soupy. Mixture should be quite thick.
  3. Pour into your pie shell. 
  4. Can top with candied lemon shavings (optional).
  5. Place into freezer (best overnight).
  6. Remove from freezer only a few minutes before serving.
  7. Cut with sharp knife.

Thank you, Bonnie!

Enjoy!

 

Make Propane Safety Fun for Kids

Summer’s almost here!

Soon, school will be out and families will be firing up those propane-powered grills for cookouts.

If you have children in your home, it’s important to teach them how to be safe around propane to avoid possible injury, property damage, and fire.

But let’s be honest: Propane safety is not the world’s most exciting topic. If your attempts to talk about it with your children have resulted in eye rolls, here are some tips you may want to try from the Propane Education and Research Council’s PropaneKids.com.

Let your child be a “safety ranger” for a day. Walk around your home with him, armed with this checklist. Show him where you use propane in your home and check for any hazards. If you see one, explain why it is dangerous and correct it. Then, have him help you point out other hazards. Remind him to always report any propane hazards to an adult.

Designate a “family meeting place” and let your child design a sign for it. This is a spot outside your home where your family will meet in any emergency, propane related or otherwise. From here, you’ll decide what to do next.

Conduct a drill. Have your children pretend to smell gas and react accordingly, practicing the safety plan you’ve designed for a propane emergency.  Correct any mistakes, and praise behavior that follows your plan.

Make it fun. Games are a lot more fun for your kids than listening to a safety speech. So illustrate your messages about propane safety with interactive activities. For instance, the web site suggests an activity to help your kids understand how quickly gas can travel and how it is usually not visible. Stand on the other end of a room from your children and spray a scented air freshener. Do not tell your children what the scent is, but see how long it takes them to guess it. You can even time their responses to show them how quickly a dangerous gas could travel.

Making propane safety interesting for your children can help them remember what to do in an emergency. For more tips and activities, go to the PorpaneKids.com Tools and Resources page

Propane and Your Recreational Vehicle

Are you hitting the road this summer to see the country from your recreational vehicle?

Before you get behind the wheel, take some time to learn about your vehicle’s propane system. A little knowledge will make it easy to stay safe and have fun this summer. Here’s a rundown from the Propane Education and Research Council

What should I get checked?

Be sure to get your propane system checked by a certified dealer once a year to ensure everything is working properly and there are no leaks. Older propane tanks should be checked to ensure they have an overfill protection device and working intake and exhaust vents to prevent blockages caused by debris.

It’s important to remember that RVs generally change hands many times. They may be resold, rented, or rebuilt frequently. Previous owners may have modified the propane system by replacing the propane cylinders with a larger one or installing vent protectors, or propane taps for barbecue grills, generators, and other propane appliances. You’ll want to know what modifications have taken place so you can report them when your vehicle is inspected.

What modifications can I make to my propane tank?

You may need to upgrade your RV, but you should not paint propane cylinders, valves, or mounting equipment. Doing so could cover up service issues that could be dangerous if left alone. And painting a cylinder a dark color can make it absorb more sun, causing the gas to expand, which could lead to an explosion.

Can I keep my propane system on while I’m driving?

PERC recommends against it. Though some RV owners drive with the system on to run their air conditioning and keep their refrigerators cold, doing so causes huge risks. During travel, a line can break causing propane to escape into the RV and ignite with the smallest flame.

When you consider that most RV refrigerators can keep groceries cold for hours even when they’re turned off, riding with your system on doesn’t seem worth the risk.

 Whatever you decide, be sure to turn off your propane system when refueling, as neglecting to do so can cause large explosions.

Follow these tips and have a great time this season!

 

Propane-Powered Vehicles Start Better in Cold Weather

You use propane for your grill and in your home. But it’s not just keeping you warm and cooking your food. It’s taking you places.

Your city’s police cars and your children’s school busses – even your local public transportation vehicles – may all be running on propane.

There are more than 350,000 vehicles run on propane in the U.S., according to a National Propane Gas Association report. Many of them are part of a fleet, such as service trucks, school busses, shuttle busses and law enforcement vehicles.

That means that whether you own a propane-powered vehicle or not, you may be riding in or otherwise benefitting from one.

So why are cities, companies, and school districts shunning gasoline in favor of propane?

Propane is a popular auto gas for the same reasons it is popular on farms and in homes: it is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and versatile.

But propane also has one big advantage over gasoline that makes it perfect for fleet vehicles that must run in cold weather.

Propane auto gas vehicles with liquid injection systems avoid the cold-start problems common to gasoline-powered vehicles, which means no more missing work or school on winter days because your car (or bus) won’t start.

And in a recent edition of trade magazine LP Gas, Blue Bird reported their propane-powered school buses started and ran well – even during icy polar vortex conditions in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin that included temperatures of -13 degrees.

If you make decisions about fleets, or are just considering a “greener” personal vehicle, propane gas is worth looking into. Just don’t count on “my car won’t start” as your winter excuse for missing work.