School is out for the summer and that translates into more children being home alone during the day. Following are safety tips and emergency procedures compiled by the National Propane Gas Association to help area parents keep their children safe at home.
Parents should take their children on a tour of all home appliances, such as the furnace, water heater, refrigerator, gas dryer, gas grill, etc. and have them listen to the noises they make. This also is a good time to teach children about basic appliance safety rules including:
Never turn on appliances without an adult present.
Keep paper and toys away from gas furnaces, space heaters, ranges, water heaters, fireplaces, and any other gas appliances.
Stay away from propane tanks and pipes.
Never play with matches.
In addition to covering safety rules, parents should work with their children to devise a plan of attack for emergencies. Every child home alone should have a neighbor or adult family friend they can call in case of an emergency.
Propane has an substance added that smells like rotten eggs to help people identify a gas leak. Many companies help familiarize customers and their families with this odor. Parents should encourage their children to follow these steps it they smell gas:
Get out of the home immediately without running.
Do not use any electric switches or appliances.
Go to an adult for help.
Call a parent from a nearby phone so they can contact the gas company or fire department.
_ Editor's note: This public service article on safety was written by Dave Stanton, district manager of Ferrellgas in Crystal River. For information, call 795-2434.