Winter presents a unique set of health concerns and challenges to both people and their homes.
At Lakes Gas, we take safety standards very seriously –it’s truly our highest priority. We want to review with you some health and home problems posed by winter in the northern part of America.
Prevent Propane Problems
A little preparation and planning can go a long way in keeping your home warm and safe during the winter months. A few tips to consider during the coldest months:
- Stay in touch with your provider: Knowing how to get ahold of your provider will help you schedule a propane refill well before you run out. If you do run out, contact your provider immediately – a check must be conducted to look for leaks before the gas can be turned back on.
- Make sure your propane systems are accessible: Deep snow can be a big problem. Keep snow away from the propane regulator on your home and clear a path from the driveway to your propane tank so the delivery driver can get to it.
- Conserve energy: Big storms can limit providers’ access to some locations for days. Save propane by setting the thermostat lower at night or when the house is empty.
- Know what to do if you smell propane: Quickly put out any open flames or smoking materials. Do not use phones, lights or appliances. Remove everyone from the home or area you suspect contains the leak. If it’s safe to do so, turn off the gas supply valve by turning it clockwise. Get to a safe area and call your propane provider. If you cannot reach them, dial 911. Wait until the area is inspected by a professional or first responder before returning to the area.
Consider Carbon Monoxide Hazards
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning occurs most frequently in the winter, when doors and windows are closed, keeping the odorless, invisible and tasteless gas contained in the structure. Signs of CO poisoning include nausea, fatigue, headaches and vomiting. Install CO alarms on each level of the home and near bedrooms.
Frostbite and Hypothermia
These two conditions can hit quickly in the Upper Midwest if you’re not properly protected against the unforgiving elements of winter.
- Frostbite: Occurs as the skin and underlying tissues freeze, eventually turning the skin pale and stiff. Symptoms include a prickly feeling, numbness, and off-colored skin. Frostbite usually strikes unprotected skin in windy, cold weather, but it can occur on skin covered by clothing.
- Hypothermia: This medical emergency happens when your body temperature falls below 95 degrees. Symptoms include shivering, shallow breathing, weakened pulse, confusion, and slurred speech. Lower body temperature affects the ability of your heart, other organs and nervous system to function properly. If the body temperature isn’t returned to normal, hypothermia can result in death.
Keep Pipes From Freezing
Pipes can freeze due to quickly dropping temperatures, thermostats set too low and poor insulation. Try to insulate pipes in colder areas such as the attic or crawl spaces. When temperatures are extremely cold, it may be a good idea to allow sinks to trickle water to keep pipes from freezing. Also, don’t set your thermostat down so far that pipes near exterior walls get cold enough to freeze – open cabinet doors to allow pipes under sinks to stay warmer.
Need more propane? Contact us.