The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) develops, adapts and implements the regulatory framework related to the quality and safety of petroleum equipment
in order to prevent risks of fire and water contamination. However, the RBQ shares responsibilities in the area of petroleum equipment with other provincial and federal departments, as well as municipalities.
The RBQ has responsibility for:
- ensuring the quality of construction work on petroleum equipment.
- ensuring the safety of the public using that equipment.
- verifying compliance with the construction and safety requirements affecting that equipment.
Risk management in petroleum equipment according to the Building Act
The use of petroleum equipment or installations may cause fire hazards and contamination of drinking water sources that might affect the safety by jeopardizing, among others:
- the well-being of the public who uses the equipment or the installations, or who is in their vicinity (injuries, deaths, etc.)
- the health of the public who might be affected by the contamination of a drinking water source by a petroleum product.
The regulation in petroleum equipment (Building Act)
aims to reduce these risks by:
- preventing accidents
- limiting the consequences for the public in the event of an accident despite the precautions taken.
Risk of fire
Public safety may be jeopardized when petroleum equipment (tanks, piping, pumps, etc.) holds or has held flammable liquids. These liquids pose a danger of explosion or fire that should not be neglected.
Only 3 ingredients are needed to produce an explosion or fire when in contact with flammable liquids:
- concentration in flammable vapours in the air included in the range of explosiveness
- ignition source (open flames, cigarettes, welding work, heat produced by friction or static electricity, etc.).
This is what some call the fire triangle
Since oxygen is present just about everywhere on our planet, it is a particularly difficult item to limit. The critical element is control of the other 2 sides of the triangle: flammable vapours and an ignition source.
To illustrate one of these fire risks, we invite you to watch the video Stop Static: Refueling fire at gas pump
on the Petroleum Equipment Institute Website. According to this association, static electricity can ignite gasoline vapours at the pump.
Risk of drinking water contamination
Public safety must be ensured by a management of risks associated to drinking water sources. Measures have been added to the regulation to prevent or reduce the consequences of leakage or spilling of petroleum products.
Sharing of responsibilities with other departments
Certain provincial and federal departments as well as municipalities have a role to play in the area of petroleum equipment.
Federal departments such as Environment Canada and Transport Canada also have requirements according to their jurisdiction in petroleum equipment matters.
Municipalities may also have passed by-laws applicable to petroleum equipment.