To: Paradise Park Owners
This is an important update to advise you that the BC Safety Authority is reviewing all RV Parks in BC for electrical and gas code compliance. Their inspectors have been to our park three times this year and on Nov/28/2012 did a comprehensive inspection which has resulted in them issuing Certificate of Electrical and Gas Inspections detailing non-compliance issues that need to be corrected by Dec/31/2012.
The gas non-compliance issues are for propane installation on specific lots (not on Park common property). Therefore, it will be the lot owner’s responsibility to authorize and pay for the necessary propane installation improvements. A separate email/letter request will be sent to those owners that have non-compliance issues. For your information there were over 80 non-compliance issues related to propane installations in our park. All of these relate to lots with external propane tanks. RVs with their original factory mounted propane systems are exempt from this inspection. To assist the owners, we have identified a local approved gas contractor that will obtain the gas permit and make the necessary propane installation corrections after they have been authorized by the lot owner. Owners have the option of using their own gas contractor but by utilizing one contractor we believe there should be savings if the work on the 34 non-compliant lots can be grouped.
Propane is considered a serious hazard especially in a tight Park like ours. Over the years many trailers have been installed or modified without the necessary gas permit and as a result we have many lots that do not meet code. The following provides some basic propane gas installation requirements that we intend to add to our Park rules at the April 2013 AGM.
For a Park Model or RV with an external (ground mounted) tank:
- A gas permit is required. Work is to be done by a licensed gas contractor with a qualified A or B fitter and must comply with the CAN/CSA- B149.1-10 & B149.2-10 codes
- The external tank must be at least 3 feet away from any opening windows
- The external tank must be at least 10 feet away from any ignition source (ie furnace, hot water heater, electrical boxes/plug,etc.)
- The external propane tank must be placed in a location free from potential damage (ie from vehicles) or provided with protection from potential damage
- The connection from the external tank to the trailer is typically copper tubing (Type L) but can also be black pipe. Type K copper tubing is required if the tubing is buried. Note, hose connections are not allowed.
- When connecting an external tank to an RV that had an existing factory mounted propane tank/regulator system care must be taken to disconnect and cap any unused components
- A twin stage regulator with relief is required and must be mounted above the maximum propane level in the tank. The regulator must be mounted in a location that allows for safe venting, it cannot be mounted in an enclosed location ( ie under a skirted trailer) or close to an ignition source. Note- RV style regulators are 2 stage but are usually equipped with only a vent and do not meet the code requirement when connecting to external propane tanks.
Note, for an RV that has its original factory frame mounted propane system (ie tanks, regulator, piping) there are no inspection or gas permit issues. Also, the local RV Technician (that is gas qualified) is approved to work on these systems.
The Electrical Inspector agreed to review our Park’s electrical system in three phases. From the Nov/28/2012 his non-compliance issues were related to having an electrician service the Park’s main distribution panels/breakers and inspect/service at least 5 lot breaker/meter boxes and inventorying issues with the remaining lot breaker/meter boxes. His expectation is that we will have all of the Park’s core electrical system (up to and including the 30amp breakers at each lot) inspected/serviced as soon as possible (date to be determined). He did take a quick look at some of the lots and a saw some non code compliant “do it yourself” wiring. With regards to wiring within the Lot, he said in his inspection report that “additional inspections in the spring may be performed and orders written to gain compliance and remove the hazards associated with the electrical work”.
The Electrical Inspector include the following statement in his report and we thought it was important to pass on to all the owners.
“During my inspection it was noted that most units have had alterations or additions made to their units including some stand alone sheds and workshops type structures. BC Electrical Safety Regulations require this work to be authorized by a permit and the work performed by qualified persons with inspections as deemed necessary. Owner’s are responsible to ensure that these installations are compliant with the BC Safety Standards Act and local building requirements. Owner’s may find themselves culpable where unauthorized alterations or additions have been made and approval cannot be supported by documentation. BC Safety Regulations do not allow unapproved electrical equipment to be sold and purchasers of unapproved RV and MH units have been successful in recouping expenses from previous Owner’s for making repairs and alterations to unapproved installations”.
In addition to the BC Safety Authority inspections the Town of Osoyoos completed a Fire Inspection Report Nov/4/2012 on our Park. They noted “ poor access for emergency vehicles through RV Park. Please keep internal roadways clear of boats and trailers at all times”.
All of the above items will be updated and discussed further at our next AGM. However, it is now obvious that RV Parks will be inspected more closely in the future and it is important that act quickly to make our park code compliant and safe. It appears that the initial cause for the Summerland RV Park fire that burnt up three trailers last year was electrical.
on behalf of the Park Directors
Distribution of this note- by email to owners with email addresses and Royal Mail to those that do not have email ( Lot 8,10,11,13,15,20,23,27,28,32,38,39,42,46,52,54,56,65,66,70 ).