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.