British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

September 13, 2010 09:00 ET

BC Safety Authority: Why You Should Equate Autumn With Appliances...

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2010) - There's more to autumn than colourful falling leaves. It's also a good time for homeowners to think about getting their furnaces ready for a safe winter.

The BC Safety Authority is advising everyone to have their gas appliances inspected and serviced by a licensed contractor to keep their families safe from the risks of carbon monoxide and house fires.

Last year, two individuals were seriously injured in an incident which occurred when a dryer was improperly replaced in a rental suite over the summer. The property owner failed to hire a licensed contractor to safely handle the gas line. This dangerous oversight did not become apparent until the heat was turned on for winter and gas leaked freely into the apartment, causing an explosion.

"This is just one example of why it is critical to have gas appliances inspected and serviced each fall as part of your home's safety maintenance routine," says the Safety Authority's manager of gas safety, Wayne Lock. "If you take care of gas appliances in your home then you and your family should have a safe and worry free winter."

"Serious accidents can be prevented if you have a licensed contractor check your furnaces, stoves, hot water tanks, dryers, ranges, boilers, fire places, vents, air openings and heating system annually," says Lock. "Taking the appropriate safety steps with gas appliances can greatly reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning."

Carbon monoxide – sometimes called "the silent killer" – is a colourless, odourless gas produced by burning carbon fuels such as propane, natural gas, wood, charcoal, alcohol, kerosene, or gasoline. If you suspect carbon monoxide exposure you should leave the building immediately, call 911 and seek medical attention.

The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from regularly maintained appliances that are properly ventilated is extremely low. However, every homeowner should be aware that even a small amount of carbon monoxide is dangerous and installing carbon monoxide monitors and alarms can prevent serious accidents.

More information about carbon monoxide poisoning and gas appliance safety is available at: www.safetyauthority.ca/safety-information/homeowners/gas.

The British Columbia Safety Authority keeps people safe by mandating the safe installation and use of technical equipment. As the province's delegated authority, BCSA administers safety standards and enforces compliance. It also issues permits and licences, educates, and conducts onsite inspections in high-risk situations. The BC Safety Authority continuously advances the standards of safe practices in BC.

For more information visit the BCSA web site at www.safetyauthority.ca.

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