Hit the road safely this summer - Propane safety tips for RVers and other Recreational Vehicles

    VANCOUVER, June 28 /CNW/ - With summer here, many British Columbians are
gearing up for family road trips in their Recreational Vehicles (RVs)
including campers, trailers and motor homes.
    The British Columbia Safety Authority (BCSA) and the Motor Vehicle Sales
Authority of BC (VSA) are reminding RV users to get their propane systems
checked by certified technicians before heading out on the road.
    "We want to ensure RV users have a safe summer on the road," said Wayne
Lock, the gas safety manager for the BCSA. "Propane equipment should be
checked and maintained at least once every two years and every time an RV is
transferred to a new owner."
    In an RV, propane is commonly used for furnaces, fridges, water heaters,
barbecues and stove ranges.
    Whether renting or buying a new or used vehicle, RV users should look for
a blue BC Safety Authority decal confirming that a certified technician has
completed a comprehensive propane system safety inspection and has made the
necessary repairs.
    RVs can be brought in for propane safety checks to recreation vehicle
shops that are registered with the Safety Authority; these shops are located
throughout the province.
    The VSA requires all dealers to ensure vehicles are safe before being
sold, and supports the BC Safety Authority in advising motor dealers and
consumers that any vehicle offered for sale with a propane device or storage
tank must display a valid blue inspection decal.
    Many VSA dealers have operating permits issued by the BC Safety Authority
allowing them to install and inspect propane products, and are required to
employ certified technicians to ensure gas appliances are leak free and
operate safely.
    "Our customers' safety is a primary concern," said Earl Manning, VSA's
Director of Licensing. "We are working with the BC Safety Authority to ensure
all registered dealers perform regular propane safety checks and display valid
inspection certificates and decals."
    As with all other fuels, propane should be handled with care and RV users
should know what to do in case of a leak or other emergency. Propane gas has a
smell like rotten eggs or boiling cabbage and is heavier than air, so when
checking for leaks, be aware it can gather in low-lying areas.
    Ignition of propane gas within an enclosed space can result in explosion,
and it can be ignited by many sources including pilot lights, open flames,
smoking materials, electric sparks, and static electricity.

    More Propane Safety Tips:

    -   Familiarize yourself with all safety precaution notices posted in
        your RV.

    -   Identify all emergency shut-off valves and develop basic emergency
        procedures for everyone traveling in the RV.

    -   If you think you smell propane, get everyone out of the unit and
        close the supply valve on the propane containers.

    -   Have everyone leave the RV and get medical attention if anyone shows
        symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning (headaches, nausea,
        dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, impaired judgment, loss of manual

    -   When using a propane stove or oven, open a vent or window and turn on
        the range hood fan to remove moisture and combustion products (which
        may contain CO).

    -   Never use stove burners or ovens to heat your RV. They are designed
        for attended cooking only.

    -   Don't use portable propane camping equipment in your RV (e.g. camp
        stoves, barbecues, lanterns, catalytic converters, radiant heaters).

    -   Before entering a gas station, turn off all burners, pilot lights,
        appliances and automatic ignition devices. Turn off the vehicle
        engine and have everyone leave the RV before refueling.

    -   Transport propane containers in the secured upright position.

    -   Never use, store, or transport propane cylinders or liquid fuels in
        the passenger space or living area of your RV.

    -   Don't transport or use propane containers that are damaged, show
        signs of corrosion, have been exposed to fire, or appear to be

    -   When buying propane equipment, always ask if the product is certified
        for Canada, as many products sold outside Canada do not comply with
        Canadian safety standards.

    For more information about RV propane safety and BC Safety Authority
registered recreation vehicle shops, visit www.safetyauthority.ca or
www.mvsabc.com. A propane safety brochure is also available by contacting your
local BC Safety Authority office, or call toll-free 1-866-566-SAFE (7233).

    The BC Safety Authority is an independent not-for-profit corporation that
provides cost-effective and essential services to the general public,
businesses, industry and institutions to keep our communities safe. The
Authority protects British Columbians by ensuring the safety of mechanical
systems, products, equipment and work practices.

    The Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of BC is a non-profit organization
delegated by the provincial government to administer and enforce the Motor
Dealer Act, the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and related
regulations under those Acts. The VSA regulates and licenses approximately
1,700 motor dealers and approximately 8,000 sales and management
representatives. The VSA oversees consumer protection legislation applicable
to licensed motor dealers including standard setting and enforcement,
complaint resolution, consumer protection and public industry education.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Ariela Friedmann, Leader,
Corporate Communications, BC Safety Authority, (604) 660-2971,
ariela.friedmann@safetyauthority.ca; Judy McRae, Manager, Corporate Services
and Communications, Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of BC, (604) 293-3521,

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