British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

June 22, 2013 20:26 ET

BC Safety Authority Responding to Floods

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 22, 2013) - BC Safety Authority (BCSA) is working with emergency response teams in Hosmer and Lumby to address safety concerns in the wake of recent flooding in both communities. BCSA safety officers are working in cooperation with local authorities, fire departments, RCMP and utility providers to ensure proper precautions are taken to address potential hazards posed by gas and electrical equipment that may have been subject to flooding.

BCSA is advising all residents and business owners whose premises may have been exposed to flood waters and debris to exercise extreme caution and take the proper precautions to protect themselves and their property. Gas and electrical equipment exposed to flood waters can be dangerous and should be properly inspected by a licensed contractor prior to use to confirm it is safe.

If electrical, gas or heating equipment is subjected to flooding it may become damaged, making it inoperable or unsafe. It is important to have the area of occupancy declared safe to enter by the proper authorities. It is also important that the requirements of other health & safety protocols have also been met. BC Safety Authority's Information Bulletin on Emergency Post Flood Protocol for Re-Energizing Electrical and Gas, available at: http://safetyauthority.ca/node/1025, outlines the requirements to restore electrical and gas service after a flooding incident.

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

  • If you smell natural or propane gas, leave the area immediately and call your gas utility, propane supplier, or 911. Natural and propane gas smell like rotten eggs.
  • If the main power and gas supply are still turned on, shut them off and do not step on a wet area if you must touch the main electrical panel.
  • Do not plug in or turn on any flood-damaged appliance or system. Call licensed gas and electrical contractors to do an inspection first.
  • Have a licensed gas contractor reconnect any gas system that was removed.

For those residents of communities still at risk for potential flooding, please review the following precautions.

If flooding is expected and time allows, do the following:

  • Have a licensed gas contractor remove gas equipment and systems.
  • Have a licensed gas contractor cap the gas pipe leading to appliances.
  • Remove electrical appliances.
  • Shut off the main gas and electrical supply.
  • Secure propane tanks to a stable structure to keep them from floating away.

If there is no advance warning of flooding or 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.
  • Secure propane tanks to a stable structure.

BC Safety Authority is an independent, self-funded organization mandated to oversee the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment. In addition to issuing permits, licences and certificates we work with industry to reduce safety risks through assessment, enforcement, research and education.

Additional gas and electrical safety information for homeowners, including how to locate a licensed contractor in your areas is available on the BCSA website at: http://www.safetyauthority.ca/safety-information/homeowners

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