The Winter Home Emergency Checklist

winter home emergencyWhether we like it or not, we’ll all be experiencing extremely cold temperatures in the upcoming months. The question is … will you and your family be ready? There are a lot of things you can do to make sure your home is prepared for winter weather emergencies, and Keystone Propane is here with great advice on winter weather home safety.

Be Aware of Forecasts

A big part of being prepared for inclement weather is knowing when to expect it. Although weather forecasts may not always be 100% accurate, it’s still a good idea to be aware of the week’s predictions. After all, knowing is half the battle, and it’s always better to be prepared for a possible emergency that never happens that being caught off guard.

Fireplace Maintenance

Nothing is as heart warming as a glowing hearth. But before you light your fireplace for the first time this season, you should arrange to have your flue or chimney inspected by a professional every year. If you’ve never had an inspection before and are unsure who to contact, reach out to your local fire department for a list of local recommendations.

Smoke Detector Installation

It’s an unfortunate fact that thousands of American families experience home fires each year, which is why it’s so important to make sure you install a smoke detector in any areas being heating by a wood stove, fireplace, or kerosene heater. You should also have a carbon monoxide detector installed in these areas, and always make sure your fuel-burning exhaust is being vented properly to the outdoors.

Additional Insulation

Many people add extra insulation to windows and doors to prepare for winter, but you should also do a quick survey to identify additional insulation opportunities. For example, you may consider adding extra insulation to any water lines that run along side your home’s exterior walls. This will reduce the chance of frozen pipes during bouts of freezing temperatures.

Pet Protection

When the weather is particularly frigid, be sure to bring your furry friends inside whenever possible. If it’s absolutely necessary to keep your pets outdoors, always provide shelter, warmth, and drinkable water.

Snow Removal

Chances are good you haven’t though about your snow blower since the last time you used it, but don’t wait until you’re buried in three feet of snow to make sure it’s working properly. Set aside time to inspect all of your snow removal equipment and have them serviced if necessary.

If you have any additional Winter Home Emergency Checklist suggestions, please leave your ideas in the comments below!

Avoiding Propane Shortages in 2015

propane shortagesSudden and unexpected propane shortages took many homeowners buy surprise last year. Luckily, there have been many precautions taken since that time to prevent future U.S. shortages and keep propane costs to a minimum.

Many programs have been implemented to help members of the farming community who rely heavily on propane to fuel their family businesses. Both the propane industry as a whole and farmers have recognized the immediate need for increased storage, and have worked together closely to forecast their supply needs. Strategic planning in conjunction with assistance programs to purchase additional bulk tanks and pre-buy propane under contract have greatly contributed to alleviating the squeeze on the farming community.

So what does this mean for the average propane user? Studies show that residential propane prices have dropped significantly in the Northeast Region, and industry experts predict that last year’s price spikes are unlikely to happen again. This optimism is credited to the fact that both consumers and dealers are being extremely proactive.

Propane dealers throughout the Northeast Region intentionally have a lot more propane in stock than they did this time last year. They have also strongly encouraged their customers to order their propane early, make pricing arrangements, and do everything they can to make sure that their homes are as energy efficient as possible.

As you well know, energy conservation has a multitude of benefits for the homeowners as well as the environment. Here are a few easy things you can do to upgrade your home’s efficiency today:

  • Check old windows for gaps that allow cold air in and warm air out. These can be fixed quickly with just a little bit of calking.
  • Eliminate drafts under doors by placing a long throw pillow along the floor in front of the gap.
  • Turn down the thermostat at the night while you and your family are sleeping, and again while you’re away at work and school.

At Keystone Propane, we value our customers and do everything in our power to provide you with outstanding service. We look forward to meeting all of your propane needs this winter and for many years to come! If you have any questions regarding your future propane orders, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.

Simplify Your Winter Propane Deliveries

propane deliveriesWe may be in the heart of the fall season, but like it or not, Old Man Winter is sneaking around the bend. As we enjoy the colorful foliage, it’s hard not to think about the freezing cold and snowy months in our immediate future.

We’d like to think that Winter’s beauty is the reward for all of the extra work we need to do in order to navigate through our normal daily lives. Everything from snow removal to dangerous road conditions changes the way we plan our days. And once you turn your heat on for the first time since the Spring, it’s also time to start thinking about how you can simplify your propane deliveries in the upcoming months.

Keystone Propane wants to help simplify your life, which is why we put together this list of tips to keep your regular propane deliveries on track.

  • Be aware of your levels. Try your best to keep an eye on how full your tanks are and check them regularly. This will reduce the risk of you running low on fuel and lessen the number of emergency deliveries you may require throughout the year.
  • Do your best to keep your driveway clear of snow during inclement weather to make it as easy as possible for the propane truck to safely make your deliver.
  • If there is a particular part of your property where the snow is heavily compacted, be sure to sprinkle salt and/or cinders. This includes driveways, sidewalks, steps, landings, and anywhere else you feel a delivery person may walk.
  • If there has been a particularly heavy downfall of snow at the time you’ve scheduled a delivery, it is advised that you clear a path through the accumulation so that your propane tanks are accessible to your delivery person.

By keeping these valuable tips in mind, you will greatly simplify your propane delivery service as well as ensure the safety of you, your family, and the Keystone Propane delivery staff. If you have any questions regarding Winter propane deliveries, please feel free to reach out to us at anytime.

Why Choose a Kamado Grill?

KAMADO Grill JOE CLASSIC 18If you are among the many grill enthusiasts who are always looking to improve your grilling techniques, you may be interested in learning more about the Kamado Grill. Kamado grilling is becoming an increasingly popular way to prepare your favorite foods, giving you juicier meats with the wood-fire flavor that makes mouths water.

What Is Kamado Grilling?

Originally used by the Japanese, the first kamados were ovens used for firing and cooking made from ceramics and other earthen materials. Modern grilling experts turned to the original kamado to create today’s version, which is considered by many to be the premium method for outdoor cooking. They are typically fueled by charcoal, however, there are also other versions that rely on gas or electricity. The ceramic construction of the kamado delivers an impressive amount of heat retention, making the kamado grill an extremely efficient means of cooking outdoors. It is also incredibly versatile in the types of foods it is able to prepare. The adventurous cook can do much more than strictly grilling, as the kamado grill is also well suited for not only smoking and roasting, but baking breads and pizza with the use of a pizza stone.

The Convenience of Kamado

One of the most attractive features of the kamado grill is that it can cook pretty much any type of meat you would normally cook in a conventional. Some kamado grills even offer a rotisserie option that will allow you to crisp your meat to perfection. Because most kamado grills usually use lump charcoal in lieu of the traditional briquettes, they burn cleaner and leave less ash behind. To keep the small amount of clean up as easy as possible, many kamados include a slide out tray to dispose of the little ash that is remaining after cooking.

Another great feature of many kamado grills is that they come with the ability to cook on multiple surfaces at the same time via an internal tray. The convenience of the internal cooking tray allows you to cook several foods at once, making it possible for your meat and vegetables to be finished cooking all at the same time. These separate heat zones are tremendous time savers for those of you looking for a quick and delicious meal.

Have you ever cooked on a kamado grill? If so, please feel free to leave us feedback on your experiences and don’t forget to visit our pages for Kamado Joe and The Big Green Egg for more information!