|Property Owners Advised to Put Safety First and Utilize Assistance Program Opportunities|
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today advised homeowners and landlords to put safety first when preparing for home heating needs this fall and winter. DEC reminded property owners to avoid connecting occupied buildings to wells producing natural gas because doing so can be dangerous and potentially deadly. DEC also encouraged property owners who use oil for heat to inspect fuel storage tanks for potential leaks or spills before receiving shipments of fuel oil for the upcoming heating season. In addition, with the expectation of rising supply and delivery costs, DEC urged residents to take steps now to utilize programs designed to save consumers energy and money.
“New Yorkers are encouraged to plan ahead and prepare to ensure a safe and warm home this winter season,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Property owners using oil for heat should inspect fuel storage tanks for leaks and spills before receiving shipments for the heating season and be extra cautious if connecting to a home-use well. Annual inspections and simple precautions can help prevent leaks and spills and protect people, property, and the environment.”
Natural Gas Safety
Natural gas produced by a gas or oil well is odorless and difficult or impossible for a person to detect. While the primary component of natural gas is methane, gases like propane and butane may also be present in addition to water, because the gas is raw and untreated. This may result in improper and erratic combustion in appliances. The risk of an explosion due to natural gas build-up in a home is substantially greater if that gas is not provided by a utility.
If a home-use well is connected to a house or other structure:
For questions and additional information about “home-use wells,” contact DEC at (518) 402-8056 or email@example.com. Also, visit DEC’s website for photos and additional details at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/
Fuel Oil Safety
DEC also reminds home and property owners to inspect heating fuel oil storage tanks for leaks or spills before ordering and receiving fuel oil.
Annual inspections can prevent leaks and spills and protect property, public health, and the environment. Homeowners are advised to look for the following concerns and contact their fuel oil service provider if they see any of the items from the lists below.
For above-ground heating fuel oils storage tanks, look for:
For underground heating fuel oils storage tanks, look for:
DEC offers tips on environmentally friendly home heating safety and a checklist covering many issues for home heating oil tanks in this month’s Living the Green Life webpage, offering both prevention and response guidance about fuel spills. Fuel oil spills or leaks should be reported to the DEC Spills Hotline at 1-800-457-7362. For more information on home heating oil tank stewardship, visit the Underground Heating Oil Tanks: A Homeowner’s Guide webpage on DEC’s website.
Help for Homeowners
New Yorkers can take the following steps in their homes to help protect against higher energy costs, including: