British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

July 06, 2009 09:00 ET

BC Safety Authority: Safe Summer Tips for Propane Use

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 6, 2009) - Summer's here with a lot of outdoor activities to choose from. Whether you're getting all your gear ready for that camping trip or planning to impress your friends with a barbecue on your new deck, chances are you have a propane tank and/or appliance on your list of things to buy.

"At this time of year, there's always a lot of activity using propane," said Wayne Lock, gas safety manager for the BC Safety Authority. "Propane appliances are safe as long as they're kept in good working condition and used properly."

"Think safety when using propane," Lock explained. "Watch out for leaks and cracks in your appliances, use and store them in a well ventilated area and use them only for what they are meant to do."

In 2008, a person was killed in a camper van fire while using a portable propane heater. It was undetermined whether the death was caused by the fire ignited by the heater, or carbon monoxide produced by the heater.

The BC Safety Authority is providing these tips for safe propane use:

- Ensure your propane appliances and tanks are in good working order before heading out to your campsite or firing up that weekend barbecue. That means checking for leaks, cracks and ensuring that burners and vents are clear of rust and debris.

- When transporting propane tanks, secure them in an upright position and in an area with lots of ventilation.

- Use propane appliances only for the purposes for which they are designed. Propane stoves are designed for cooking only and should never be used as space heaters.

- To eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, only use portable appliances such as lanterns, barbecues and gas heaters outside in freely ventilated areas. Never use them in enclosed spaces such as tents, recreational vehicles, campers, trailers or cabins, even if a window is open.

- Store refillable propane cylinders outdoors and make sure they are properly capped, plugged or sealed.

- Follow the instructions on portable propane tanks when disposing of them. Some come with a key that allows you to completely drain the propane tank.

- Learn to use your gas grill safely by watching a brief slideshow on the National Fire Protection Association website. Visit the association website at

To download more information about propane safety, visit A propane safety brochure is also available by contacting your local BC Safety Authority office.

The BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded corporation 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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