More snowplows striking propane tanks

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LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) When the snow falls, it can cover up some dangerous hazards like propane tanks.

The Lebanon fire chief says the number of calls for propane tank gas leaks due to a plow hitting the top dome of a tank has been alarmingly high so far this winter. He wants to warn people before serious damage occurs.

"We will get three or four of these a year throughout the full winter season. We have had three in a couple weeks, so that’s unusually a little high," Lebanon Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos said. "Once it starts to leak it really just needs an ignition source and you could have a really major fire," he said.

The chief says any number of things can cause an ignition.

"If you shear that pipe off, it’s pretty much going to leak propane. If you shear any of these valves off, it's going to leak propane until someone can get here to turn it off or try to make a repair,” Christopoulos said.

Tyler Tewksbury drives a snow plow for of TNT Property Maintenance in Lebanon. He says knowing the location is vital before he moves snow.

"You just got to watch out. Know your stuff before you get right in. Like before the snow falls we will put markers where everything is," Tewksbury said.

With another propane tank recently being struck, the fire chief says any signage or blocks in front of the tanks will help prevent future accidents.

"If you own a property, especially in a residential dwelling, it’s in your best interest to make sure people know where the hazards are," Christopoulos said.

We asked the chief who is responsible for putting out the signage in front of the tanks. He said the landowner. The site we visited had a sign and a cement block in front of the propane tanks.