Canadian propane consumers should always be ready for the unexpected and never underestimate unpredictable weather conditions.
Tips to stay safe through Canadian climate threats and disasters
There are a few things to consider to keep your family and your home as safe as possible, whether you are experiencing an icy storm, a devastating flood, a rare tornado or a fierce wildfire. The key is to be prepared.
Get to know your propane system
Create an emergency plan
Install a gas detector in your home
Clear 10 feet of space
Be able to communicate at all time
Inspect damages cautiously
If you have any doubt, call your expert-provider
Canadian winters can be long and harsh, with bitterly cold temperatures, especially when a storm sweeps through a region. Propane consumers should be ready for whatever the season has in store and never underestimate the weather to stay safe and even save money.
Before the Winter
❆ Fill Your Tank Early – Since energy demand typically rises in the winter, fill your tank early to ensure that you are ready to go before the cold weather hits.
❆ Make sure you have an adequate propane supply – Ask your propane provider about payment programs and scheduling regular visits, so there’s always enough propane in your tank. This will help you avoid running empty if inaccessible roads delay deliveries.
❆ Consider purchasing a propane generator – When other power sources fail, a propane generator can keep your house operating without interruption.
❆ Confirm your heating system and appliances are running efficiently – Before the start of each heating season, have a qualified service technician inspect and service your appliances and propane system. When your appliances are running as efficiently as possible, you conserve fuel and save money.
❆ Replace furnace filters – Proper airflow improves a furnace's efficiency and lifespan.
❆ Reduce drafts – Install caulking and weather-stripping around windows, doors and other openings such as ducts, fans and vents.
During the Winter
❆ Ensure that your driveway and access to your tanks are cleared.
❆ Turn down the thermostat – Manually, or using a programmable thermostat, reduce the temperature a few degrees while you are at home and lower when you are sleeping or away.
❆ Reduce hot water consumption – Lower the temperature setting on your water heater. Consider using cold water for laundry.
❆ Keep curtains and blinds open to receive sunlight during the day and close them at night.
❆ Reduce the use of fireplaces – If they are only used for secondary heat or atmosphere.
❆ Hang clothes on a rack to dry rather than using your clothes dryer.
❆ Consider installing CSA-approved propane gas detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for additional security. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation, location, and maintenance.
When flood warnings are issued, take these safety precautions:
- Shut off the propane supply to your propane tank and appliances, as well as the houses electricity supply. This is the most important step.
- Do NOT drain your hot water tank but shut off both valves – the one allowing water into the tank, and the one controlling water coming out.
- Speak to your propane retailer or a certified technician about the possibility of temporarily removing your propane tank, hot water tank and appliances, as well as the electrical components of your furnace. Plug or cap piping if appliances are removed.
- Go over your emergency preparedness plan with your family, including escape routes and a safe place to meet.
- Listen to local broadcasts for the latest information and advice.
After a Flood – Stay Safe!
Once waters have receded and authorities say it is safe to return to your home, remain cautious. Floods can have serious effects on your home’s structure, appliances, and energy supply.
- If you have any doubts at all about your house’s overall safety, have an engineer inspect it.
- If it is dark, use a flashlight – avoid any flame or spark.
- Do not turn your propane or electricity supply back on until all water has been removed, and you have had a provincially certified technician inspect and repair the entire system.
- Do not use propane improperly e.g., using a propane stove as a space heater or using a barbecue indoor.
More Flood Tips
- Propane tanks (even full ones) will float in water, so ensure your tank is secured to a fixed object.
- Make sure your family recognizes the smell of propane – like rotten eggs or a skunk.
- Learn how and where to shut off the propane supply to your tank and appliances.
- Keep a good supply of propane in your tank, as a flood could disrupt deliveries.
- Your propane retailer can help you with flood-proofing procedures and advice.
If you live in an area that's at risk of wildfires, make sure your family is prepared for the unexpected. Before, during, and after a wildfire, there are a few key things to consider to keep your family and your home as safe as possible. Follow the tips below and contact your local propane supplier if your propane system ever gets damaged.
- Create an emergency preparedness plan and review it regularly with your family in order to keep them safe during a potential disaster.
- Make sure that you and your family know that propane smells like rotten eggs.
- Know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and indoor propane appliances.
- For more information, contact your propane supplier.
- Regularly clear at least a 10-foot area around your propane tank and grill of anything that is combustible or easily ignited, including leaves, brush, any vegetation, and rags.
- Make sure the grill and propane cylinders are at least 10 feet from any structure.
- Never use, store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area including a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
- If you have propane appliances in your home, consider installing a carbon monoxide (CO) detector certified by an agency recognized in the province of use, such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding installation, location, and maintenance.
- Have an adequate supply of propane in your tank. During and after a wildfire, propane and other types of fuel may not be readily available and roads leading to your home might not be accessible for delivery.
Once a wildfire has started, drought or high winds can help it quickly gain strength and travel great distances in a short period of time. It can spread quickly and destroy or damage homes and property, including propane tanks and appliances. In addition to the intense heat and flames of a wildfire, fallen trees and power lines can present major problems for homeowners and emergency responders. Often, they block access routes for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles.
- Listen to your local authorities, or television and radio stations, for instructions on the appropriate course of action to take. Whether it is determined that you should stay or leave, you should shut off your propane.
- SHUT OFF THE PROPANE BEFORE YOU EVACUATE.
- Turn off the main supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
- Turn off the supply valves located near individual indoor appliances. If you have a propane fireplace or log set, close any screen, door, or damper.
Always use extreme caution when returning to your home. When you or the authorities have determined that it is safe to return, take the time to carefully evaluate the condition of all the structures on your property. If it is dark, use flashlights, not candles.
- Never under any circumstances try to repair or modify valves, regulators, or other appliance parts.
- Inspect chimneys, flue pipes and vent connectors for damage, blockage, or debris.
- Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage.
- Look carefully around the entire area. Immediately call your propane supplier if any damage is observed.