House insurance comes in very handy in the event of a flood or fire caused by poor installation of gas appliances. Depending on the policy,  they will cover replacement of the appliance, repair to the home, and compensation for any items damaged in the incident.  But insurance companies, like any company, will try to remain profitable; for them, this means closely examining the details of the incident to see if they can avoid paying out compensation.

One of the most important things they will look at is whether or not the appliance in question was installed under a valid permit obtained from Technical Safety BC (formally BC Safety Authority). When a permit is issued,  the installation is subject to review by a certified gas inspection officer. This crucial step ensures that the unit has been installed in accordance with all safety codes, and does not pose any hazard to life and property.

We commonly see equipment in homes that bears no Technical Safety BC permit sticker. This happens when a customer has gone with the lowest quote available, and the contractor has cut their overhead cost by omitting the permit. Sometimes this occurs without incident, but often this lowest quote comes with lowest quality materials being used,  and shortcuts taken to save on labor cost.   We see water leaks, premature failure of the equipment, and dangerous fire and carbon monoxide hazards as a result.  And if these installations result in damage or injury/death, it can be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to get compensation from insurance companies. 

When shopping for a replacement water heater, furnace, or any other gas appliance, remember that cheapest is rarely best. There is real value in hiring a company that performs quality work,  and works legitimately under all applicable permits. It will give you peace of mind that your investment, your home, and the lives of its occupants are protected. 

Technical Safety BC Gas Installation Permit Decal