Snow, ice continue to pose risks to propane, heating systems in NH

The state fire marshal’s office and its industry partners in the Propane Gas Association remind New Hampshire residents of the continued need to take preventive measures from snow and ice accumulation.

This includes the need for persistent and reoccurring monitoring because of the effects of blowing and drifting snow.

Two of the biggest risks caused by snowfall accumulation and icing conditions are propane and gas leaks that result from damaged fittings and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by blocked vents.

Propane tanks that are covered in deep snow are at risk for leaks, as the weight of the snow can cause fittings, joints and sometimes even the entire tank to shift. This problem can be compounded by snow being cleared off roofs, driveways and walkways onto tanks, lines and fittings.

Large piles of snow surrounding tanks and lines can also prevent leaking gas from escaping, thus creating a huge pocket of gas that could fuel a massive explosion or leak into your home.

The second issue involves exhaust vents from gas- and oil-fired furnaces, which can become blocked or clogged with snow and ice.

A well-tuned and maintained furnace or boiler connected to a correctly sized vent that is free of blockages will operate efficiently and safely, but an overlooked or compromised vent can produce serious injury or death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Additionally, a clogged oil tank vent may result in overfilling during refueling, which can cause a spill.

It is important to remember that the symptoms of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning are so easily mistaken for those of the common cold, flu or exhaustion that proper diagnosis can be delayed.

Because of this, be sure to see your physician about persistent flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue or generalized depression.

If blood levels of carbon monoxide are found to be high, treatment is important. Install carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home.

Fire Marshal William Degnan offers these tips and preventive measures:

Prior to a snowstorm, mark the location of your propane tank, vent and/or oil fill so it can be located easily when you or others are moving snow at these locations.

It is critical that you know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and any indoor appliances in the event that a problem occurs.

Cover or protect gas regulators, relief valves, fill valves and other sensitive parts from snow an ice.

After a heavy snowfall or icing conditions, promptly clear snow off the top of all tanks, gauges, fittings and lines. It is recommended that you use a broom to accomplish this task to prevent accidentally puncturing the tank or line.

Be on the lookout for any signs of gas leaks in and around your home. If a leak is suspected, immediately shut off the gas, call 911 and notify your gas provider.

For more information, call the state fire marshal’s office at 223-4289.

Snow, ice continue to pose risks to propane, heating systems in NH

The state fire marshal’s office and its industry partners in the Propane Gas Association remind New Hampshire residents of the continued need to take preventive measures from snow and ice accumulation.

This includes the need for persistent and reoccurring monitoring because of the effects of blowing and drifting snow.

Two of the biggest risks caused by snowfall accumulation and icing conditions are propane and gas leaks that result from damaged fittings and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by blocked vents.

Propane tanks that are covered in deep snow are at risk for leaks, as the weight of the snow can cause fittings, joints and sometimes even the entire tank to shift. This problem can be compounded by snow being cleared off roofs, driveways and walkways onto tanks, lines and fittings.

Large piles of snow surrounding tanks and lines can also prevent leaking gas from escaping, thus creating a huge pocket of gas that could fuel a massive explosion or leak into your home.

The second issue involves exhaust vents from gas- and oil-fired furnaces, which can become blocked or clogged with snow and ice. A well-tuned and maintained furnace or boiler connected to a correctly sized vent that is free of blockages will operate efficiently and safely, but an overlooked or compromised vent can produce serious injury or death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Additionally, a clogged oil tank vent may result in overfilling during refueling, which can cause a spill.

It is important to remember that the symptoms of low-level carbon monoxide poisoning are so easily mistaken for those of the common cold, flu or exhaustion that proper diagnosis can be delayed. Because of this, be sure to see your physician about persistent flu-like symptoms, chronic fatigue or generalized depression.

If blood levels of carbon monoxide are found to be high, treatment is important. Install carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home.

Fire Marshal William Degnan offers these tips and preventive measures:

Prior to a snowstorm, mark the location of your propane tank, vent and/or oil fill so it can be located easily when you or others are moving snow at these locations.

It is critical that you know how and where to shut off the outdoor propane supply and any indoor appliances in the event that a problem occurs.

Cover or protect gas regulators, relief valves, fill valves and other sensitive parts from snow an ice.

After a heavy snowfall or icing conditions, promptly clear snow off the top of all tanks, gauges, fittings and lines. It is recommended that you use a broom to accomplish this task to prevent accidentally puncturing the tank or line.

Be on the lookout for any signs of gas leaks in and around your home. If a leak is suspected, immediately shut off the gas, call 911 and notify your gas provider.

For more information, call the state fire marshal’s office at 223-4289.