British Columbia Safety Authority

British Columbia Safety Authority

May 21, 2010 09:00 ET

British Columbia Safety Authority: Hit the Road Safely With Your RV

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 21, 2010) - A year ago, a trailer explosion at an RV park in the East Kootenays caused one person to be sent to a hospital with burn injuries. Investigators suspect that one of the propane powered appliances inside the trailer may have leaked.

"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 Wayne Lock, the provincial gas safety manager for the BC Safety Authority.

For many British Columbians, an RV, or recreational vehicle, is just like having an extension of your home in the great outdoors of BC.

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 tanks.

"The propane system in an RV must be well-maintained and properly used, just like everything else in your vehicle," says Lock. "Have your RV's propane system checked by an authorized shop."

Here are some safety reminders if you plan on traveling or camping with an RV:

  • Be familiar with the RV manufacturer's operating and maintenance instructions. Ask for safety instructions if you are renting an RV.
  • Have propane equipment checked and maintained regularly by a vehicle shop registered with the BC Safety Authority.
  • When using a propane stove or oven, open a vent or window and turn on the range hood fan to let any possible carbon monoxide out.
  • Never use stove burners or oven for space heating. They are designed for cooking only.
  • Never use portable propane camping equipment inside your RV (e.g. camp stoves, barbecues, lanterns, catalytic or radiant heaters).
  • Never use charcoal barbecues or portable liquid fuel camping equipment inside your RV. Liquid fuels include kerosene, camp fuel, butane, gasoline, alcohol, lamp oil, etc.
  • Propane smells like rotten eggs. If you think you smell propane, get everyone out of the RV immediately.
  • Have everyone leave the RV and get medical attention if an individual shows physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (headaches, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, impaired judgment, lack of physical coordination).
  • Secure propane tanks outside the RV in an upright position when traveling.
  • Never use, store, or transport propane cylinders or liquid fuels in the passenger space or living area of your RV.
  • Don't transport or use propane containers that are damaged, show signs of corrosion, have been exposed to fire, or appear to be leaking.
  • After exchanging propane cylinders, always check connections for leaks with an approved leak detector solution, or with a mixture of 50% liquid soap and 50% water applied with a paint brush.
  • Propane cylinders must be inspected and requalified every 10 years. New cylinder valves may have additional safety features (overfill protection and safety valve to prevent propane from being released when the valve is opened but not connected).
  • When buying propane equipment for your RV or camping, ensure that the product is certified for Canada – look at the label.

If you'd like a copy of the RV Propane Safety brochure, call the BCSA at 1-866-566-7233 or email

At the British Columbia Safety Authority, we keep people safe. We mandate the safe installation and use of technical equipment. We also issue permits and licences, educate, and conduct onsite inspections in high-risk situations.

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