Extraordinary snowfall in the mountains of California, Nevada, and Utah created deep snow that damaged propane pipes and tanks. Consumers trying to clear their roofs pushed heavy snow onto propane tanks, damaging the pipes and fittings, causing gas leaks. Some fires occurred, causing injuries and deaths.
-Use a broom instead of a shovel when clearing snow off the tank or around the exposed piping, regulator, gauges, or tubing.
-When clearing the roof, avoid shoveling snow onto exposed piping around the propane regulator near the building or onto the propane tank and piping, as well as any meters or other piping that may be in use.
-Check regulator vents on the propane system to be sure they are free of snow, ice or water that could freeze. (A two-stage system has a regulator on the tank and at the entrance of the propane piping to the building; a single regulator is on the tank.) If a regulator vent is clogged with ice or snow, contact your propane supplier immediately.
-Check all gas appliance exhaust and combustion air vents, such as dryer or furnace vents, to be sure they are kept clear of snow and ice.
Before a snow storm occurs:
-In areas where heavy snows are expected, cover the regulator, relief valves, and fill valves with a protective cap or "dome." This dome will keep out snow, ice, or rain which might clog the regulator if it freezes. In systems using more than one regulator, or where the cover is not in place, make certain the exposed regulator vent is in the downward position to keep out moisture.
-Prior to heavy snow storms, mark the location of the propane tank and other equipment with snow stakes which should extend well above the maximum anticipated snow depth. Consumers whose tanks and piping are not presently marked should mark them now.
The National Propane Gas Association is the trade association representing the propane gas industry. Contact local propane suppliers for more information about propane gas tanks and heavy snow conditions.
The mission of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The Commission's objective is to reduce the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,600 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of
thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the
nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or
mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household
chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at
301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing
to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.