Propane storage tank owners reminded to obtain an operating permit

Technical Safety BC is reminding propane tank owners in British Columbia of their responsibility to obtain an operating permit as required by the Safety Standards Act.

Since 2004, propane tanks that are in operation and pressurized above 15 pounds per square inch gauge (psig) require an operating permit. Common sizes of propane storage tanks currently available vary from 120 US water gallons (USWG) up to 1,000 USWG. These tanks store propane that is typically used in home heating systems and for various commercial and industrial sites.

“We’re working to help owners become more aware of their operating permit obligations and how to comply with safety regulations,” stated Tony Scholl, Technical Safety BC's Safety Manager for Boilers, Pressure Vessels and Refrigeration.

Technical Safety BC issued a directive on June 22, 2015 to clarify and communicate the regulatory requirements regarding propane tank operating permits.

“An operating permit is required for all operational propane tanks in order for Technical Safety BC provide safety oversight,” added Scholl.

Having accurate propane tank data enables Technical Safety BC to assess hazards and effectively communicate important safety information to owners so that they can protect themselves, their equipment and those around them. When pressure vessels are used to store large quantities of combustible fuel, such as propane, there is an inherent safety risk involved to owners and the surrounding public and property.

Currently, over 80% of propane suppliers have applied for tank operating permits to comply with safety regulations and Technical Safety BC is receiving more tank information daily.

All owners of propane tanks are responsible to provide tank data to Technical Safety BC and to obtain a permit for each tank that is in operation. This permit requirement is applicable regardless of the type of installation (e.g., industrial, commercial, residential, etc.). However, the operating permit fee will be automatically waived for tanks equal to or less than 500 USWG, regardless of purpose or use. For tanks over 500 USWG that are used for residential purposes only, owners can apply for a fee waiver.

Owners should note that portable propane cylinders, such as those used with barbecues, small heating equipment, and recreation vehicles, are subject to Transport Canada regulations and do not require an operating permit.

More information and educational videos about propane pressure vessels are available at:

Questions can be directed to Technical Safety BC by email at:, or by calling 778-396-2033.


For more information, please contact:

Media Relations
Technical Safety BC

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