Wildfires are a growing concern across British Columbia as dry conditions and less precipitation 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 reminds homeowners and businesses to take precautions with gas and electrical appliances if fire, evacuation, or loss of power due to fire is expected.
In the event of an active evacuation order:
Follow the instructions of authorities. Do not remain in your home or business. If time allows, do the following:
- Unplug non-essential electrical appliances.
- Remove portable propane cylinders.
- Ensure that all valves and power knobs on appliances and systems are turned off.
- Natural gas provided by Fortis BC or Pacific Northern Gas: Do not shut off your natural gas. Your supplier will shut it off if required.
- If gas is provided by another supplier or you have propane: Shut off the main gas supply upstream of the gas meter or at the propane tank or cylinder.
Returning home after an evacuation order:
Only return once the area of occupancy has been declared safe to enter by the proper authorities. Follow these precautions when returning to a fire-damaged area:
- Complete all safety requirements of authorities (police, fire officials).
- If you smell rotten eggs, it is likely natural or propane gas. Leave the area immediately and call your gas utility, propane supplier, or 911.
- Do not plug in or turn on any water-damaged appliance or system. Call licensed gas and electrical contractors to do an inspection first.
Helpful Wildfire Safety Links
- Learn how to prepare for, and clean-up following, wildfires: PreparedBC
- Check for evacuation warnings and alerts in BC: Emergency Information BC website
- See latest information on wildfires happening now and sign up for alerts: BC Wildfire Service
- Locate a licensed gas or electrical contractor in your area to inspect equipment following a fire: Find a Contractor