Technical Safety BC oversees industrial and commercial use of natural gas, propane, digester gas, manufactured gas, liquified petroleum gas, landfill gas and hydrogen throughout British Columbia in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Gas Safety Regulation.
We are responsible for delivering gas safety services to approximately 785,000 homes in the province, though some municipalities have separate administrative agreements with the provincial government to oversee low pressure gas systems and work.
In 2019 the number of gas related incidents reported to us increased by 7 (19%) compared to 2018.
Four of the incidents were rated as major. These included a fire and explosion in a Richmond apartment, a gas explosion in a recreation vehicle in Abbotsford, a fire in a mobile home, and a hard light off in a boiler which resulted in a small explosion.
The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year-end.
Gas incidents in 2019
In 2019 injuries increased by 12, compared to 2018. The majority of injuries reported were related to carbon monoxide leaks and poisoning.
Please note that we receive injury reporting and descriptions from operators of first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to us and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.
Gas injuries in 2019
In 2019, there were 58,782 gas permits issued. 55,441 were installation permits and 1,639 were operating permits.
Installation permits increased by 3%, compared to 2018. Residential occupancy installation permits remained steady in 2019, despite the decline in new home construction. An increase in multi-unit residential permits issued reflects the construction of condominium housing.
Gas permits in 2019
Technical Safety BC safety officers completed 14,995 physical assessments (inspections) of gas equipment in 2019.
746 more inspections were performed in 2019 compared to 2018. This is a result of the implementation of Structured Resource Allocation project, allowing safety officers to focus on higher hazard assessments.
Assessments are rated as follows:
Gas inspections in 2019