Gas Appliance Safety
Following industry standards for equipment installation as well as ensuring regular maintenance of your appliances, according to the manufacturer’s directions, are key steps you can take to ensure your comfort and safety. And these steps will also help your appliances run more efficiently and last longer.
Natural Gas Equipment Safety Tips
- Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors – Installing a CO detector is important to warn occupants in case of CO exposure. CO is toxic gas that you can’t see or smell which is produced by the incomplete burning of a carbon-based fuel such as natural gas, gasoline, heating oil, propane and wood.
- Certified equipment – Only buy gas appliances certified by trusted testing organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratory Canada (UL)©. Natural Gas appliances must be certified for use with gas and should carry the logo of the CSA or another Canadian certification. These logos can be found on the rating plate of your natural gas appliance.
- Safe installation – Equipment and appliances should only be installed by a licensed and certified technician that have an installation permit. Use Technical Safety BC’s convenient web search tool to find a contractor in your community or you are welcome to contact them at 1.866.566.7233 to provide a list.
- Regular inspection – Have your appliances regularly serviced by a licensed gas contractor to detect any deterioration in your equipment. At the same time, ask the contractor to inspect all of the gas lines on your property – to your meter or barbecue. They can advise if any of the piping may need repair.
- Venting – Make sure the air supply vents and pipes to your natural gas appliances are not blocked by leaves, dust, debris, furniture or stored items. If you plan to enclose your water heater or furnace, check with a licensed gas contractor first.
- Emergency shut off – Know where the emergency shut-off valve is on each of your natural gas appliances. It’s the red handle attached to a pipe.
Furnaces, Boilers, and Water Heaters
- Clean or replace your filter regularly, or after periods of heavy usage (i.e. after the winter heating season).
- Do not store combustible materials – such as paints, solvents, or gasoline – in the same room or near your heating equipment.
- Do not store flammable materials – such as mops, brooms, laundry or newspapers – near your heating equipment.
- Keep any pipe wrap or insulation at least 15 centimetres (6 inches) away from the draft hood or flue at the top of the tank when insulating the water piping that extends from the water heater.
Ranges and Stoves
- Teach children not to turn on gas range knobs.
- If the gas flame goes out on your range, turn the burner off, wait a few minutes for gas to dissipate, and then re-light the burner.
- Regularly clean the burners and oven of a natural gas range. Never line the oven with aluminum foil.
- Glass panels can heat up quickly and stay hot after the fireplace is turned off. Consider installing a safety screen or a fire-resistant hearth guard to keep young children from touching the glass.
- Keep the area around your gas fireplace clear of anything flammable, such as toys, clothing, plastics or paper.
- Make sure your natural gas dryer has clean filters.
- By law, gas clothes dryers must be vented to the outside. This prevents moisture and lint accumulation which may cause a fire hazard.
- Check your vent or chimney to ensure they are clear of debris, tight, and not blocked.
- Do not use your outdoor barbeque in your home or to heat your home.
Only Hire a Licensed Contractor
Always contact a licensed technician for any inspection or maintenance needs. Whether undertaking a major renovation or installing a new natural gas appliance, it is important to remember that in B.C. only properly trained experts, licensed by Technical Safety BC, are recommended to work on gas systems, such as in your home or business. Learn more here.