British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

May 20, 2011 15:06 ET

BC Safety Authority: A Safe RV Season Starts With a Propane Primer

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 20, 2011) - For many British Columbians, an RV, or recreational vehicle, is just like having an extension of your home in the great outdoors. But before you go on your adventure, the BC Safety Authority (BCSA) would like to remind you of some basic safety precautions for your propane system.

"If you use propane properly and do some basic safety checks prior to use, then you and your family should have a safe and worry free trip," says Eric Skehor, provincial gas safety manager for the BC Safety Authority.

Fortunately, trailer explosions due to propane leaks and carbon monoxide poisonings are rare, but they are still a risk worth thinking about before hitting the road in an RV.

"The propane system in an RV must be well-maintained and properly used, just like everything else in your vehicle," says Skehor.

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 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.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is colourless, odourless and potentially deadly. Here are some safety reminders to prevent CO poisoning:

  • When using a propane stove or oven, open a vent or window and turn on the range hood fan to let out any possible carbon monoxide and never use stove burners or the RV oven for space heating.
  • Never use portable propane camping equipment inside your RV (e.g. camp stoves, barbecues, lanterns, catalytic or radiant heaters).
  • Have everyone leave the RV and get medical attention if an individual shows physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning like: headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, impaired judgment, lack of physical coordination.

For more information about handling propane properly and RV propane safety please visit:

The British Columbia Safety Authority keeps people safe by mandating the safe installation and use of technical equipment. BCSA also issues permits and licences, educates, and conducts on-site inspections in high-risk situations.

For more information visit the BCSA web site at

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