Wildfires are a prevalent topic right now, especially on the West Coast. The most common fires that start are typically brush fires or wildfires, typically started by wind, lightening, or human actions. These fires can form in many different climates and terrains. Once a fire is started, they can grow in strength and distance in a short time due to winds or drought. These wildfires can be detrimental to the safety and wellbeing of many families and businesses. When having a propane supply on the property, there are certain steps and precautions to take to ensure your safety and reduce property loss during these scary times.
Before the Wildfire: Be Prepared
It is important to make sure your family and your property are prepared for a possible wildfire. There are a few steps you can complete to help prevent the damage a wildfire can do.
- Know how and where to turn off your propane supply. It is important to know how and where to go to turn off your propane. (Refer to #2 in During the Wildfire). If you know your home could be susceptible to a wildfire, turn off your propane supply and appliances to stop the fuel line. Contact Delta Liquid Energy to make sure you know how to close the valve in case of an emergency.
- Clear the area around your propane tank. Clear at least 10 ft around your propane tank and grill. By clearing dead leaves, brush, and vegetation away from your fuel source, you are preventing larger damage from occurring.
- Make sure you have an adequate supply of propane. When the time a wildfire hits, it may be difficult to find a fuel supply. These types of fuel may not be readily available when needed during the time of a fire. Roads and entry ways may be affected making it difficult for delivery trucks to make it to your property.
- Create a plan: You and your family should have an emergency preparedness plan set in place in case the situation does happen. Post a list with contact information for Delta Liquid Energy and emergency services. Have a list of instructions of how to turn off the propane source, electricity, and water if necessary.
- Have disaster supply kit prepared: Make sure you have an emergency supply kit ready with water supply to last a few days, canned foods with a can opener, extra clothes and blankets, and devices like flashlights, batteries, and a battery-powered radio to stay informed of communication from local officials. We have more information in our previous blog post, How To Prepare Your Home for Fire Season.
During the Wildfire: Be Reactive
During a wildfire, you may feel like you are limited to what you can control regarding your home. There are few things you can do to make sure you and your family are safe.
- Use judgment for evacuation: It may be difficult to decide whether you must leave your house during the case of a wildfire. Listen to the communication of local and emergency officials to know if you must evacuate. If you feel like your safety is at risk, remove yourself and your family from the property.
- Turn off your gas: Whether you choose to stay or evacuate your home, you should turn off your main gas supply valve on your propane tank to prevent further damage. If it is safe to do so, turn off the main valve on your propane tank. The valve must be turned clockwise to ensure it is closed. You should also turn off the valves to your individual propane appliances if that is safe to do so. We have more information about this in our previous blog post, Safety Features of Your Propane Tank.
- Gather important belongings: If you have time before you evacuate, make sure you have your disaster supply kit. If you can, gather a few of your valuable and irreplaceable belongings like photo albums or hard drives.
After the Wildfire: Assessing the Aftermath
After the wildfire has been contained and you decide to return to your property, use extreme caution to protect your safety. If you have any doubts about returning to your home, leave the area and have a qualified building inspector examine the property to ensure it is safe.
- No vehicles. Do not drive your vehicle directly up to your home after a fire. If there is a residual gas anywhere near the home, this could cause extra danger to you and your property. Park from afar and enter the property on foot.
- If you smell the scent of gas, leave the area immediately. Propane has an added scent that smells like rotten eggs or skunk spray to detect a leak. A gas leak could lead to further damage.
- If you suspect your propane appliances, equipment, or vehicles have been damaged throughout the fire, whether it is burn or water damage, do not operate them until the system has been inspected by a qualified service technician. Schedule a technician to perform a complete inspection and leak test to ensure your system is safe.
- If you have water damage in your home after the fire, do not turn on a light switch or any power source to inspect your home. This could lead to electrocution.
- Contact Delta Liquid Energy. Contact us to let us know you are returning to your property. We can ensure that your tank and your propane supply are safe. We will typically be monitoring brush and wildfires, therefore your concern of the safety of your propane will be a high priority for us.
While wildfires are a difficult and unexpected, it is our job to make sure we are prepared. Here at Delta Liquid Energy it is our main priority to ensure your safety during these unfortunate times.