Lakes Gas Blog

Looking to spice up Thanksgiving? Forget the oven. Avoid the dangerous deep fryer. 
Instead, try grilling your turkey on your propane-powered grill.. It will end up even more tender and juicy than baking it and you’ll free up the oven for side dishes. Here are four tips for grilling a turkey with propane. 
  • Choose the right sized bird. Grilling works best with a turkey that’s 12 pounds or less. If your bird is any larger, it may not cook properly.
  • Prepare to grill: Thaw the bird and lightly coat the propane grill with oil to prevent sticking. Season and oil the turkey as desired.
  • Use indirect heat. Turn one side of your propane grill on and place the turkey on the opposite side to avoid burning it. Pre-heat your grill to 350 degrees. Rotate it carefully several times during cooking. Be sure to wear a cooking glove to avoid burning yourself. When you’re not rotating it, keep the lid closed to conserve heat. Opening the lid frequently will cause the temperature to drop and your turkey will take longer to cook.
  • Test to see if it’s done. Your turkey should cook for two to three hours. It’s done when the thigh meat reaches a temperature of 165 degrees. Check it with a meat thermometer. Never eat undercooked poultry, as it could cause illness. 
Then, enjoy your healthy and tasty grilled turkey. We’re sure it will be your new Thanksgiving tradition once your family tries it.
 
Snow: whether you look forward to it all year, or you’d rather do without it, it’s a fact of life for those of us in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other Midwestern states. Snow can be dangerous for your propane tank if you don’t follow a few simple safety precautions:
 
  • Mark your tank with a brightly colored flag or other marker that can be seen even after heavy snowfalls. If unmarked, your tank could be hit by a plow, car, or snow shovel, causing damage and leaks. 
  • Clear any snow from the tank. That can also help prevent accidents by making your tank more visible. Be sure to use a broom or other soft tool. Using a shovel could puncture your tank, causing a leak or an explosion.
  • Clear a path to your tank. After snowfall, it may be second nature to shovel your driveway, but don’t forget about the propane tank in your yard. Clearing a path makes it easier for a Lakes Gas employee to deliver your propane without wading through waist-deep snow. You won’t miss a delivery because your tank was unreachable.
  • Check your propane levels, especially before a snowstorm. If your levels are at about a quarter of a tank or lower, contact your local Lakes Gas immediately for a delivery to ensure you have enough propane to get you through the storm.
Follow these simple steps and you and your family stay safe and warm, no matter how much it snows.
 
Propane appliances can release carbon monoxide, a potentially dangerous gas, which can be harmful without proper ventilation. So it’s important to have a carbon monoxide detector. But do you know what to do when your CO detector indicates high levels of carbon monoxide? 
 
First, you should know that carbon monoxide detectors alert you to high levels of carbon monoxide gas long before symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are apparent. (By the way, those symptoms are similar to the flu.) Unlike smoke detectors, they do not signal an immediate danger, but it is still recommended that you act quickly when you hear one sound the alarm. 
 
Here are 5 steps you should take if your carbon monoxide detector sounds.
 
•Provide ventilation. Open windows and doors and move everyone outdoors.  
•Do a head count. Make sure everyone is accounted for.
•Call for help from a neighbor’s house or outdoors. Do not return inside your home to call emergency responders. Contact your gas company and alert them to the alarm.
•Look for the symptoms of CO poisoning. If anyone in the home is experiencing headache, dizziness, or other flu-like CO poisoning symptoms, leave the house, call the fire department and seek medical attention.
•Look for the warning signs of carbon monoxide problems. If you see any of these signals of CO poisoning, contact your propane gas supplier immediately for proper propane gas maintenance . 
  1.Streaks of carbon or soot around the service door of your propane appliances
  2.Soot or water falling from the base of a chimney 
  3.Moisture collecting on the windows and walls of your furnace room 
 
Following these steps will help keep you safe from carbon monoxide poisoning. Being prepared will give you the peace of mind you need to relax and enjoy your propane-powered appliances. 
 

Fall is here!

The leaves are changing colors, football season is in full swing, and shorts and tank tops are being replaced by jeans and hooded sweatshirts.

The cooler temperatures will also inspire you to turn on your propane-powered furnace for the first time in months.
But wait!

Before you flip that switch, have your furnace and propane tanks checked. Unused over the summer, those devices could have sustained damaged without your knowledge. And damage can lead to gas or propane leaks, which could be deadly. 

How can you tell if there’s a gas or propane leak? Here are a couple of clues:

  1. You detect a smell of rotten eggs, skunk or dead animal. If you can’t find the source of an odd smell, call your furnace or propane service technician and have your equipment examined. If you smoke or have a cold, you may not immediately smell the gas. Sometimes the odor of propane can fade due to a rusted tank or the absorption of odor into building materials, fabrics, or soil (in underground leaks).
  2. You hear a hissing noise near a gas appliance or propane tank.

A propane gas detector installed in your home will notify you of a leak without any guesswork, so it’s a good idea to get one – especially at this time of year.

If you do find a leak, turn off the gas or propane, leave the house and call 9-1-1. Then, contact Lakes Gas to perform an inspection of your propane tanks before you return to your home. All leaks should be treated as serious, no matter how small. What may seem like overreacting might save your life.

Thunderstorms are generally associated with the spring and summer months, but warmer fall weather also can bring more frequent thunderstorms. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your safety around propane before, during and after thunderstorms. 

Preparation: Before a storm 

Use Your Nose: Propane has a very specific, unpleasant smell, reminiscent of a skunk or rotten eggs. Knowing the smell can help you detect potentially dangerous leaks that could worsen when a tank is damaged by a thunderstorm or other event. 

Have a Plan: Make sure you know how to turn off the gas and do so if you choose to evacuate your home. Thunderstorms could damage your propane tanks, resulting in leaks that could lead to combustion if the supply of gas or propane is not cut off.

During a storm: What to do 

Stay Safe: If you can, get inside. Stay as far away as you can from power lines and metal objects, including your propane tank. These objects conduct electricity and can be extremely dangerous during a thunderstorm. If shelter is not available, get to a low-lying, open area and avoid trees, poles and other potential electricity conductors. 

After a storm 

Inspect: Carefully inspect your home and the area around it for potential dangers. Storms can bring high winds, hail and downed trees and power lines — all of which could damage your outdoor propane tank. After a storm, check your tank and propane-powered appliances for signs of damage or exposure to water that could create a fire hazard. If it is dark, do not use candles to evaluate the area. The flame could ignite leaked propane. A propane gas detector will alert you if there’s a leak so you can take action without relying solely on your sense of smell.

If your propane tank or gas line appears to be damaged, do not touch it. Contact Lakes Gas or your energy supplier immediately. Our technicians will perform a complete inspection of your propane system and test for leaks. Do not use your propane-powered appliances until this inspection is completed. If you do smell gas, follow these tips

If it at any time you suspect a gas or propane leak, leave your house and go to a hotel or family member’s home. Do not return until your propane retailer, emergency responder or qualified service technician has deemed your house clear for reentry. When a gas or propane leak is suspected, it’s important that you and your family are safely away from your home until all risk has been eliminated.

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