Danger can be in the basement!

First – Happy April Fools’ Day.  I hope you have had several laughs today.  Today is truly a silly day devoted to laughing and smiling.  Now on to some serious thoughts……………

Yesterday we talked about how the garage can house some truly nasty and noxious fumes, odors, and toxic smells.  Staying with that lovely thought let’s take a look as something that is in the majority of Vermont homes – propane.  Propane has several names, Propane Gas, LPG, LP, or just plain gas.  There are two types of gas, natural gas and propane gas.  Today let’s restrict our talk to Propane.

Probably the most common way of heating homes in Vermont is with Propane Gas, this is the gas that is stored in tanks that come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.  There’s the little one attached to the gas-grill all the way up to huge bottles that lay over on their side in the yard.  These tanks store the Liquid Propane Gas until it is burned to create heat either for hot water, heating your home or cooking a hot dog.

The major advantage of propane is that it burns cleaner than other fuels and as a result is more environmentally friendly.

A major characteristic of Propane is that it is heavier than air and will sink whereas Natural Gas is lighter than air and rises up into the atmosphere.

It is the “Heavier than Air” characteristic that we are looking at today.  Should you have even a tiny leak of Propane Gas inside your home it will sink lower and lower filling the lowest level of your home.  Typically that lowest level is the basement.  Should propane gas leak inside your home it can fill the basement with a dangerous level of explosive gas.  A tiny spark will set off an explosion, the consequences of which we choose not to investigate today.

We are not condemning propane!  We are strongly urging you to have your Propane appliances such as the stove, heater, hot water heater, gas dryer, etc. all checked and inspected so that you know everything is safe.

Did you know that gas is colorless and odorless?  It does not smell!  Gas, both natural and propane have a harmless chemical additive that is there so you will “smell” the gas.  Check with your Gas Company to see what they recommend should you smell gas.

Be safe!

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