Propane gas grills are undoubtedly one of the most popular outdoor appliances used today. Gas grills are replacing charcoal grills in increasing numbers because of their ease of use without the clean-up involved with charcoal grills. LP Gas grills commonly use a portable propane bottle that can easily be re-filled or exchanged for continued enjoyment without the hassle of loading more charcoal and stirring up the ashes. Operating a grill safely will ensure that the food is prepared properly and the grill user is safe from harm.
In an effort to avoid any problems and to ensure a safe and enjoyable summer season, we offer the following tips:
• Half of all gas grill home structure fires begin on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.
• Always use your grill outside in a well-ventilated area. Never bring or store cylinders inside or in an enclosed space such as an enclosed porch or a shed.
• Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
• Use flame-resistant pads underneath the grill.
• Propane is a liquid hydrocarbon that vaporizes into a colorless, odorless, highly flammable gas. In properly maintained and operated systems, propane is completely safe. However, it can be dangerous if an uncontrolled release of propane occurs. In order to detect an uncontrolled release of propane, an odorant (usually ethyl mercaptan) is added to the propane
• Do not allow children to tamper or play with the cylinder or grill.
• Maintain a three foot safe area around the grill.
• Do not wear loose fitting clothing while barbecuing.
• Keep grill covered when not in use however, make sure the grill is turned off and cooled down before covering.
• Do not smoke in or near propane cylinders.
• Check the gas cylinder hose and connections for leaks before using it for the first time each season. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose and fittings will reveal escaping gas by releasing bubbles. If you determine that your grill has a gas leak either through the bubble test or if you smell gas and there is no flame, turn off the tank and contact a qualified propane contractor. If the leak persists with the tank off, leave the area and call the fire department immediately.
• Never use matches or a lighter to check for leaks!!
• Always use and store propane cylinders in an upright, vertical position, store tanks away from all potential sources of ignition.
• Make sure the grill burner controls are turned off and keep the cylinder valve closed when not in use.
• Use long handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from the heat and flames while cooking.
• Never leave the grill unattended while in use.
• Periodically remove grease and fat that has built up in the trays below the grill as eventually it will ignite from the heat of the grill.
• At the end of the season, after disconnecting the propane tank, cover the disconnected hose-end fittings and burner air intakes with small plastic bags or protective fitting caps to keep out dirt, moisture and insects
• If you repaint your barbecue shell, choose a high heat, fire-resistant point. If you repaint your gas cylinder, use only white paint. NEVER PAINT A TANK BLACK OR SIMILAR COLOR. IT IS ILLEGAL AND THE EXTRA HEAT ABSORBED BY THE TANK CAN CAUSE OVER-PRESSURIZATION.
• If there is a significant and uncontrollable release of gas or a fire, call the fire department immediately and move all people and pets away from the area.
People ask me almost daily if we are staying busy at Advanced Propane now that the weather has turned warmer. Of course the stress level of servicing our customers when the temperatures are below freezing can climb high, but when the weather warms it seems there is still plenty to keep us busy. Spring’s arrival means it is time to check the equipment that has worked so hard during the winter season, time to learn what is new in the industry and a time to begin the implementation of new marketing plans.
It is also the time when we can get away for awhile. There is nothing like a good vacation to refresh ourselves so that as the next heating season comes around, we can be vigilant for our customers. Vacations mean different things to different people; for some it means a time to travel as a family while others use vacation to stay home and rest. This season my family is doing both! I am looking forward to a week near the beach with my family and friends, but I am equally as excited about the week I am staying home. Oh, I am sure I will play some golf with my good friend and my dad, but I will also probably do a little work in the garden, the yard and around the house. But one thing I can guarantee that I will do is slow down.
One of the trends I see on my friend’s Facebook status is a rush for the weekend. “Only 3 more days until the weekend, I can’t wait!” Bet you have seen that post or maybe even posted it yourself. I have decided that I am finished rushing to the weekend or some other date that I anticipate. I believe that each day is a day to be enjoyed. For me it may be a Monday on the porch talking to my daughter about whatever is on her mind. Or even a Thursday night when we finally watch an episode of some television show we have saved on the DVR. And of course you can take in a local baseball game with family or friends.
My grandfather used to tell me when I was a teenager the older he got that the years did not seem to last as long. Although I am still younger than he was when he told me this, I finally realize he was right.
My challenge to you is to slow down and enjoy! Enjoy each day, your family, your job and your friends. Enjoy life.
Propane’s unmatched benefits as a home energy source have never looked better for providing the value, efficiency, comfort, convenience with less dependence on electricity that homeowners want.
VALUE. While a home heating system takes more energy to operate than almost any other appliance, the cost of keeping your home warm and comfortable can be lowered with the right energy source. Homes with a dual-fuel propane/electric unit perform significantly better in energy cost savings than all-electric homes, resulting in higher efficiency, comfort and savings, which mean a higher resale value.
EFFICIENCY. A dual-fuel system using propane operates more efficiently than any other high efficiency heat pump. Dual-fuel units allow a home to run on electric heat during mild winter temperatures before switching to warmer propane heat when outside temperatures become too cold to maintain heat inside the home. Propane’s efficiency means annual energy savings for homeowners.
COMFORT. Propane gas is not only efficient and economical, but many homeowners prefer propane gas heat over electric because it is more comfortable… pumping out air that can be 25-40 degrees warmer than electric heat pumps. Propane heats air quicker and more thoroughly, keeping your home warmer and more comfortable during the coldest winter months.
CONVENIENCE. Propane’s versatility allows homeowners to power a wide variety of appliances at an already lower energy cost. The convenience of hot water on demand offered by the tankless propane water heater, or the even, thorough cooking of a gas stove, outdoor lighting and swimming pool heaters powered with propane, all with less reliance on electrical power, are just a few benefits that lend to an enhanced lifestyle.
SAFETY. Propane is safely used by 60 million Americans – and stored, handled, and transported by thousands of professionals – every day. Propane has an enviable safety record due in large part to stringent codes and regulations and the propane industry’s extensive training and safety awareness programs. According to results from an extensive study done by the National Fire Protection Association… by a four-to-one margin, the safest way to provide heat is with gas.
GREEN SAVINGS. Approved as an alternative fuel by the Clean Air Act of 1990, propane is one of the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels.
It’s even cleaner than electricity, which, 50% of the time, is generated by coal-burning power plants proving costly to the environment; while electric rates have increased 50% the last 5 years prove costly to consumers. Propane is also non-toxic, so it is not harmful to soil or water.
Beginning April 1, Tennessee Valley Authority will change its 19-year old rate structure to more accurately reflect TVA’s higher cost to generate power by passing that growing cost along to its 155 power distributors in seven states. Gone will be the flat rate per kilowatt-hour TVA has billed power distributors for years.
TVA says the cost to produce power fluctuates from hour to hour, day to day and month to month. During peak demand times consumers have at times taxed the electric system exceeding TVA’s capacity to meet the need. TVA has had to find others ways to provide the much needed energy, often turning to more expensive fuels like natural gas, or resorting to the costly option of purchasing power on the open market. All the while, customers have paid the same rate per kilowatt-hour regardless of the time of day or year.
That is about to change. The rate structure change mandated by TVA will more accurately reflect the cost of power during peak times, and is designed to help reduce peak power usage in the region with the hope it will reduce the need for new power plants. TVA will now charge their distributors different rates depending on months of the year consumers use the most electricity. Rates will be higher during winter and summer months: December through March and June through September.
It is also conceivable in the future TVA will begin billing distributors higher rates based on the time of day electricity is consumed at peak demand. Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are working hard to mitigate the impact of demand billing on a monthly basis, by offering energy efficiency tips and encouraging consumers to be ever-mindful to shift their energy-consuming chores to off-peak hours.
Aside from the growing energy demand, other pressures at work are added regulations mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adding another expensive hurdle. The EPA will soon begin regulating greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. To comply with these regulations, new power plants may have to be built to meet the growing demand, while a number of currently operating plants are retired because they do not meet new standards. For electric co-operatives, tighter emissions controls and the rising cost of building materials could have a multi-billion-dollar impact on the cost of doing business.
We started a giving campaign in November of last year to see how much money we could raise for Faces of Hope Children’s Therapy Center serving the Middle Tennessee area. Faces of Hope works with children affected with autism and other special needs providing much needed therapy and support as well as training for their families. As with many non-profits these days, this program has been in critical need of funds. We committed to donate $1 for each new “like” to our Facebook page through the end of year, and are pleased with the success. Therefore, we decided to extend the promotion through April 15, 2011. You can help us raise funds for Faces of Hope Children’s Therapy – get the word out – $1 for every new “like” our Facebook page receives and $30 for every new Advanced Propane customer who mentions our Faces of Hope Giving Campaign. How quickly can we raise $1,000? The challenge is on!
Accepting the check on behalf of Faces of Hope Children’s Therapy Center is volunteer Kathy Gross, therapist Jessica Williamson, and FOH Board Chairman Jimmy Overton with Advanced Propane Sales Manager, Kevin Etheridge.