Safety Tips & Information
At Haffner’s, we take safety seriously. We are dedicated to keeping our customers and our staff safe at all times. In fact, it is our top priority. And, we know that the key to safe behaviors is education. The more you know, the safer you and your family will be around oil and propane equipment.
What to do if you smell gas:
- No flames or sparks. Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate lights, appliances, telephones, or cell phones. Flames or sparks from these sources can trigger an explosion or fire.
- Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
- Leave the area immediately. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
- Report the leak. From a nearby home or building away from the gas leak, call us right away. If you can’t reach us, call 911 or your local fire department.
- Do not return to the building. Do not return until your propane retailer determines it is safe to do so.
- Get your system checked. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.
For any, and all oil leaks please contact Haffner’s at 866-It-Kicks (866-485-4257). We will immediately send out a service technician to address the spill, and report it to your states’ department of environmental services if it falls within the requirements. Please call your local fire department, if necessary.
Winter Warmth & Safety
Because of higher heating costs, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) expects increased use of supplemental heating sources (space heaters, wood stoves, etc.) especially during the winter. With increased use comes increased fire risk.
Most fireplace and chimney fires are caused by creosote build-up. The leading cause of space heater fires is combustibles too close to the heaters.
When properly installed and maintained, propane and heating oil systems are among the safest heat sources anywhere. However, there are some basic safety measures you should take in the unlikely event you are experiencing difficulties with your heating system.
- Keep or maintain a 36-inch clearance between space heaters and anything that can burn. Never store paints, thinners or other solvents near your furnace or water heater.
- Have furnaces, wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, chimney connectors and all other heating equipment inspected annually by a professional and cleaned as often as inspectors suggest. Use only wood that is properly seasoned to reduce creosote build-up.
- Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. Allow fireplace and wood stove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container.
- Install all gas-fueled heating devices with proper attention to ventilation. If unvented gas space heaters are used in bedrooms or bathrooms, make sure they are small and well-mounted. NFPA codes prohibit use of liquefied petroleum gas heaters with self-contained fuel supplies.
- Install and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Keep all-purpose fire extinguishers on each floor of your home. Check them regularly. Know how to use them.
- Know the location of gas and oil shutoff valves and how to use them.
- Keep upstairs heating and return air duct openings clear.
- Never hang things from gas pipes or fuel oil pipes.
- Teach your children what to do in case of an emergency.
- Propane has a specially added odorant to alert you that it is present. If you ever smell propane in your home, shut off your tank immediately and us.
- Know how to shut off your propane tank.
- Do not try to judge if a leak is serious or not. Any leak is serious.
- A propane detector is a great idea, especially in homes of individuals with an impaired sense of smell.
- Propane is heavier than air, and thus settles in low-level areas, such as basements. Be aware of this if you do not frequently enter your basement.
- Fuel oil has a very pungent odor. If you smell it, contact your heating fuel provider immediately.
- Visually inspect your heating fuel tank for rust spots or leaks.
Carbon Monoxide Tips
- Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.
- CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
- Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
Energy Efficiency Tips
Small changes can have a big impact on improving your energy efficiency. The extra bonus? You’ll save money, too.
We’ve put together some tips to help you use energy more efficiently. Taking just one or two of these recommended steps can make a big difference in reducing your annual heating bill.
- Contact Haffner’s to have your heating system regularly inspected, cleaned and tested for efficiency and proper operation. A heating system that runs well is more efficient and will save you money.
- Invest in a thermostat timer that lowers your home’s temperature when you are not at home. You can cut your annual heating bills by as much as 10% a year by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours per day.
- Protect against drafts by caulking and weather-stripping around windows, doors and other openings such as ductwork, fans and vents.
- Install flow-restricting shower heads. You can reduce hot water usage by up to 50% without affecting shower pressure.
- Consider switching to a propane water heater. Over time, propane water heaters can cost up to one-third less to operate and they recover hot water twice as quickly as electric water heaters.
- Change or clean furnace filters monthly. Clean filters will increase the efficiency of your furnace. If you are on a monthly payment plan, use the receipt of your bill as a reminder.
- Run washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers with a full load.
- Turn down your water heater from the standard 120 degrees to 115 degrees. You can save more than 10% on your water heating bill.
- Increase your water heater’s efficiency by draining it every six months to remove mineral deposits and sediments.
- Replacing a heating system or water heater? Buy the most efficient model available. Energy savings over the life of the equipment will easily justify the higher initial cost.
- Check your chimney and appliance vent systems at least once a year to ensure that all connections are secure.
- Keep vents and air returns clear of obstructions such as furniture, lint, dust, or pet hair.
- Visually inspect your oil tank for leaks.