|From the Lake Apopka Natural Gas District
When hurricane season is upon us, we as Floridians should be familiar with gas safety. When a hurricane threatens, leave the gas on unless notified by us. Because most gas facilities are located underground, rarely does a hurricane threaten your service.
Gas ranges with pilot lights require no additional care. Continue to cook as usual. When the electricity is off, surface top burners with electric ignition can be easily lit. Simply:
· Light match (preferably a wooden match)
· Hold match next to the top burner cap
· Then turn the control knob to the “light” or “high” setting. The burner will light and you can adjust the flame.
Most ovens and broilers on ranges with electric ignition cannot be used when the power is off.
Most dryers have a safety valve which automatically shut off the flow of gas. In addition, your gas dryer needs electricity to operate.
A portable grill should either be moved inside or securely tied down outside. A grill with a patio base should either be bolted down or disconnected and brought inside. A grill with a permanent post is usually secure and does not need any additional tie down. The lid of any gas grill remaining outside should be securely tied closed to prevent it from snapping open.
Water Heaters/Pool and Spa Heaters
Most water, pool, and spa heaters have a safety valve which will automatically shut off the flow of gas if the pilot light goes out. Tankless water heaters need a UPS backup device, connection to a 120V standby generator or a 12V inverter.
If Asked To Evacuate:
Leave the gas on. Turning off the gas could result in unnecessary delays in restoring your service. It is not necessary to turn off the gas at your meter or, if you use propane, at your tank. Should Lake Apopka Natural Gas deem it necessary to turn off the service, Company representatives will inform you. By leaving the gas on, you will be able to cook and, as long as there is a reliable supply of water, you will have hot water. Leaving the gas on also helps you avoid reconnection fees.
After A Hurricane:
Clean-up efforts after previous hurricanes show that more gas lines are broken during clean-up than during the actual storm. Before removing fallen trees, call for a FREE utility line location by Dialing 8-1-1.
If you smell gas:
Do not do anything to cause a spark (i.e., using a garage door opener, portable phone, etc.). Immediately evacuate the premises and call Lake Apopka Natural Gas District’s 24/7 emergency number at 800.542.3344 or 9-1-1. It is important to call from a telephone away from the building where you smell gas. In the case of a gas leak, our first responsibility is to make sure the area is safe. Service will be restored as soon as possible. All District personnel carry identification and will, upon request, show their identification before entering your home.
If Flooding Occurs:
If your home or business was flooded and gas appliances were underwater, do not attempt to operate the appliances. Water can cause damage to the internal safety mechanism and create a hazardous condition. Call Lake Apopka Natural Gas or a qualified appliance contractor for a safety inspection and to relight the pilot lights on your appliances.
Check the yard for loose items. Move and secure items not firmly installed before the storm arrives. This includes grills, patio furniture, swings, pool equipment and supplies, even water hose reels. Items such as these can be blown around by hurricane winds causing unnecessary damage to your home, propane tank or gas meter.