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Fuel Storage System Winter Storm Safety Tips

There are some simple precautions you can take to keep your heating system safe this winter from the elements.  Falling snow and ice can cause serious damage to your fuel storage system.  For your safety, please make every effort to keep your propane and/or oil storage systems free from significant volumes of snow and ice that could cause damage.

After a snow storm: Should your tank become covered in snow, use a broom to clear it as a shovel may damage the tank.  Be aware of icicles and snow that may fall off your roof and onto your tank.  Weight from the icicles can cause structural damage to your home and may lead to collapsing of awnings or gutters to fall as well.

After the storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines or piping, or damage to your tank. Immediately contact your local utility company or Irving Energy if any of these hazards exist. Do not attempt repairs yourself.

Finally, you should clear snow and ice from your driveway and clear a path to your tank so we can keep your tank full and your home warm all winter.

 

More information:

Heating Oil Safety

Propane Safety

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Health Canada Warning: CFM Inc.(Majestic Brand) Fireplaces Owners

Notice: The Health Canada advisory was updated on October 15, 2012 to clarify the description of the products affected.

Health Canada has issued a warning advising consumers to stop using certain propane and natural gas free-standing stoves manufactured by CFM Inc. (Majestic brand free-standing stoves) that were sold under the names “Insta-flame” or “Northern Flame.  The models impacted have the series “FSDV22”, “FSDV30” and “FSDV32” within the model number. The model number can also include a prefix (letters before) and suffix (letters after).  Models with the prefix “R” (for example: RFSDV22, RFSDV30 and RFSDV32) are not included in this advisory.  Please click here to read the advisory from Health Canada.

If you have any questions call us at 1.855.299.5667

 

Common Questions

Do I have the fireplace being recalled?

If you have a freestanding fireplace, that looks like a wood stove, it could be a model being recalled. Fireplaces built into the wall and inserts are not affected. The models impacted have the series “FSDV22”, “FSDV30” and “FSDV32” within the model number. The model number can also include a prefix (letters before) and suffix (letters after).  Models with the prefix “R” (for example: RFSDV22, RFSDV30 and RFSDV32) are not included in this advisory.

Where do I find the Model Number?

Typically this is located on a rating plate attached to a little chain on the bottom access door.

What is the risk of using the fireplace?

Based on an advisory from Health Canada, consumers are being advised to stop using Majestic brand fireplaces that bear the trade names Insta-flame or Northern Flame. The models impacted have the series “FSDV22”, “FSDV30” and “FSDV32” within the model number. The model number can also include a prefix (letters before) and suffix (letters after).  Models with the prefix “R” (for example: RFSDV22, RFSDV30 and RFSDV32) are not included in this advisory.  The relief dampers may not function properly causing the excess gas to ignite and then the glass to explode when lighting the fireplace, posing a serious safety risk. Please review the Health Canada Website for more details.

Are there any precautions I should be taking in the meantime?

Do not use the fireplace. If possible, turn off the pilot light and turn off the propane tank (only if this is the only appliance hooked up to the tank).

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Heating Oil and Propane Safety – Extreme Weather

Given the recent events of hurricane Irene, we are reminded how important it is to be prepared to handle unusual and extreme weather conditions. Here are 4 hazardous situations you should be aware of when it comes to your home heating system and how you should proceed if you find yourself in these predicaments:

Flooded Basement

Before entering your basement, make sure all power is turned off as water is a conductor of electricity and presents an extreme hazard to you and your family. You should familiarize your family with emergency shut offs for both power and water.

Your heating equipment must be clear of all water and inspected by a licensed electrician prior to restart.

External Flooding

If your property is flooded, it is important to check to ensure that any lines from your propane or heating oil storage tank have not been disconnected or that the tanks have not moved with the force of the flooding water. In extreme cases, tanks have actually been swept away with the current. It is crucial you contact your fuel supplier immediately to report these types of situations.

Propane Leaks

Propane has an additive which causes the product to smell like rotten eggs that helps in detecting if there may be a leak. If you smell gas inside our outside of your home:

  • Do NOT operate any switches, telephones/cell phones, electrical appliances or light any matches/cigarettes
  • LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY! Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
  • Call 911 or your local fire department if outside your home (such as a cell phone in a safe location or your neighbor’s home)
  • Remain out of your home until the fire department OR a Technician arrives
  • Do Not start any vehicles around the tank
  • DO NOT RETURN TO THE BUILDING OR AREA until your local fire department and your Irving Energy technician determine that it is safe to do so.
  • Get your gas system checked by a qualified technician to ensure that it is leak free.

Learn more about Propane Safety

Heating Oil Leaks

If you detect a heating oil leak, then contact your fuel supplier immediately. Heating oil can contaminate water and soil, and so it is crucial that a proper and thorough clean up is completed. To avoid heating oil leaks ensure your heating oil tank is inspected annually when you have your furnace cleaned. In the winter, clear the vent line of any snow and ice to prevent pressure from building up. Flooding may lead to the rusting of your oil tank, and so it is important to get it inspected or replaced by your heating oil supplier. When you replace your heating oil tank, consider getting a fibreglass oil tank. A fibreglass oil tank will not rust and will not leak.

Learn more about Heating Oil Safety

 

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Propane and Heating Oil Safety – After the Snow Melts

Now that the snow is FINALLY melting, it is time to talk about the safety of the heating oil and propane lines that run outside from your tank into your home. This year was one of the most challenging in memory regarding the amount of snow and ice that fell off roofs. As the snow continued to accumulate, it wasn’t until March, or even April that the snow started to melt and slide off the roof. This melting snow and ice can be very dangerous to anyone or anything below. Your heating oil and propane tanks and lines are also at risk if they are not installed in an optimal location.

One night, we received a call about a propane leak caused by falling ice. The ice hit a propane regulator. After advising the customer to temporarily relocate to a safer location outside of their home, Irving Technicians responded immediately (along with the local fire department) and repaired the damage and relocated the regulator to a more appropriate location away from the dangers of falling ice. I then decided to take a good hard look at my own home. My propane lines were installed by the previous homeowner’s propane company and they run directly below the earth’s surface. I’m not sure where they run, but I can assume that the ground above them took the brunt of heavy snow and ice when it fell off my roof. Because of this, I’m going to call my local Irving Energy branch and have new propane lines run in a safer location (on the gable end of my home.)

I recommend that everyone take this time to look at your heating oil or propane tank and ensure it is in the safest location possible. Or better yet, call a highly trained Irving professional technician so they can visit and give you sound advice on what safety improvements you can make to your system. Here’s to a great Spring and I look forward to talking with you soon!

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Propane and Heating Oil Delivery Tip

Our propane and heating oil delivery drivers take pride in keeping you warm. Winter is a busy time for heating fuel companies and to ensure proper delivery to your home and business our drivers send along this friendly safety reminder. Please ensure that we can easily access your propane tanks and fuel fill pipes and that your driveway is clear and safe. Use special caution when clearing snow around tanks and lines to ensure you do not damage them. Additionally, ensure the vents on any direct vented heating appliances are clear from snow that my have fallen off your roof or your deck. If you have any other questions concerning propane or heating oil delivery please call 1.888.310.1924 or visit our Safety Tips. Propane users can find more safety tips online at www.pgane.org and www.propanesafety.com.

Please help us keep you warm this winter. Your comfort is very important to us and we appreciate your help so that we can deliver your fuel safely.

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