RV / Propane Safety

RVing is a fantastic way to see all that Canada has to offer.

Before you start you adventure, make sure you are PROPANE SAFE:

Click on the highlighted areas in the RV below to learn more about how to be safe while RVing.

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Carbon Monoxide: the silent killer.

It can be neither seen nor smelled, which is why Carbon Monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer. It can overcome its victims undetected.

Click the hotspots on the image above to learn more about aspects of RV safety and how to prevent the risk of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning while camping.

Carbon Monoxide alarms.

Propane appliances may produce lethal Carbon Monoxide (CO) gas if they're not working properly. Unlike propane, CO gas has no odour, making it difficult to detect and deadly.

In addition to your smoke and propane alarms, use a CO alarm approved by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Click here to learn the symptoms of CO poisoning.

Keep warm the old fashioned way.

Ensure you have warm clothes and bedding on hand for everyone for those chilly times.

Never use the stove or oven for space heating.

Maintain gas appliances.

Purchase RVs with gas appliances that have been inspected and certified by an RV shop licensed by the BCSA.

Stove, fridge, water heater and furnace should be serviced annually. Water heaters and furnaces could produce CO if not working properly and if the furnace heat exchanger has a crack in it, the flue gas could enter inside the RV.


Use battery powered lamps and flashlights for indoor lighting - not fuel burning lamps.

Be prepared.

Keep a charged cell phone, flash light, spare batteries on hand and a fully stocked first aid kit handy for emergencies.

Fire extinguisher.

Keep a fully charged, annually inspected fire extinguisher on hand, near an exit and away from open flame.


Open a vent or window and turn on the range hood fan when using propane stove or oven.

Keep it outside.

Never use portable fuel burning equipment inside your RV (e.g. camping stoves, barbeques, lanterns, catalytic or radiant heaters or generators).

Using and transporting propane cylinders.

  • Never transport cylinders in the passenger space or living area of your RV.
  • Secure cylinders in an upright position on the outside of your RV, camper or trailer.
  • Never transport cylinders more than 30kg (67 lbs) when full. A typical barbeque propane cylinder is 17kg (34.5 lbs).
  • Ensure cylinders are capped or plugged when not in use, and stored or transported in a well ventilated space.


How to Purchase and Maintain Propane Equipment

  • Purchase RVs with gas appliances that have been inspected and certified by a recreational vehicle shop that is licensed by the BCSA.
  • Buy propane equipment that is certified for use in Canada.
  • Follow RV manufacturer’s instructions for the operation and maintenance of propane equipment
  • Have propane equipment maintained regularly. Use the Canadian Propane Association “Propane Services Directory
  • If your propane cylinder is dented or has visible rust, be sure to have it inspected by a professional.
  • Ensure that your propane cylinders are inspected and recertified every 10 years. Expired refillable propane tanks are taken at landfills and transfer stations as well as many propane dealers. Tanks must be empty. Many landfills and transfer stations no longer accept non-refillable, single-use tanks (camping propane containers) because they are difficult and expensive to recycle. Switch to refillable tanks wherever possible.
  • Never place a pressurized container in your garbage; they can cause explosions when compacted in collection trucks.

Use Propane Appliances Safely

Propane appliances may produce Carbon Monoxide (CO) if they are not working properly. CO is a poisonous, colourless, odorless gas.

  • Use appliances for their intended use only. Never use stove burners or ovens for space heating.
  • Never use portable propane camping equipment inside your RV (e.g. camping stoves, barbeques, lanterns, catalytic or radiant heaters).
  • Open a vent or window and turn on the range hood fan when using a propane stove or oven.
  • Use a Canadian certified CO alarm, in addition to your smoke and propane alarms.
  • Check connections for leaks after exchanging propane cylinders. Use a mixture of 50% liquid soap and 50% water applied with a paint brush or a portable gas leak detector.

Recognize the Smell of Propane

Propane smells like rotten eggs. If you think you smell propane in your RV:

  • Get everyone out of the RV immediately.
  • Don’t smoke, light matches, operate electrical switches, use either cell phones or telephones, or create any other source of ignition.
  • Turn your gas off at the main cylinder, if safe to do so and you know how.
  • Call the area fire department emergency number or 911 from the nearest phone outside of the RV.

Transport Propane Safely


  • Transport cylinders upright and secured.
  • Purchase a safety product that will help you secure your propane cylinder and keep it upright during transportation
  • Ensure that the cylinder has proper ventilation – roll down the rear passenger side window if it is in the back seat or if being transported in the trunk of a vehicle, secure the trunk so that it’s partially open.
  • Turn off the engine and all appliances and pilot lights before refueling your vehicle.


  • Use or transport damaged propane containers that show signs of corrosion have been exposed to fire or appear to be leaking.
  • Use, store, or transport propane cylinders or liquid fuels in the passenger seat or living area of your RV. Place cylinders in a well ventilated area.
  • Transport more than five5 cylinders at one time.

Recognize the Symptoms of CO Poisoning (seek immediate medical attention if symptoms are present)

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • impaired judgment
  • lack of physical coordination