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Energy Answers Today

Consider Your Family's Safety


When choosing a home heating fuel, no consideration is more important than your family's safety. There are significant differences in the safety records of utility gas and Oilheat. Gas is volatile and has been cited as the cause of numerous explosions. Oilheat is stable and non-explosive. Both fuels are used safely in millions of households every day, but one clearly creates more risk than the other.

• Risk of explosion. Utility gas ignites readily and can explode if a leak occurs. Gas also creates some risk to the public: Since 1986, there have been more than 3,000 gas pipeline incidents, resulting in over 350 fatalities and nearly $884 million in property damage.* Oilheat is non-flammable: A lit match dropped into an open container of Oilheat will go out just as if it were dropped in water. Oilheat must be heated to 140 degrees and converted into a vapor before it will ever ignite.
(*Source: Office of Pipeline Safety)

• Carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a silent killer, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that utility gas home heating systems are the leading cause of carbon monoxide deaths in the United States. When utility gas systems malfunction, they produce deadly, invisible, odorless carbon monoxide, giving no warning of any problems before it's too late. Oilheat systems, on the other hand, produce noticeable odors and visible warning signs if there is ever a problem, alerting the homeowner before the CO reaches dangerous levels in the home.

• Danger of leaks. A utility gas leak can lead to an explosion capable of leveling a house. The chance of an oil leak from a tank is so low that residential storage tanks are not regulated by the federal government. On the rare occasion of a tank release, the Oilheat will not explode, ignite nor generate hazardous fumes, and moves so slowly in most soils that it will be contained in a small area.

• Fracking. For more on this unsafe and controversial gas drilling practice, click here.

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