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Stay safe during wildfire season

Drying conditions contribute to an elevated risk of wildfires across many parts of the province.  For residents in areas with a high risk of fire, there are potential hazards associated with gas and electrical equipment.

Technical Safety BC releases 2017 Annual Report

Vancouver, BC, May 11, 2018 —Technical Safety BC, formerly BC Safety Authority, released its 2017 Annual Report, which provides an overview of the organization’s operational and financial performance in relation to targets set in its 2017-2019 Business Plan  and

Stay safe this spring: Our top 4 tips

Each year Technical Safety BC receives reports of electrical and gas incidents which have resulted from homeowners doing work that should have been left to licensed contractors, or work that was done by individuals doing regulated work without the proper licenses, qualifications or permits.

Can disposable propane cylinders be refilled?

Beware of adapters being sold online and through local retail stores for the sole purpose of refilling disposable propane cylinders using refillable cylinders. Most of these adapters were designed for the 20 pound variants of refillable cylinders.

Secondary suites: understanding rule 26-400

Secondary suites have become increasingly popular in the province and Technical Safety BC's safety officers often receive questions about the requirements for panelboards in dwelling units with suites.

Keep your tracks debris-free

It is important to keep tracks free from debris between the rails. Track inspections cannot be performed if debris such as dirt or wood chips obscure track components such as: ties, joint bars, and ballast condition.

Inspect your derails

A railway derail is a safety device designed to prevent unauthorized movement of railway equipment which can potentially harm workers, the public, and equipment.

Understanding and preventing the dangers of ammonia exposure

The employees of Technical Safety BC are deeply saddened by the loss of lives caused by the tragic incident in Fernie, BC on October 17, 2017. Our thoughts are with the community of Fernie, especially the families who have lost their loved ones. Technical Safety BC safety officers are currently working with local first responders and emergency management personnel, including: the fire department, RCMP, the Coroner's office, and WorkSafe BC.

Do you know about CO?

You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You’ve probably never thought about it. But make no mistake: it’s out there. And it could kill you. We’re talking about carbon monoxide (CO), an invisible, odourless, tasteless gas produced when wood, natural gas, or anything organic burns incompletely.

Six common barbecue dangers – and how to avoid them

Before you fire up the grill this Canada Day long weekend, take some basic safety precautions! Each year, Technical Safety BC receives reports of incidents resulting from gas barbecues. The most dangerous time to use a grill is at the beginning of the barbecue season, after equipment hasn’t been used for a while.  Here are six common barbecue safety mistakes – and how to avoid them.

Gas and electrical equipment safety in wildfires

Drying conditions contribute to an elevated risk of wildfires across many parts of the province. For residents in areas with a high risk of fire, there are potential hazards associated with gas and electrical equipment. BC Safety Authority (BCSA) reminds homeowners and businesses to take precautions with gas and electrical appliances if evacuation, or loss of power due to fire is expected.

BC Safety Authority releases 2016 State of Safety Report

BC Safety Authority (BCSA) released its 2016 State of Safety Report, a comprehensive overview of BCSA’s activities and information analysis, including data on installation and operating assessments, incident investigations, as well as research and enforcement activities. The report is designed to help people understand technical trends and use the knowledge to make informed safety decisions.

BC Safety Authority announces changes to Board of Directors

BC Safety Authority (BCSA) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chair and a new Member to join BCSA’s Board of Directors.

“The diversity of expertise among BCSA’s Board members is vital to overseeing delivery of the organization’s 10-Year Strategy,” said Richard Ballantyne, the retiring Chair. “I’m very confident that BCSA’s Board will continue to provide good governance to advance technical safety in British Columbia.”

How big data, modeling and machine learning are shaping safety in BC

Lori, an electrical safety officer with Technical Safety BC scans her mobile device. Late last night when the servers crunched the data, some construction activity without the legally required permits was detected, and sites with the highest probability of safety hazards were flagged.

Is your fireplace safe?

BC Safety Authority (BCSA) has issued a safety order prohibiting British Columbians from using certain natural gas and propane fireplaces manufactured by Security Fireplaces. There have been two reported incidents in Canada involving these fireplaces due to delayed ignition. 

Working de-energized

While inspecting a new residence, a BCSA safety officer came across a dangerous situation that could have caused electrical shock or arc flash. The utility had already connected power to the building, but an electrical contractor had removed a utility meter to perform work on the second service. 

Steam boiler explodes

An explosion occurred in the combustion chamber of a high pressure oil-fired steam boiler. A faulty fuel solenoid may have contributed to an accumulation of fuel in the combustion chamber leading to an explosion of un-burned oil in the combustion chamber.

Homeowner's hunch reveals unsafe electrical work

Intuition saves a woman's home from potential disaster.
  
Heather Bouman of Parksville, B.C., was shocked to discover the contractor she hired to do renovations was not a licensed contractor and had not obtained the necessary permits for the job.
 

Unpermitted work, hazards found at a home renovation

BC Safety Authority recently identified a site where gas installation work was being performed without the required permit.  An investigation found that the regulated work on the site had been performed by both the homeowner and a gas contractor.

Slide the City

Those living in and around Vancouver, BC may remember a popular public event called Slide the City, which drew crowds of all ages to take part in the attractions. What many may not have realized was the safety checks that occurred behind the scenes.

Inspecting the largest zipline in BC

It’s known currently as the largest zipline in British Columbia: Ziptrek's Zipline 11, the Sasquatch.  The line is 2.085 km long, passing the previous record holder, Superfly’s Zoom2 line which is 1.23905 km in length.  According to ZipTrek Ecotours, the company that operates the Sasquatch, it al

BC Safety Authority promotes Railway Safety Week

BC Safety Authority (BCSA) joins the BC Provincial Committee on Rail Safety Public Outreach to promote Railway Safety Week from April 25 to May 1, 2016.

“Safety is our top priority in the operation of British Columbia’s railway systems,” says Eric Samuelson, BCSA Compliance & Enforcement and Railway Safety Manager.  “We endeavour to provide the public with a high level of confidence that our province’s rail operations are safe as we transport people, goods and materials.”

Dangers of hiring unqualified contractors

It is important to hire qualified individuals for repairs or installation of equipment to ensure not only the safety of occupants, but also protection for property investments, as insurance will likely not cover work completed by unqualified individuals.

When looking for contractors:

BC Safety Authority welcomes new members to Board of Directors

BC Safety Authority (BCSA) is pleased to welcome Neil Cumming and Doug Scott to BCSA’s Board of Directors effective March 31, 2016, each for a three-year term. Mr. Cumming and Mr. Scott were appointed to BCSA’s Board by the Honourable Rich Coleman, Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing.

Spring cleaning? Check your fireplace

It seems like a quick and easy part of spring cleaning. Wiping down the glass panel of your gas fireplace, cleaning the pilot or burner, and maybe repositioning the logs. But if you’re thinking about doing it yourself, think again.

When to take a gas appliance out of service

Fall and winter always bring weather systems that are both unpredictable and challenging. Be prepared with a process for putting appliances safely in or out of service when they have been subjected to a flood, fire or any other form of natural disaster.

Yellow or orange? Is my sealant compliant?

Don’t worry about the colour. There is no requirement under CAN/ULC S642: Standard for Compounds and Tapes for Threaded Pipe Joints and CSA’s B149.1-10 Natural gas and propane installation code that mandates colour.

Hidden hazards found in new basement suite

An electrical safety officer discovered several unsafe conditions while conducting an assessment on a newly-created basement suite in a home. Access to the renovation was possible from the main dwelling and there were several children living in the residence. 

Hidden hazards found in new basement suite

An electrical safety officer discovered several unsafe conditions while conducting an assessment on a newly-created basement suite in a home. Access to the renovation was possible from the main dwelling and there were several children living in the residence. 

BC Provincial Committee on Rail Safety Public Outreach

In 2014, Transport Canada and BC Safety Authority (BCSA) initiated the development of a provincial committee to address vehicle accidents and incidents at road crossings and the dangerous practice of people trespassing on railway tracks.

Kitchen counter receptacles

Recently, we have seen a rising trend in kitchen design toward windows or pass-through openings that travel from counter to ceiling with no backsplash. These kitchen designs mean that electrical contractors need to find new ways to satisfy Rule 26-712(d) (iii), which outlines the number of recept

BC Safety Authority releases full investigation report into 2012 Babine Forest Products sawmill explosion

New Westminster, BC, January 16, 2014—BC Safety Authority (BCSA) today released its investigation report into the January 2012 fatal explosion and fire at the Babine Forest Products sawmill in Burns Lake.

“We conducted an extensive investigation to determine whether regulated technical equipment or work may have contributed to the Babine incident,” said Phil Gothe, Vice-President of Technical Programs for BCSA.