Summer safety tips for campers and grillers!

For many British Columbians, May long weekend gives us the first taste of summer vacation and it’s a good time to clean out tents and RVs, open up cottages and cabins, or have friends over for a barbecue.

Before you get started with your summer activities, take some time to make sure your natural gas or propane appliances are in safe working order. Portable fuel burning appliances should only be used outside where they are properly ventilated.  Also, please read and understand the manufacturer’s certified instructions regarding the safe operation and maintenance of your appliances.

BC Safety Authority (BCSA) recommends you carefully inspect all gas equipment prior to use and ensure that the carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your recreational vehicle, trailer, cottage, or cabin are in good working condition. CO alarms and portable propane appliances are required to have Canadian approval marks, typically to a CSA standard. Recognized or approved certification marks for gas and electrical appliances can be found on our website.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon fuels such as propane, natural gas, wood, charcoal, alcohol, kerosene or gasoline.  When portable fuel-burning appliances are used outdoors they are fine, but in an enclosed space – like a tent, RV, cottage or cabin - CO can become trapped, creating a hazardous and potentially lethal environment.

From 2007 to 2014, a total of 76 CO-related incidents were reported to, and investigated by, BCSA. These incidents resulted in nine fatalities and 149 non-fatal injuries. More details covering eight years of CO incidents and injuries can be found in the gas section of BCSA’s newly released State of Safety Report 2015.

Inhalation of CO interferes with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, which can result in serious illness or even death.  Symptoms of CO poisoning can include:  light-headedness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, chest pains, vomiting, convulsions, confusion and dizziness.  If you suspect you have been exposed to CO, turn all appliances off, leave the dwelling immediately and seek the nearest available medical attention.

Additional Information:

Be in the Know About CO: Carbon Monoxide awareness

Quick Reference – Annual Servicing For Gas Appliances


For more information, please contact:

Media Relations
BC Safety Authority

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