British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

July 22, 2009 15:40 ET

BC Safety Authority: Fire Damage Raises Risk of Electrical and Gas Incidents

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 22, 2009) - The fires that affected several communities in Kelowna have raised the risk of electrical and gas related incidents.

The BC Safety Authority (BCSA) is reminding everyone to take precautions if fire has damaged their homes and offices.

"Electrical equipment and gas appliances exposed to fire can be dangerous if they are re-energized and used without being properly inspected by a licensed contractor," says Craig Pickerell, BCSA's Regional Business Leader for the Southern Interior.

"Extreme heat, debris and contaminants during the fire may have damaged equipment or appliances. These can sometimes be hidden and cause serious risks," adds Pickerell.

Extreme precautions must be taken when returning to a fire-damaged area.

- If you smell natural or propane gas, leave the area immediately and call your gas utility. Natural and propane gas smell like rotten eggs or sulphur.

- Do not plug in or turn on any fire-damaged appliance or system. Call licensed gas and electrical contractors to do an inspection first.

- If you have any concerns, shut off the main electrical switch or gas supply and contact a licensed contractor to inspect the system.

The BCSA website provides a list of licensed contractors. Go to www.safetyauthority.ca and click on Homeowners - BCSA Contractor List.

For further information, you may also contact the BCSA's office in Kelowna at 250-861-7313 or call the BCSA's toll free number at 1-866-566-7233.

The BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded organization that inspires safety excellence in British Columbia by partnering with business, industry and the general public to enhance the safety of technical systems, products, equipment and work.

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