British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

September 07, 2011 14:32 ET

BC Safety Authority: Gas and Electrical Equipment Safety During Forest Fires

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 7, 2011) - There can be potential serious gas and electrical safety implications to consider if you are living or working in an area experiencing forest fires.

The BC Safety Authority (BCSA) reminds homeowners and businesses to take precautions with gas and electrical appliances when there are warnings of forest fires that may impact your home or business.

Electrical equipment and gas appliances damaged by fire can be dangerous if they are re-energized and used without being properly inspected by a licensed contractor, the Safety Authority notes.

If your community is being impacted directly by a forest fire and time allows, the following is recommended:

  • Have a licensed gas contractor de-energize gas equipment and systems.
  • Have a licensed gas contractor shut off the main gas supply and cap the gas pipe before it enters into the dwelling.
  • Disconnect or unplug all electrical appliances and electronic equipment.
  • Shut off the electrical supply.
  • Remove propane tanks to a secure area.

If a licensed contractor is unavailable:

  • Shut off the main gas and electrical supply.
  • Ensure that all valves and power knobs on all appliances and systems are turned off.
  • Shut off the water leading to and from hot water tanks.
  • Remove propane tanks to a secure area.

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 will smell like rotten eggs.
  • If the main power and gas supply are still turned on, have the electrical system checked by a licensed electrical contractor before entering the premises or using the electrical system.
  • Do not plug in or turn on any fire-damaged appliance or system. Call a licensed gas and/or electrical contractor to do an inspection first.
  • Have a licensed contractor reconnect and test any gas or electrical system that was removed from service or de-energized.

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 about gas and electrical safety visit the BCSA web site at: http://www.safetyauthority.ca/safety-information/homeowners. To find a licensed gas or electrical contractor in your community, go to http://safetyauthority.ca/contact/find-contractor.

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