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Energy Report Questions


Propane safety

What to do if you smell gas

  • Immediately extinguish all smoking materials and any other open flames.
  • Do not operate telephones, cellphones, lights or appliances, as flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or a fire.
  • Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  • If it is safe to do so, turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank. To close the valve, turn it clockwise.
  • After getting away from the gas leak, call 911 or your local fire department, then call Valley Energy at 860-693-2401.
  • Stay away from the building or area until your local fire department and a Valley Energy technician determine that it is safe to return.
  • Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician should check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.

General propane safety rules

  • Only use propane appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use. Never use outdoor propane appliances such as outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills and portable generators indoors or in enclosed areas, as doing so can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.
  • Never store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed or tent.
  • Purchase and install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Know what to do if the alarm sounds.
  • Never use a gas oven or range-top burners to heat a room or area.
  • Do not try to modify or repair valves, regulators or other appliance parts.
  • Never turn on a light switch, use any power source, or inspect household appliances while standing in water, as this can result in electrocution.
  • Inspect chimneys, flue pipes and vent connectors for damage, blockage or debris.
  • Inspect your propane appliances for water or other damage, if it is safe to do so. If the appliances have electric components and have been exposed to water, this can create a fire hazard.

Propane safety rules for children

  • Keep children off propane storage tanks and away from shut-off valves.
  • Do not allow children to turn on propane appliances, including propane barbecues, without adult supervision.
  • Do not allow children to touch service valves on unconnected cylinders.
  • Keep paper and toys away from space heaters, furnaces and gas fireplaces.

What to do if a propane appliance has been damaged or shut off

If you suspect that any of your propane appliances, equipment or vehicles have been damaged or exposed to water, or if your gas supply is turned off,

  • Schedule a complete inspection of your propane system by a Valley Energy service technician.
  • The technician can also perform a leak test and re-light your pilot lights.
  • Do not turn on the gas supply or use or operate propane appliances, equipment or vehicles until your system has been inspected by a qualified service technician.

Heating oil safety

  • Never burn outdoor oil-burning devices in the home.
  • Keep children away from fuel storage tanks or heating equipment.
  • Don’t smoke within five feet of a storage tank.
  • Keep flammable materials such as papers, toys, laundry, and other chemicals away from fuel-burning appliances.
  • Keep snow and ice from falling on or near your outdoor tanks, including exposed filters and oil lines.
  • Have your oil-burning heating appliances serviced annually.
  • Purchase and install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Know what to do if the alarm sounds.
  • Store heating oil in approved containers only.
  • Never mix heating oil with gasoline.
  • If you see an oil leak, try to contain it if is safe to do so; call Valley at 860-693-2401.

Carbon monoxide safety

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the “silent killer”. It’s a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas. When it is inhaled, it inhibits the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen throughout the body. It can poison the body quickly in high concentrations, or slowly over long periods of time.

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal, gasoline or wood. This incomplete combustion can occur in any device that depends on combustion, including furnaces, room heaters, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves or grills and any gas-powered vehicle or engine. Automobiles left running in attached garages, gas barbecues operated inside the house, kerosene heaters that are improperly vented, or chimneys or vents that are dirty or clogged may create unsafe levels of carbon monoxide.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning

Valley Energy technicians are trained in the proper maintenance of your heating appliances. Having your system properly installed and maintained at regular intervals is the best way to ensure that your heating system does not contribute to the risk of carbon monoxide exposure.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness, In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to carbon monoxide.

What do I do if I suspect carbon monoxide levels are dangerous?

  • If there is a strong smell of propane in your home, or if anyone in your home is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, ensure that everyone leaves the home immediately. Leave the door open. After getting out of the building, call your local fire department or 911.
  • If your carbon monoxide detector sounds, do not assume it’s a false alarm. Open all the doors and windows to ventilate the home. If you cannot find the problem and the alarm continues, call the fire department.
  • If the fire department finds or suspects that there have been dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home, call Valley Energy immediately at 860-693-2401.

Carbon monoxide alarms

Valley Energy recommends that you purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors are sold in hardware stores, home improvement stores, department stores, other retail stores and online. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing, maintaining and testing the device. Take the time to learn about the use of carbon monoxide detectors in your home to ensure that you are using this equipment properly and effectively. Finally, remember that carbon monoxide detectors do not eliminate the need for regular inspection, maintenance and safe use of fuel-burning equipment.

Call Before You Dig

Digging in the wrong spot during construction or renovations can damage your underground gas lines, telephone and cable TV wires, as well as water and sewer connections. This could cut off service not just to your home, but to others in your neighborhood — and could cause a safety risk to yourself and others. It’s also expensive to fix.

Whether you’re installing a fence, landscaping, digging a garden, renovating or building an addition to your home, excavating for a new porch or swimming pool, or anything else that requires digging, contact us to get more information on locating, marking and avoiding your underground lines.