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Home » Why Propane and Heating Oil Are Safe Fuels

Why Propane and Heating Oil Are Safe Fuels

Safety is Our First Priority

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At Rural Fuels, we don’t see our customers as mere account numbers in our computer system. You’re our neighbors. We see you at the grocery store, at Little League games, or at our favorite ice cream stand.

We care about you, and the safety of you, your home, and your loved ones. It’s why our heating oil and propane delivery drivers, as well as our equipment service technicians, are trained and held to the highest standards for safety in all we do for you.

It’s also why we can assure you that the propane and/or heating oil we deliver to your home is safe. However, heating systems or appliances can malfunction, so we offer this safety information, so you know if something is wrong and what to do about it.

Safe Heating Oil

Heating oil cannot burn at the temperatures that you find in a home. To ignite, heating oil must first be heated to a minimum of 140 degrees. The oil is then vaporized and burned under controlled conditions – which take place inside your boiler or furnace. If you dropped a lit match into a bucket of room temperature heating oil (don’t try this at home, or anywhere else), it would simply go out as if you dropped it in water. 

Another safety improvement when it comes to heating oil are “double-walled” tanks, which have a plastic or fiberglass inner lining that virtually eliminates oil leaks. Steel tanks, though they were sturdy, could corrode from the inside and fail or leak without warning to the homeowner.

If your oil furnace is producing black smoke or soot, contact Rural Fuels for a service call immediately. This is a sign your equipment is not working properly and the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning exists. It’s also critical to have tested and fully functional carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and to know the telltale symptoms of CO poisoning, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.

Propane Is Safe

Thanks to high industry standards and strict federal, state, and local regulations, propane has an outstanding safety record. But you do need to know how to safely handle the rare event of a propane leak.

Propane has no odor in its natural state. An odorant is added to propane gas so that it has a distinctive rotten egg smell.

You need to get out right away if you smell that rotten-egg odor. Don’t use any appliances, phones, and light switches while leaving. Extinguish any candles burning or lit cigarettes.

Once you are out of the house, turn off the supply valve on your propane tank if you can safely get to it. Then call 911 and Rural Fuels.

We urge our propane customers to install propane detectors in their homes. Carbon monoxide detectors aren’t designed to detect propane leaks.

Have questions about heating oil or propane safety? Get in touch with us today and we’ll help in any way we can.