Resources

RV / Propane Safety

RVing is a fantastic way to see all that Canada has to offer.

Before you start you adventure, make sure you are PROPANE SAFE:

Click on the highlighted areas in the RV below to learn more about how to be safe while RVing.

  • rv_rollover_01
  • rv_rollover_02
  • rv_rollover_03a rv_rollover_03b rv_rollover_03c
  • rv_rollover_04
  • rv_rollover_05a rv_rollover_05b rv_rollover_05c
  • rv_rollover_06
  • rv_rollover_07a rv_rollover_07b
  • rv_rollover_08
  • rv_rollover_09

Carbon Monoxide: the silent killer.

It can be neither seen nor smelled, which is why Carbon Monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer. It can overcome its victims undetected.

Click the hotspots on the image above to learn more about aspects of RV safety and how to prevent the risk of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning while camping.

Carbon Monoxide alarms.

Propane appliances may produce lethal Carbon Monoxide (CO) gas if they're not working properly. Unlike propane, CO gas has no odour, making it difficult to detect and deadly.

In addition to your smoke and propane alarms, use a CO alarm approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Click here to learn the symptoms of CO poisoning.

Keep warm the old fashioned way.

Ensure you have warm clothes and bedding on hand for everyone for those chilly times.

Never use the stove or oven for space heating.

Maintain gas appliances.

Purchase RVs with gas appliances that have been inspected and certified by an RV shop licensed by the BCSA.

Stove, fridge, water heater and furnace should be serviced annually. Water heaters and furnaces could produce CO if not working properly and if the furnace heat exchanger has a crack in it, the flue gas could enter inside the RV.

Lighting.

Use battery powered lamps and flashlights for indoor lighting - not fuel burning lamps.

Be prepared.

Keep a charged cell phone, flash light, spare batteries on hand and a fully stocked first aid kit handy for emergencies.

Fire extinguisher.

Keep a fully charged, annually inspected fire extinguisher on hand, near an exit and away from open flame.

Ventilation.

Open a vent or window and turn on the range hood fan when using propane stove or oven.

Keep it outside.

Never use portable fuel burning equipment inside your RV (e.g. camping stoves, barbeques, lanterns, catalytic or radiant heaters or generators).

Using and transporting propane cylinders.

  • Never transport cylinders in the passenger space or living area of your RV.
  • Secure cylinders in an upright position on the outside of your RV, camper or trailer.
  • Never transport cylinders more than 30kg (67 lbs) when full. A typical barbeque propane cylinder is 17kg (34.5 lbs).
  • Ensure cylinders are capped or plugged when not in use, and stored or transported in a well ventilated space.

 

How to Purchase and Maintain Propane Equipment

  • Purchase RVs with gas appliances that have been inspected and certified by a recreational vehicle shop that is licensed by the BCSA.
  • Buy propane equipment that is certified for use in Canada.
  • Follow RV manufacturer’s instructions for the operation and maintenance of propane equipment
  • Have propane equipment maintained regularly. Use the Canadian Propane Association “Propane Services Directory
  • If your propane cylinder is dented or has visible rust, be sure to have it inspected by a professional.
  • Ensure that your propane cylinders are inspected and recertified every 10 years. Expired refillable propane tanks are taken at landfills and transfer stations as well as many propane dealers. Tanks must be empty. Many landfills and transfer stations no longer accept non-refillable, single-use tanks (camping propane containers) because they are difficult and expensive to recycle. Switch to refillable tanks wherever possible.
  • Never place a pressurized container in your garbage; they can cause explosions when compacted in collection trucks.

Use Propane Appliances Safely

Propane appliances may produce Carbon Monoxide (CO) if they are not working properly. CO is a poisonous, colourless, odorless 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. camping stoves, barbeques, 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 or a portable gas leak detector.

Recognize 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 phones or telephones, or create any 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 outside of the RV.

Transport Propane Safely

DO:

  • Transport cylinders upright and secured.
  • Purchase a safety product that will help you secure your propane cylinder and keep it upright during transportation
  • Ensure that the cylinder has proper ventilation – roll down the rear passenger side window if it is in the back seat or if being transported in the trunk of a vehicle, secure the trunk so that it’s partially open.
  • Turn off the engine and all appliances and pilot lights before refueling your vehicle.


DO NOT:

  • Use or transport damaged propane containers that show signs of corrosion have been exposed to fire or appear to be leaking.
  • Use, store, or transport propane cylinders or liquid fuels in the passenger seat or living area of your RV. Place cylinders in a well ventilated area.
  • Transport more than 5 cylinders at one time.

KNOW THE safety rules on transporting propane safely.


Recognize the Symptoms of CO Poisoning (seek immediate medical attention if symptoms are present)

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • impaired judgment
  • lack of physical coordination

Camping Safety

Camping is FUN! Carbon Monoxide poisoning isn’t.

Make sure you have a safe camping season and avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning this summer by:

  • Leaving all camping appliances like camping stoves, space heaters and barbeques outside of enclosed spaces.
  • Knowing the symptoms of CO poisoning – nausea, headache, dizziness, confusion, & unconsciousness.
  • Bringing extra clothes, blankets, flashlights and batteries in case of an emergency so you aren’t tempted to bring fueled appliances inside when it’s cold or dark.

How much do you know about CO?

Play the game below and see if you can find all of the safe and unsafe spots in each of the campsites.

  • camping_unsafe_rollover_01a camping_unsafe_rollover_01b
  • camping_unsafe_rollover_02
  • camping_unsafe_rollover_03
  • camping_unsafe_rollover_04a camping_unsafe_rollover_04b
  • camping_unsafe_rollover_05

Carbon Monoxide: the silent killer.

It can be neither seen nor smelled, which is why Carbon Monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer. It can overcome its victims undetected.

Prevent your next family camping trip from becoming a family tragedy.

Click the hotspots on the image above to learn more about aspects of camping safety and how to prevent the risk of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning while camping.

Unsafe Camping 01

Portable fuel burning appliances, such as this lantern and space heater should never be operated inside.

CO gas can build up quickly in enclosed spaces and make you sick – or worse!

Use flashlights and blankets instead!

Unsafe Camping 02

Use fuel burning camp stoves in well-ventilated areas only.

CO gas can build up quickly under tarps, awnings or this portable shelter, which has been set up over the picnic table and camp stove.

Unsafe Camping 03

A car parked this close to a tent can be dangerous.

Once the car is running, even for short periods, it could quickly fill the tent with poisonous CO gas, harming those inside.

Unsafe Camping 04

Propane cylinders this close to open spark or flame are at great risk of explosion!

Always store cylinders in an upright position, not on their side to avoid propane leakage.

Unsafe Camping 05

This camp fire is placed dangerously close to the tent and other hazards.

CO gas is produced when carbon placed fuels do not burn properly. A smoldering fire this close to the tent could give off harmful levels of CO gas.

 

  • camping_safe_rollover_01a camping_safe_rollover_01b
  • camping_safe_rollover_02
  • camping_safe_rollover_03
  • camping_safe_rollover_04
  • camping_safe_rollover_05

Carbon Monoxide: the silent killer.

To learn some helpful tips for preparing for and setting up a safe campsite, click the hotspots on the image above.

Safe Camping 01

These campers are camping smart!

They brought flashlights to see at night, and plenty of extra blankets to keep warm instead of using portable gas heaters or lamps that may cause CO poisoning.

Remember to always bring along extra batteries!

Safe Camping 02

This camper is being smart! He set up the shelter over one end of the picnic table to provide shade and shelter from the rain during meals.

The propane camp stove is on the uncovered end of the table, so any CO gas produced will escape into the open air.

Safe Camping 03

The car is parked at a far enough distance to the tent, so that if it were running, it would not flood the tent with CO gas.

Parking nose-in creates even more distance between sleeping areas and the vehicle's muffler.

Safe Camping 04

These campers are storing their propane cylinder safely:

a) in a well ventilated area
b) away from open flame or spark
c) away from direct sunlight
d) in an upright, secured position away from people traffic and sleeping areas

Safe Camping 05

These campers have set up their camp fire a safe distance from the tent and any other flammable or combustable materials.

Boiler Technology Committee 4November2010 Minutes