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Here are some tips to stay 'fuels safe'

Remember that generators, heaters, camp stoves, barbecues and other fuel-fired appliances are designed for outdoor use only
barbeque propane tank turl 2017
File photo/Village Media

With the recent onset of spring’s unprecedented rainfall across various regions in Ontario, the province’s fuels-safety regulator, Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), is advising Ontarians of important fuel-related safety tips as they work to recover from devasting flooding.

With key energy infrastructure temporarily out of commission and persistently cool and wet temperatures, many residents may be tempted to use portable fuel-fired generators or camp heaters to heat their homes or garages, as well as propane barbecues and stoves for cooking indoors.

While such activities may be tempting, TSSA reminds Ontarians to exercise extreme vigilance and caution when handling or operating fuel-fired appliances and equipment.

This is critical to avoid the risk of fire, explosion or build-up of carbon monoxide (CO) — an odourless, colourless and tasteless poisonous gas that can lead to serious health effects, including death.

TSSA reminds residents of the following ways to stay “fuels safe”:

  • Never use a fuel-fired generator, heater, camp stove, lantern or barbecue inside your home or in an enclosed space such as a garage — these are designed for outdoor use only. Open doors, windows or fans will never provide enough ventilation to prevent CO gas from rising to toxic levels.
  • When using a generator outside, as intended, ensure it is situated away from any open windows, doors and vents of your house, garage or cottage — CO gas can even accumulate in a car port or covered patio.
  • Make sure you fully understand and follow the proper operating procedures before starting your generator follow the manufacturer’s maintenance and repair guidelines.
  • Always allow the generator to cool before attempting to refuel it to avoid risks of potential fires from gas splashing on hot components.
  • Consider using a battery-powered CO detector in the area where you’re operating your generator.
  • If drying out your basement with commercial ventilating fans, you must vent any fuel-burning appliances and equipment, including furnaces and water heaters, to the outside. Ventilating fans can create a “negative” pressure environment, which can cause CO to spill back into the home.
  • As always, carbon monoxide alarms are required in all homes with a fuel-burning appliance or an attached garage. At a minimum, install a certified CO alarm adjacent to each sleeping area.

Residents unsure of any conditions that may affect their fuel-fired appliances should consult a professional TSSA fuels-certified technician. To determine if a technician is certified, ask to see a certificate number or contact TSSA at 1-877-682-8772 for verification.

About TSSA

The Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is one of Ontario’s public safety regulators mandated by the Government of Ontario to enforce provincial safety regulations and enhance public safety.

Throughout Ontario, TSSA regulates the safety of amusement devices, boilers and pressure vessels, elevating devices, fuels, operating engineers, ski lifts, and upholstered and stuffed articles.

Its range of safety services include public education and consumer information, certification, licensing and registration, engineering design review, inspections, investigations, safety management consultation, and enforcement and prosecution activities. The organization’s vision is to be a valued advocate and recognized authority in public safety.