This week we are shifting gears completely away from the entire price conversation and we are focusing on safety. As many of you are aware by now, there was a substantial natural gas leak in Norwich this week that shut down the Route 12 corridor for an entire day. So what does this have to do with Blueox? At Blueox, we are committed to our customers and our community’s safety. Propane gas is a very safe, and very efficient heating fuel as long as propane providers follow the rules. Read more to understand who is responsible for what – especially in an emergency!
Natural Gas Vs. Propane Gas
To start we don’t want to make any assumptions, so we are going to highlight how to know which gas is present in your home. Homes that burn Natural Gas require underground gas piping infrastructure. Propane gas is brought to your home in delivery trucks (like ours). A specialized driver transfers the liquid gas into specialized tanks outside your home (typically white in color and can come in a variety of sizes). Both gases can provide your home with heat, hot water, cooking, drying, fireplaces etc.
Ok following along so far?
Regulation should impact propane and natural gas the same way. Sadly it does not. The propane industry is responsible for following an entirely different set of rules than the natural gas industry. (Don’t get us wrong as much as we love talking about too much government regulation – the safety of your family or business is one we are on board with!)
So how do you know if your propane provider is following all the current regulations? If your company isn’t doing the things on our list – it’s time to change!
Propane tanks are not typically owned by homeowners even though they are sometimes present when you move into a new home or apartment. Therefore tanks are the legal responsibility of the propane supply company. When you establish an account with your propane provider (regardless if the tank was already at the home) the propane provider is required by law to perform a gas leak check to ensure every appliance is hooked up correctly and your safety is confirmed. (This is one of those good regulations we were talking about!). Blueox does not charge for these gas check inspections because it is too important to make sure you are safe and …
We never want cost to be a barrier to safety!
Also, this is one of those regulations that does NOT apply to the natural gas industry. You just call them up and they turn you on, no inspection required. At Blueox, our certified trained technicians teach you what to do should you think there is a potential leak. Our technicians will discuss what the gas is hooked up to, how to turn off the tank if a leak is suspected and answer any additional questions or safety concerns.
When is it ok and when is it not ok? IF YOU SMELL GAS (rotten egg smell) NEVER ASSUME IT IS OK!
(Should we repeat for the people in the back? – NEVER ASSUME IT IS OK!)
Now don’t get us wrong, there are a variety of reasons you could smell propane near a tank. A faint smell of propane may exist if you had a delivery that day. This smell should fade relatively quickly. Also, when appliances are operating and burning propane gas you may smell it faintly near the exhaust of that appliance. Again this smell should fade quickly after the appliance stops running. If you are ever in question, turn off the tank (if it is safe to do so) and leave the home immediately. Call your propane supplier or the fire department from a neighbor’s house. Even a cell phone can cause an ignition source for natural gas or propane gas. Your propane provider should respond immediately!
Lastly, gas piping maintenance maybe your responsibility. So just to be clear while the tank is your provider’s responsibility, any gas line that runs inside your home is your responsibility. This should never stop a propane supplier from responding and securing the leak, however there maybe charges to repairs of the piping that the leak resides in. This same rule obviously also applies to your appliances. These rules are also the same for natural gas. However one big difference, most propane companies have trained technicians (or should have trained technicians … We do we do we do -over here!). Natural gas companies typically don’t at the residential level. If you smell gas they will assist with turning off supply. Trained professionals can handle responding quickly to rectify the problem but may not repair the leak.
Where do we stand? We stand with you!
Careful propane supply is important to us at Blueox. Kevin McCumber, Energy Operations Manager at Blueox shared, “I am proud of how serious we take the safety of our customers. It feels good to know we do the right things and people can rely on us. We have even hosted the local Oxford Fire Department on joint propane safety trainings to ensure if a disaster happens we are all prepared.”
At Blueox we hope this week’s education season gives you a chance to reflect on your relationship with your propane supplier. We don’t want you to take extreme fear or panic from the information we share. We do want you to take a few minutes and consider if you were in an emergency gas leak situation –Would you know what to do? Can you rely on your supplier to guide you? Can you rely on them to respond quickly to protect your family and your home? If you answered NO to any of these questions – give us a call. You don’t have to be a customer, we will still take the time to answer your questions and make you feel comfortable. Don’t take this for granted, let our education continue to empower you to ensure a safe and comfortable home.
Another reason we are a different kind of energy company!