Someday, This Will All Be Behind Us

Mark Gagnon

Dear Friends,

On Friday the 13th of March, I sat here at my computer and wrote a page or so of directives to our P. Gagnon & Son team, regarding this mysterious disease known as COVID-19.

That’s when we all began to learn about wearing masks, scrubbing hands, symptoms, quarantines and this new thing called “social distancing.” That was just about seven months ago. Wow!

I hope that this illness has spared your friends and family. The families of P. Gagnon & Son have been very fortunate. We had one spouse of an employee who was very sick but made a complete recovery. We also had a handful of precautionary quarantines due to symptoms within employee households. Everyone was OK. Fingers crossed going forward. Someday, this will all be behind us.

We have a very real responsibility to keep our customers and employees safe. That’s why any time a technician or driver needs to enter your home or business, they are required to wear a mask, wash their hands throughout the day and practice social distancing.

Our office staff is also required to ask if everyone in the house is healthy when a service call is scheduled. And in addition, we have changed several internal policies so we can do our best to keep our folks healthy while continuing to serve you as expected.

I would like to thank our team for working hard and being flexible during these last few months. Especially back in March and April, it was very uncomfortable to work in people’s homes — but they did it. Masks, gloves, scrubbing and sanitizing, staying six feet away, tape all over the office, some long hours and listening to me nag must be getting old. But they keep chugging along. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by these wonderful people.

Thank you for allowing us to serve you through this trying time. Please do not hesitate to call with any concerns as we navigate these next few months. Stay well.

Mark Gagnon, President

Here’s a way to take the worry out of making your payments on time.

Switch to Auto Pay and your payments will be automatically deducted from your credit card or bank account each month. Plus, we’ll give you a $20 account credit when you enroll!* This is our way of saying thank you for helping us to ease the workload — and paper clutter– for our office staff.

Think about switching to paperless billing too. This reduces the amount of paper coming into your home. Your bill will come to you through email and you can file it away electronically. As a bonus, we’ll give you a $10 credit when you switch to paperless email billing.*

Contact us today to get started.

*Valid for new enrollees only, please.

Home is our haven, an escape from the turbulent outside world. That’s why we’ve filled these pages with information that we hope will make you as safe and comfortable as possible — all the time.

More Dangerous Than Poppies

The wicked witch attempted to use poppies to send Dorothy into a permanent sleep. Carbon monoxide (CO) can do that for real.

CO is created when any kind of fuel is burned, but it’s vented safely to the outside. That’s why it’s important to have all fuel-burning devices serviced regularly by a professional. This will ensure that your equipment is operating properly.

Because CO is a toxic, invisible and odorless gas, you should already have CO detectors installed around your home, especially near all bedrooms. Remember to test the detectors about once a month.

A faulty burner or furnace can cause a CO leak. Other causes of CO leaks can include:

CO poisoning symptoms include fatigue, dizziness and nausea. If you suspect a CO leak, get fresh air right away by opening doors and windows and leave the house before calling for help.

Watch your pets

Signs of CO poisoning can show up in pets before they appear in humans. If a pet seems sick or is unusually slow to wake up, take it outside, check your carbon monoxide detectors and open the windows in your home. Also, get your pet to the veterinarian right away.

5 Ways to Feel Right at Home with Propane

There are many ways you can take advantage of propane’s efficiency and versatility to make your home more comfortable. Here are five ideas.

  1. Install a propane fireplace or log set. Vented propane hearths give you all the benefits of wood fireplaces without the chimney, mess or cleanup—at a fraction of the installation cost.
  2. Warm up to a propane space heater. Do you have rooms that are drafty and cold? Do you do a lot of work in your garage? Vented propane gas space heaters are easy to install, efficient and safe. They also burn cleaner than electric and oil space heaters.
  3. Upgrade to a new propane furnace. Propane gas furnaces are best in their class in terms of efficiency, with ratings from 90% to 98% efficient. A propane furnace can provide affordable warmth and comfort for any size floor plan.
  4. Go tankless. Swap out your old electric tank water heater for an innovative tankless propane unit. You’ll cut down on your water heating bills and enjoy a virtually endless supply of hot water.
  5. Upgrade your old electric stove to a propane range/cooktop. This will give you much better temperature control and heat distribution than electric models. Why not discover all the benefits of a propane cooktop for yourself?

Propane — the more appliances you have, the more you’ll love it! For more upgrade ideas, contact us and we’ll be glad to give you expert advice.

Your Propane Tech Can Do That—You Shouldn’t

While propane is a remarkably safe fuel, it’s important to call a professional for assistance if you need a propane heating system repair or want to install a gas appliance. Don’t start watching “how-to” videos on YouTube!

Repairing or installing a complex propane appliance can often present unique challenges that require extensive training and sophisticated diagnostic equipment.

Certified propane technicians have the training, experience and tools to get the job done — quickly, correctly and safely — thanks to the Certified Employee Training Program (CETP), which is run under the direction of the Propane Education & Research Council. Ongoing technician training includes seminars and hands-on demonstrations from manufacturer representatives and others, who discuss safe installation and repair of the latest appliances.

So remember, if you need a repair or an installation, your propane service technician can do that. (But you shouldn’t.)

What You Can Do: 4 Tips

  1. Keep the area around heating appliances as clean and clutter-free as possible. Keep combustible materials (newspapers, bedding, clothing, rugs) at least three feet away from heat sources.
  2. Change or clean the filter in your furnace a few times during the heating season; a dirty filter compromises efficiency and can even result in a shutdown.
  3. Keep registers, baseboards or radiators clean and unobstructed to ensure maximum heat flow.
  4. Get to know which circuit breaker (or fuse) controls your heating system. You should also know the location of your system’s power switches. This will be helpful if you lose your heat and need to troubleshoot.

Is your laptop showing its age? Enter our contest to win a Microsoft Surface Pro 7. As a bonus, we will include a type cover and surface pen.

This ultra-light 2-in-1 laptop has a 12.3″ touchscreen and gives you tablet-to-laptop versatility.

Read this newsletter and answer the questions on our contest page to enter. All entries received by 1/19/21 with the correct answers will be entered into a drawing.

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase chance of winning.

Mark Leach

Q: Why do you have to do a safety inspection when I run out of propane?

A: If a customer runs out of propane, state and federal law, as well as insurance regulations, require us to perform a propane pressure test.

This test is always done to ensure that your propane tank is operating safely. Whenever the pressure in the piping changes — such as when you run out of fuel — there is the possibility of a leak.

To avoid run-outs, we strongly recommend you enroll in our automatic delivery program. Then you won’t have to call us, because we’ll know just when to deliver your propane or oil. Our computer system tracks your patterns of fuel use and monitors outdoor temperatures.

Here’s another tip: if you’re moving, please let us know. If you don’t tell us — and don’t put a cap on your fuel line — we may make an unnecessary delivery.

Mark Leach is our director of operations and the assistant fire chief for the South Berwick Fire Department.

While few people could have predicted the massive disruption we have faced since March, in some ways, we’ve been preparing our business for this for years.

In the wake of several destructive storms, our company decided we needed to invest in technology to make it possible to service customers, even if our physical office was shut down. This year, that investment has really paid off for our customers and team. Here’s how:

Feel confident that we are better positioned to meet the current challenge than virtually any fuel company in the area.