Recreational
Activity

BBQing

Few things can match the fun and enjoyment of a barbecue with family and friends. Practise sensible, safe barbecuing and your get-together will be a sizzling success.

At the start of the BBQ season, do this three-step safety check of your BBQ:

  1. Clean: Use a pipe cleaner or wire to ensure burner ports are free of rust, dirt, spider webs or other debris.
  2. Check: Examine the hose leading from the tank to the burners. Replace if cracked or damaged.
  3. Test: Find leaks by applying a 50/50 solution of water and dish soap to propane cylinder connections and hoses. If bubbles appear, tighten the connection and/or replace the damaged parts and retest.

Take these steps in the right order when igniting a BBQ:

  1. Open the hood.
  2. Turn gas release valve on tank.
  3. Turn on grill controls or heat settings.
  4. Take a step back.
  5. Push the igniter button.

If there is no igniter button, insert a long match or BBQ lighter through the side burner hole first, then turn on the heat control knob. If the burner does not ignite right away, turn the gas off and wait five minutes, keeping the hood open, before repeating the procedure.

BBQs are approved for outdoor use only. They emit carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that can lead to unconsciousness and even death. Propane cylinders may not be used or stored inside any structure.

  • Keep loose clothing away from a hot BBQ.
  • Keep children and pets at a safe distance.
  • Turn gas valve off first when finished, then turn off the burner controls, so no gas is left in the connecting hose.
  • Allow the BBQ to cool completely before closing the cover.
  • Leave the BBQ unattended when in use.
  • Allow grease to build up on the burners or at the base of the BBQ as this could cause a grease fire.
  • Throw water on a grease fire – this will only spread the flame.
  • Position your BBQ too close to wooden fences or walls; make sure the area behind your BBQ is free of combustible material, since this is where hot gases escape.
  • Prohibited by the Condominium Act of your building.
  • Prohibited by the building owner or property manager of a rental property.
  • The balcony is open (no enclosures or walls have been erected).
  • A propane cylinder is transported in a service elevator; when there are no service elevators, you may use the passenger elevator, but you must be alone.
  • The cylinder is kept on the balcony and connected to the BBQ.
  • The BBQ is kept clear of combustible material as listed on the BBQ’s rating plate or in the certified instructions.
  • The propane cylinder relief valve is at least one metre horizontally from any building opening below it, and three metres from a building air intake.

Gardening &
Yard Work

Whether you’re starting a garden in your backyard or getting ready to tackle some outside home renovations, contact your local utility first. You could be over a labyrinth of pipe carrying natural gas, countless electrical lines or even cable TV.

While natural gas is safe - when it’s sealed tight inside that pipe – it possesses a few fiery properties. Composed primarily of methane, natural gas is extremely flammable. If a leak occurs, even though what may seem to be a minor scrape of a pipe from a shovel or backhoe, it can quickly rise (being lighter than air), gather in concentrated areas and, if near a flame or spark, cause a fire or deadly explosion.

Underground natural gas pipelines are designed to keep the gas safely inside. In order to stay that way, there are certain rules for digging.

  • When excavating, contact your local utility for the location of all nearby pipelines or use Ontario One at 1-800-400-2255; a simple call will quickly and easily get your underground utility lines marked.
  • Check the paperwork left by the locator to ensure it covers your dig area, and make sure you understand all the markings; if not, discuss it with the locator.
  • Markers only indicate the presence of a pipeline and should not be used or relied upon to determine the exact location of a pipeline; carefully hand dig within three feet (or one metre) of those markings as required by law under TSSA’s Guidelines for Excavations (downloadable here).

What to do if you hit a pipe?

Even if you happen to cause damage to a buried pipeline that appears to be minor, notify the utility company immediately. Do not attempt to squeeze off the break or control the flow of gas – you could cause an explosion. It is imperative that the utility company, and only those qualified to do so, inspect and repair any damage to the line – for everyone’s safety. If you become aware of such an incident or potential incident, please contact your local utility immediately.

It is imperative that the utility company, and only those qualified to do so, inspect and repair any damage to the line – for everyone’s safety.

Pipeline hits as a whole have steadily decreased year over year in Ontario, thanks to the efforts of TSSA, the Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance and various industry stakeholders, but there is still a way to go yet. With your help, we’ll keep the gas flowing – safely in the ground where it belongs. You dig?

Contact your local utility to locate all nearby pipelines Call Before You Dig: Ontario One-Call To arrange for free natural gas pipe location service at your site, call Ontario One. Call at least five working days in advance. 1-800-400-2255.


Camping,
Cottaging
& RVing

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while spending time with family and friends.

Campfire Safety
Before starting a fire, ensure that open-air fires are permitted at the campsite.

Always make sure children are supervised around the campfire.

Ensure you have a fun and safe experience by following these simple tips:

  • Arrive at your campsite with enough daylight left to check over the area and to set up camp.
  • Look for a level site with enough room to spread out all your camping gear.
  • Be sure to check the site thoroughly for glass, sharp objects and branches that could fall or that hang low.
  • Check for natural hazards such as poison ivy, bees and ants.
  • Be aware of the types of wildlife in the area.
  • Dispose of all trash in the proper recycling bins if available.
  • Keep your campsite tidy and clean on a daily basis to avoid incidents.

RVing

If you are one of the millions who love to take some of the comforts of home on the road, be aware of the safety guidelines for transporting and using propane to power your interior appliances.

Without adequate venting and fresh air, propane appliances can rapidly produce dangerous levels of CO. Because CO is an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas, it is important to install a CO detector to alert you if a dangerous concentration of CO is present. It is also a good idea to equip your RV with an electronic propane leak alarm.

Gas cylinders, relief valves and regulating equipment must be located either outside the vehicle, or in a compartment that is gas tight (or sealed off) from the interior of the RV. This allows any leaks to flow to the outside air. Also, keep cylinders out of harm’s way. Do not mount cylinders onto the roof or back of the RV. Use the designated spaces for storage and transportation.

Only a registered fuels technician may legally install or remove propane piping, tubing equipment and appliances in any RV. Be sure to look for tested and certified products bearing the Canadian Gas Association (CGA), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) International or Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC) logos on the rating plate of new appliances.

When it is time to top-up on propane, it is important to shut off all interior burners, pilot lights, appliances and automatic ignition switches. In addition, be sure to shut off the RV motor and have all passengers leave the vehicle during propane refilling.

Boating Safety

Whether you’re a seasoned boating veteran or just a beginner, here are a few basic fuel safety tips will increase your chances of a problem-free summer on the water. Use this helpful checklist the next time you refuel your boat:

  • Have a minimum 5BC-rated fire extinguisher on board.
  • Turn off boat engine as well as all auxiliary power sources and pilot lights on gas appliances before refuelling.
  • Make sure everyone leaves the boat.
  • Lift engine cover to check for leaks and odours.
  • If safe, turn on and run bilge blower for at least four minutes before starting the engine.
  • Keep open flame at least three metres away from fuel source.