Safe technical systems are BC Safety Authority’s top priority. Fortunately, many safety risks can be reduced or avoided through education and prevention.
With this in mind, we’ve put together the following safety tips sheets to help identify and reduce risks related to some common activities. We encourage you to download and share this important safety information to help reduce risk.
25 September 2012 - 04:00 pm - 06:00 pm
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Safe technical systems are BC Safety Authority’s top priority. Fortunately, many safety risks can be reduced or avoided through education and prevention.
Purchasing and maintaining propane equipment
☐ Purchase RVs with gas appliances that have been inspected and certified by a recreational vehicle shop that is licensed by BCSA.
☐ Buy propane equipment that is certified for use in Canada.
☐ Follow RV manufacturers’ instructions for the operation and maintenance of propane equipment.
☐ Have propane equipment maintained regularly at a BCSA registered RV shop. Click here for the BCSA Propane System Re-Certifcation Check List - Form 524
☐ Ensure that your propane cylinders are inspected and recertified every 10 years.
Use propane appliances safely
Propane appliances may produce carbon monoxide (CO) if they are not working properly. CO is a colourless, odourless gas.
☐ Use appliances for their intended use only. Never use stove burners or ovens for space heating.
☐ Never use portable propane camping equipment inside your RV (e.g. camp stoves, barbecues, lanterns, catalytic or radiant heaters).
☐ Open a vent or window and turn on the range hood fan when using a propane stove or oven.
☐ Use a Canadian certified CO alarm, in addition to your smoke and propane alarms.
☐ Check connections for leaks after exchanging propane cylinders. Use a mixture of 50% liquid soap and 50% water applied with a paint brush.
Immediately seek medical attention if anyone shows symptoms of CO poisoning
- impaired judgment
- lack of physical coordination
Know the smell of propane
Propane smells like rotten eggs. If you think you smell propane in your RV:
- Get everyone out of the RV immediately.
- Don’t smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, use either cell or telephones, or createany other source of ignition.
- Turn your gas off at the main cylinder, if safe to do so and you know how.
- Call the area fire department emergency number or 911 from the nearest phone.
Transporting propane safely
☐ Do not use or transport damaged propane containers that show signs of corrosion, have been exposed to fire or appear to be leaking.
☐ Never use, store, or transport propane cylinders or liquid fuels in the passenger space or living area of your RV. Place cylinders in a well-ventilated area.
☐ Transport cylinders upright and secured.
☐ Turn off the engine, all appliances and pilot lights before refueling your vehicle.
When you want to get away from it all without leaving comfort behind, remember that outdoor gas equipment is designed only for outdoor use.
It may be tempting to bring your propane stove inside your tent to keep warm when you get caught in a rainstorm, or bring your outdoor propane space heater into the ski cabin when lighting the fire seems like too much trouble, but resist the temptation! Using outdoor gas equipment in confined spaces can create a serious safety hazard like carbon monoxide poisoning.
☐ Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before operating any gas appliance.
☐ Keep children and pets away from cylinders and grills at all times.
☐ Only use portable gas equipment outdoors, never in an enclosed space (including tents).
☐ Do not leave a grill unattended while cooking.
☐ Place your grill well away from your house, garage, deck railings, overhanging branches and other flammable materials.
☐ Inspect portable gas equipment before using it for the first time each season. Have worn or rusted fittings, hoses or burners replaced.
☐ Ensure the burner ports inside the grill are free of rust, dust, dirt or other debris.
☐ Keep your grill clean by removing grease or buildup.
☐ Always test for leaks at the cylinder connection before lighting the grill by brushing a mixture of liquid soap and water onto any connection or valve. Rising bubbles indicate a leak.
☐ Always open the lid of the grill before lighting to release any gas build up.
☐ Be aware that propane smells like rotten eggs but carbon monoxide is odourless.
If you suspect a propane leak while grilling:
- Turn off the gas cylinder and the grill and have it serviced.
- If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
Transporting, storing and handling propane cylinders
☐ Transport cylinders in a secured, upright position with the valve closed and outlet capped or plugged.
☐ Propane cylinders must be inspected and recertified every 10 years.
☐ Do not use or transport cylinders that show signs of corrosion, fire damage or appear to be leaking.
☐ Never use, store or transport your cylinder where it could be exposed to high temperatures.
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Outdoor gas equipment can be the outdoor enthusiast’s best friend – as long as it is treated with respect. By taking these simple safety precautions, your outdoor adventures will be safe as well as fun.
BC Safety Authority is reminding all contractors to be aware of required clearances for regulator/over pressure relief devices (gas vents to atmosphere) when working on gas installations.
A revised BCSA Information Bulletin: Clearance to Regulator/Over Pressure Relief Device No:B-G5 051206 4) summarizes the required clearance requirements in British Columbia from regulator/over pressure relief devices to the following:
- Ignition sources
- Building openings
- Exhausts and intakes, both passive and fan/blower assisted or mechanical
The information bulletin, which comes with a detailed diagram, also explains building opening, appliance air intake and measuring for clearances. Ensure that you are referring to the current information bulletin with “Rev 02” in its reference number and issued on July 24, 2014.
Note that this information bulletin is supported by Gas Directive: Appliance Air Intake Clearance (No: D-GA 2014-04) which defines the minimum clearance requirement for appliance air supply inlets (combustion air) to resolve installation related conflicts in British Columbia.
Would you like to help improve and advance information technology at BC Safety Authority (BCSA)? We are looking for both contractors and administrative staff of companies who use BCSA’s online business transaction portal, known as MyConnection, to join our Information Technology Advisory Panel.
As a panel member, you will participate in quarterly meetings that may last up to two hours in length. During these meetings you will provide advice on the current technology offered by BCSA (i.e., what should be added, changed or removed) and preview upcoming changes to see if they meet your needs. You may participate by phone and make use of our webinar system. You don’t need to be an IT expert as we are looking for a broad range of technology users.
If you’re interested in joining this panel, please email email@example.com.
Are you in charge of, an owner of, or someone who performs regulated work? Are you a permit holder? Are you someone who operates a regulated product or system? If you answered ”yes” at least once, then remember that the Safety Standards Act requires you to report a gas-related incident to BC Safety Authority (BCSA).
Reporting an incident is an important part of the safety system. In the short term, it alerts BCSA to assess and address an existing hazard. In the long term, incident reports contribute data to a body of knowledge that is analyzed and used to avoid incidents in the future.
What is an incident?
An incident is an event involving gas and/or other BCSA-regulated technologies that results in death, injury or damage to property or regulated equipment. It may also be an event that, while not causing death, injury or property/equipment damage, had circumstances that were highly likely to cause the same dire results.
How do I report an incident?
A BCSA directive on Incident Reporting Requirements with Respect to Gas Technology categorizes incidents by severity levels. Level 1 incidents – the most severe – must be reported within 24 hours by a call to BCSA’s toll free line at 1-866-566-7233. You are also encouraged to call in Level 2 incidents through this toll-free number. Level 3 incidents may be reported online by completing and submitting the incident reporting form on BCSA’s website www.safetyauthoirty.ca.
Note that if the incident occurs in a residential home in the regional areas of Burnaby, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, the City and/or District of North Vancouver, Richmond or Vancouver, you must immediately notify the appropriate municipality.
Familiarize yourself with the details in the incident reporting directive and support safety.
In the course of doing physical assessments across the province, BCSA gas safety officers found the most common non-compliances involved five areas of gas work:
- Venting of Pressure Control Devices
- Swing Joints
- Underground Piping
- Gas Connectors
- Appliance Venting
Safety officers also noted that non-compliances are usually the result of misinterpretation of relevant acts and regulations, outdated code books and the pressure to be competitive in the market. To avoid non-compliances, BCSA is advising its clients the following:
- When in doubt about regulations, consult a gas safety officer or call 1-866-566-7233. Familiarize yourselves with the Safety Standards General Regulation and the Gas Safety Regulation. Note that BC amendments are at the back of the Gas Safety Regulations.
- Contractors and gas fitters must have access to a current edition of the Canadian Gas Code. Check that your employer has a copy or purchase one for yourself at the CSA Group .
- Stay up to date on directives , information bulletins and safety orders .
- Make sure your License, Permit(s) and/or Certificate of Qualification are current.
- Stay within the scope indicated on your certificate of qualification.
- Address all safety hazards and use regulated equipment safely.
Below are some tips and reminders to keep in mind when working on gas installations; however, it’s always best to refer to the appropriate regulations and standards.
Venting of Pressure Control Devices
- Provide the outdoor vent termination of regulators and line relief devices with a means to prevent the entry of water, insects, or foreign material.
- Use clearances specified by the Canadian Gas Code and BC Amendments for the discharge from relief devices terminating outdoors. Read Information Bulletin: Clearance to Regulator/Over Pressure Relief Device (No:B-G5 051206 4 ) and Gas Directive: Appliance Air Intake Clearance (No: D-GA 2014-04) .
- Do not use a combination of fittings designed and intended to act as a swing joint where piping is concealed.
- Ensure that piping or tubing is mounted, braced, and supported. This will provide for expansion, contraction, jarring, vibration, and settling. This will also provide protection against either damage or breakage due to strain, wear, and mechanical impact.
- Plastic piping or tubing can only be used for outdoor underground service unless otherwise stated by the Canadian Gas Code and BC Amendments.
- Plastic piping or tubing may terminate above ground and outside the building, provided that:
- above ground portions are completely encased with a certified metallic sheathing or anode-less riser that extends a minimum of 6 in (15 cm) below grade; and
- plastic piping or tubing is not subject to external loading stresses created by other piping, appliances, or equipment.
- Properly grade a trench for underground piping or tubing to prevent a sag in the piping or tubing.
- Ensure that backfill material is free of sharp objects, large stones, or any other material that can damage the piping or tubing.
- Do not pass underground piping or tubing below a foundation or wall, or under a building.
- Before entry into a building, raise piping or tubing above grade, unless otherwise permitted by the authority having jurisdiction.
- Ensure that plastic piping or tubing is accompanied by a tracing wire or other electronically detectable tracing media.
- Ensure that the gas connector complies with any of the following:
- ANSI Z21.24/CSA 6.10
- ANSI Z21.69/CSA 6.16
- ANSI Z21.75/CSA 6.27
- Ensure that the gas connector is protected from damage and is connected to rigid piping or tubing located in the same area as the appliance.
- Do not pass a gas connector through a wall, floor, ceiling, or partition.
- Except when specified, a corrugated metal gas connector certified to ANSI Z21.24/CSA 6.10 may be used to connect:
- A range, refrigerator, clothes dryer, or built-in counter appliance to piping or tubing, provided that the connector length does not exceed 6 ft (2m);
- A suspended appliance to piping or tubing, provided that the gas connector length does not exceed 2 ft (600 mm); or
- A decorative appliance, a room heater, or a direct-vent wall furnace to piping or tubing, except when the appliance, heater, or furnace is installed as a free-standing unit, provided that the gas connector length does not exceed 2 ft (600 mm).
- Install a venting system in accordance with the terms of its listing and the appliance and vent manufacturer’s certified installation instructions.
- An appliance that operates at a positive pressure shall:
- not be connected to a venting system serving any other appliance; and
- only be connected to a venting system certified for positive pressure venting.
- When more than one diameter of pipe to be used for a vent connector or vent is permitted, the smallest permitted diameter shall be preferred.
- Do not terminate a vent:
- Where it may cause hazardous front or ice accumulations on adjacent property surfaces;
- Less than 7 ft (2.1m) above paved sidewalk or a paved driveway that is located on public property;
- Within 6 ft (1.8m) of a mechanical air-supply inlet to any building;
- Above a regulator within 3 ft (900mm) horizontally of the vertical centerline of the regulator vent outlet to a maximum vertical distance of 15 ft (4.5m)
- When a vent connector is required to have a size other than that of either the appliance flue collar or draft-hood outlet, the change in size shall be made as follows:
- If the size is increased, the change in size shall be made at either the appliance flue collar or draft-hood outlet, except that when either the flue collar or draft-hood outlet is inside the casing of the appliance, the increase shall be made immediately external to the appliance casing.
- If the size is reduced, the change in size shall be made at the appliance flue collar.
- Use a vent connector that is of either metal or other noncombustible material capable of withstanding the flue gas temperatures involved. Ensure it is securely supported and has sufficient strength to withstand damage likely to occur under the conditions of use.
- Do not alter a draft hood that is either supplied with or forming part of an appliance.
- Install a draft hood in the position for which it was designed with reference to the horizontal and vertical planes, and ensure that the relief opening is not obstructed by any part of the appliance or adjacent construction. The relief opening should be accessible for checking vent operation.
- When a single-wall vent connector connects an appliance to a Type B vent:
- Ensure the base fitting remains accessible for inspection;
- Use a certified double-wall to single-wall adapter for connection; and
- Maintain the proper clearance from combustibles.
Avoid unnecessary turns and other features that create added resistance to the flow of flue gases in a vent connector.