Natural Gas Fireplaces: 5 Safety Tips

Is there a better feeling than curling up near a warm fire on a cold day? Fireplaces are a must for many current and potential homeowners. Realtor.com reported that they were the No. 1 feature on 2015 homebuyer listings, with gas as the leading type of fireplace mentioned.

If you own a natural gas fireplace, you know why they are so desired. They use abundant, low-cost natural gas, like Atlantic Sunrise will provide. They’re convenient and efficient, and they do not require you to cut wood or clean up ashes. All you have to do is click a button or flip a switch and, voila, a warm fire is ready to go.

However, as is the case with other fireplace types, you need to operate natural gas fireplaces safely. Here are five tips to ensure you are safe with your gas fireplace:

Hire a licensed contractor to install it

Are you switching from wood to natural gas? It’s not a DIY job. Hire a licensed contractor to perform the conversion. A natural gas line or propane tank will need to be installed, and these should be handled only by experienced professionals.

Keep your gas fireplace clear

A natural gas fireplace produces a lot of heat. It’s important to keep the area around the fireplace free of objects and people. You should keep all objects at least two to three feet away. Install a safety screen to ensure pets and small children cannot go near the fireplace.

Install carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors are a must if you use any gas appliances in your home. You should put a detector on every floor in your home. Change the batteries at least twice a year.

Use a safety pilot in your gas fireplace

A safety pilot is an oxygen-depletion sensor. It will automatically shut off the fireplace if it detects too much carbon monoxide buildup. This, like anything else with your fireplace, should be installed and maintained by a licensed professional.

Maintain your gas fireplace with annual inspections, cleanings

A safe fireplace is a clean fireplace. Hire a professional to inspect and clean your fireplace on an annual basis. The inspection will involve cleaning and adjusting the log set, glass, and fan and air circulation passages, removing obstructions from vents, and replacing carbon monoxide detector batteries.

By keeping your fireplace safe, you’ll enjoy affordable warmth for years to come!

Don’t have a gas fireplace but know someone who does? Spread the word and share this article.

Williams’ gives back at Pa. Public Officials Day luncheon

The Pennsylvania Farm Show isn’t just a great way to connect with our state’s agriculture industry, it provides us with a great opportunity to celebrate those who help others.

At Williams, we did just that on Jan. 10 during the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Public Officials Day luncheon. We were honored to attend this event with Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH), a nonprofit organization that coordinates hunters’ deer harvests with meat processors to distribute venison to food banks.

It’s a worthwhile cause that we’re proud to support. HSH, now in its 27th season, donated more than 120,000 pounds of venison last year to more than 5,000 local food banks, missions, homeless shelters and other providers. HSH Executive Director John Plowman said during the event the organization is on track to have another bountiful year.

Public Officials Day at the Farm Show serves as a reunion for HSH supporters and friends, allowing all of us to discuss and exchange ideas, and learn about the program’s successes. This year’s luncheon had a record turnout, with members of the natural gas industry, the HSH board of directors and statewide business and government leaders coming together.

We love giving back, and we enjoy working with our friends in the agricultural sector, an important component of our state’s economy. How important? During the luncheon, a new economic impact study of agriculture was release that found the industry has a $135.7 annual impact in Pennsylvania.

This year’s Public Officials Day luncheon was a tremendous success, and we’re proud to support Pennsylvania agriculture and great charitable causes.

Williams’ 5 PA Farm Show Favorites

Williams was a proud sponsor at the PA Farm Show, which brought agriculture and natural gas — two of Pennsylvania’s largest industries — together. We love attending the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, not only because it gives us the chance to eat great food and look at adorable animals but also because we get the opportunity to catch up and talk with our friends in the agricultural community. This year’s Farm Show has been notable for many reasons, but here are five that stick with us the most:

  • Horse hitching
    Williams was proud to co-sponsor the Celebrity Draft Horse Team Driving Contest, which benefits the Farm Show Scholarship Fund. The Jan. 9 event with legislators and representatives from the agricultural industry was great fun to watch.
  • Public Officials Day
    The Jan. 10 luncheon saw the announcement of a new economic impact study of agriculture, which found that the industry has a $135.7 billion annual impact in Pennsylvania. Agriculture, along with natural gas production, is one of the state’s biggest industries, and the two have a long history of working together.
  • Food
    The food was the star, and natural gas powers many of your Farm Show favorites.
  • New calving corner
    Just look at how cute these new additions to the world are.

  • DEP clean water exhibit
    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection featured an educational exhibit of clean local water actions and activities. The importance of clean water is a value shared by Williams, which is why we’ve been proud to support efforts such as a community rain garden in Wyoming County and other environmental stewardship programs through our grant program.

The 102nd Pennsylvania Farm Show has been amazing, and we look forward to participating again next year!

 

5 PA Farm Show Staples Powered by Natural Gas

Agriculture is one of Pennsylvania’s largest industries. In fact, the state Department of Agriculture and Team Pennsylvania found that the commonwealth’s agricultural industry has a $135.7 billion annual impact, with nearly 580,000 jobs created and $27 billion in wages paid as a result of agriculture.

This impact is on full display each year at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the nation’s largest indoor agricultural event. The 102nd Farm Show is sure to be as popular as previous ones, with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to the more than 1 million-square-foot complex to check out the latest and greatest in Pennsylvania agriculture while looking at adorable farm animals and eating delicious food.

The event is also a perfect example of how agriculture works in tandem with other industries, such as its close relationship with natural gas. Natural gas and other energy sources are essential to heating the massive Farm Show complex, and many of the most popular food and drink items wouldn’t be possible without natural gas. Here are five examples:  

Milkshakes

For many visitors, PA Dairymen’s Association milkshakes are synonymous with the Farm Show. The milkshake stand is one of the event’s most popular food vendors, and lines are often long. Whether your favorite flavor is chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, a Farm Show milkshake will be served to you in a plastic cup, which is made from natural gas byproducts. Drink up!

Butter sculpture

Butter is for more than just for toast: It can be used to create artistic sculptures. The butter sculpture is a fixture at each Farm Show, and it is designed with a specific theme in mind. The creation is revealed with fanfare ahead of the event, and this year’s masterpiece, “Strength in Our Diversity,” highlights the career choices available in agriculture.

The sculpture is kept from melting by being continuously cooled through electricity generated in part by natural gas. Once the Farm Show is over, the half-ton butter creation will be melted in a methane digester to power a Juniata County farm, as well as homes in the area.

Potatoes

There are a multitude of ways to eat potatoes at the Farm Show. You can have them baked and topped with butter, deep fried into french fries or rolled in sugar as a potato doughnut. All of these options are available at the Pennsylvania Co-Operative Potato Growers stand. The fryers at the stand use propane to make some of your favorite potato treats.

Roasted almonds and pecans

The Pennsylvania Nut Growers Association stand has a variety of nuts for sale, and roasted almonds and pecans are among the most popular. The preferred source of energy for outdoor roasters? Propane.

Fried vegetables and chicken

Deep-fried delicacies at the Farm Show are more than likely powered by natural gas. Mouth-watering trays of fried chicken and lightly battered fried vegetables at the PennAg Industries Association stand are deep fried in fryers fueled by natural gas.

Enjoy all the food at this year’s Farm Show, and congrats to our friends in agriculture on another successful event!

Eagle Scout on a mission to provide playground for students with special needs

What do you get when you have an Eagle Scout with a mission to create something of value, a $5,000 grant provided by the Atlantic Sunrise Community Grant Program and a wide open space outside the special education classroom at Hegins-Hubley Elementary School? You get an all-inclusive playground geared towards the special needs of these students.

A safe place to play

Micah, a senior at Tri-Valley High School and an Eagle Scout, was looking for something that would have a positive and lasting impact for his Eagle Scout Project, so he asked Kate Herb, the Life Skills teacher at Hegins-Hubley, if there was something that her students needed. Herb did not hesitate and showed Micah the open area outside the Valley View, Pennsylvania classroom that she thought would be a perfect place to create an all-inclusive playground. She explained that an all-inclusive playground would give the Life Skills class a playground they could utilize more safely than the school’s playground.

Now, with a project in mind, Micah got to work. He assembled a team of experts – the school’s special education chair, the Schuylkill County Master Gardeners and the Schuylkill Herb Society – and explained what he had in mind. All were very supportive and more than happy to help turn his vision into reality.

Joining forces

The result of this combined effort was an all-inclusive playground that allows the students to exercise muscles they normally don’t get to work in the course of their everyday activities, enjoy some fresh air and play in a safe environment and have an area where they can relax and enjoy while learning.

Join Micah on a visual tour of the playground:

The project also received some local media attention. Read more about it here.