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"Natural Gas 101: An In-Depth Look at the Fossil Fuel's Formation and Extraction"

Natural gas is a fascinating and versatile fossil fuel that has been formed deep within the earth's crust over millions of years. It is composed primarily of methane, a colorless and odorless gas, but can also contain small amounts of other hydrocarbons such as propane and ethane.


One of the most intriguing aspects of natural gas is the way in which it is formed. It is created through a complex process of decomposition and compression, in which the remains of ancient plants and animals are transformed into the energy-rich fuel we know today. This process occurs deep within the earth, where high pressure and heat cause the organic matter to break down and reform into hydrocarbons.


The location of natural gas deposits can vary greatly, with reserves found in both onshore and offshore locations. It can be trapped in a variety of rock types, including sandstone, limestone, and shale. To extract the gas, drilling wells are used to access the reservoirs deep beneath the earth's surface. Steel casings are inserted to prevent the well from collapsing and the casing is perforated to allow the natural gas to flow into the well, and then brought to the surface through a series of pipes.


One of the most significant recent developments in natural gas extraction is the use of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." This technique involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals into the rock formation to create fractures that allow the gas to flow more freely. This has greatly increased the amount of natural gas that can be extracted from shale rock formations, making it a key player in the global energy market.


Natural gas is not just an energy source, but also an important feedstock for the chemical industry. It is also a cleaner-burning fuel that is widely used in power generation, heating, and as a fuel for vehicles. It produces fewer emissions than gasoline or diesel, making it a more environmentally friendly option.


In conclusion, natural gas is a unique and valuable fossil fuel that is formed deep within the earth over millions of years. It is extracted from underground rock formations through drilling and can be found in a variety of locations. With the development of fracking, natural gas has become a major player in the global energy market, providing a cleaner burning alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

 

"Stay Safe with These Essential Gas Fireplace Safety Tips"

Gas fireplaces are an attractive and convenient way to heat your home, but they do require proper care and maintenance to ensure safety. Whether you're looking to install a new gas fireplace or you already have one in your home, it's important to be aware of the potential hazards and to take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here are some key safety tips to keep in mind when using a gas fireplace:

 

  1. Have your gas fireplace inspected and serviced by a professional on an annual basis. This will ensure that the unit is in proper working condition and that any potential safety hazards are identified and addressed. A professional will also be able to check for any gas leaks, which can be dangerous if not detected and repaired.
  2. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines. This includes not blocking the vents, keeping combustible materials away from the unit, and never using it as a primary heat source. It is also important to keep the area around the fireplace clear of clutter and debris, as this can easily catch fire.
  3. Never leave a gas fireplace unattended while it is in use. This is especially important if you have children or pets in the home, as they may accidentally touch the unit or play with the controls. Additionally, you should always make sure that the fireplace is turned off before going to bed or leaving the house.
  4. Have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the room where your gas fireplace is located. These devices can alert you to any potential problems with the unit, such as a gas leak or a fire, and help keep you and your family safe.
  5. Have a fire extinguisher close by to the fireplace in case of emergency.

By following these tips and having your unit inspected and serviced on a regular basis, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a gas fireplace without putting yourself or your loved ones at risk. Remember, safety should always be a top priority when it comes to gas fireplaces, so take the time to educate yourself and take the necessary precautions to ensure that your gas fireplace is being used safely.

WARM UP OUTDOOR SPACES SAFELY WITH PROPER PATIO HEATER MAINTENANCE

(October 7, 2022) – As Ontario homeowners and restaurant operators prepare to extend patio season this autumn, Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and safety-minded partners mark Fire Prevention Week (October 9 to15, 2022) by delivering patio heater maintenance guidelines to help keep outdoor gatherers safe from fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Knowing how to properly use patio heaters and open-flame appliances – including fire pits, fireplaces and tabletop units – helps everyone safely enjoy outdoor dining and socializing. With the hope that multiple voices will bring greater impact to this message, TSSA, the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC), Ontario Municipal Fire Prevention Officers Association (OMFPOA), Canadian Propane Association (CPA), and Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) offer the following patio heater and open-flame appliance safety tips.

 Tips for the Safe Use of Patio Heaters

  • Ensure equipment is safety certified – Make sure outdoor heating devices are certified by the CSA, ULC, or another recognized certification body. A list of approved certification marks can be found on the TSSA website.
  • Avoid the dangers of fire and CO poisoning – Never use outdoor heating devices indoors or in an enclosed area. If patio heaters are used in a shelter, be conscious of fire hazards and risks of CO build up.
  • Recognize the symptoms of CO poisoning – Teach staff and family members to recognize the symptoms of CO poisoning (nausea, dizziness, headache).
  • Avoid fire hazards – Be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for required clearances from combustible materials such as umbrellas, awnings, walls, tablecloths, paper products, decorations, etc. Don’t forget to locate and identify easily accessible fire extinguishers in the patio area.
  • Position with care – Always place patio heaters on a stable surface. Make sure patio heaters do not obstruct doors, fire exits or firefighting equipment and are properly distanced from building air intakes.
  • Operate safely – Ensure anyone operating a patio heater understands how to disconnect and install propane cylinders, including how to check for leaks. See the Patio Heater Safety Guidelines for instructions.
  • Keep an eye out – Never leave patio heaters unattended and pay particular attention when children or intoxicated adults are in the vicinity.
  • Store propane cylinders safely – Never store propane cylinders indoors, in a garage, close to operational heaters, or near smoking areas. Propane cylinders must be stored upright, outdoors, in an area protected against tampering, unauthorized movement, dropping, or impacts that could result in a leak or a fire.

Additional resources on the safe use of outdoor heating devices and propane cylinders, including Patio Heater Safety Guidelines and a Patio Heater Safety Checklist for Restaurant Owners and Operators, are available for download at  www.tssa.org.

 

Two Safety Tips Every Homeowner Needs To KnowTwo Safety Tips Every Homeowner Needs To Know

Request a locate before starting any digging project

Many people might not be aware of the risk of hitting dangerous underground infrastructure when doing projects that involve digging. For example, imagine that this summer you decide to upgrade your outdoor space. Maybe you want to install a pool to cool off during those scorching summer days, dig a fence, plant a tree, create a vegetable garden, or dig a flower bed. Never assume it is safe to dig! There are numerous underground hazards that could cause serious injuries. When you or your contractor dig the ground, no matter how small or big, you might unintentionally hit gas, electric, or other high-pressure pipes and lines and that could have fatal consequences.

  • Nicking a gas line could lead to leaks, fire, or explosions.
  • Damaging electrical cables could shock or electrocute you.
  • Hitting water or sewer lines could cause flying debris, floods, contamination, and environmental hazards.
  • Cutting telecommunications cables could disrupt internet or cable services and your ability to call 911 in an emergency.

Keep your family, property, and community safe. Always request a locate before starting any digging project. If you hired a contractor, make sure they request a locate at least 5 business days before the start of your project. It is as easy as a click, and it is completely free! You can request a locate online at www.OntarioOneCall.ca The new web portal allows you to do it easily and efficiently. You will be asked when and where you would like to dig, what your project is and what tools you will be using. Once the request is submitted, Ontario One Call will notify utilities that own buried infrastructure in the area you indicated. Each utility will come to mark the area. Requesting a locate before digging is the law so never dig without a locat!

Sewer Safety Inspections

Another safety precaution that not many people are aware of is Sewer Safety Inspections. They can save lives! If your sewer is backed up, call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to request an inspection BEFORE you or your plumber try to clear the pipe. This is because there might be a gas line intersecting the sewer pipe that can burst during the attempt to clear. This situation is also known as a cross bore. While the intersection of two lines is generally safe, it may become dangerous when there are mechanical tools inserted in the sewer pipe to clear it. It is always the safest option to call Ontario One Call and have a free sewer inspection done when you experience a sewer backup. Sewer Safety Inspections are handled like an emergency, and representatives from the gas utility arrive within a few hours. Protecting your family, property and community is as easy as contacting Ontario One Call to request a locate or a sewer inspection. Remember, it’s easy and it’s free!

City of Toronto Introduces Low Interest Energy Retrofit Loan Program

In 2021 the City of Toronto Council adopted its Existing Building Strategy, creating actions to transform and retrofit all buildings across the city by 2040 or sooner. The strategy includes plans for new performance targets limiting building emissions and creating pathways for buildings to achieve the TransformTO goal of net-zero emissions by 2040.

Leading building owners are encouraged to take proactive action to improve energy and avoid the challenges from future energy performance.

The City of Toronto has also launched new building owner support programs including low interest financing & technical expertise to maximize carbon reduction and community to ensure the success of the Existing Building Strategy.

Building Owners & Contractors with identified projects are invited to access the City's Energy Retrofit Loan (ERL) program to support up to 100% of the energy efficiency retrofit costs.

The ERL program just introduced low fixed term financing for UP TO 30 years, with no penalty for early repayment and PAYMENT FREE construction period.  An easy Expression of Interest can be submitted found HERE and submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Once the application is  received  the City will match the applicant with a City representative to assist in preparing the applications and answer any program questions.

Those looking to identify low carbon project opportunities can access a Navigation and Support Services application HERE and submit to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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