A Salmon Arm mobile home manufacturer is crying foul after a safety warning was issued over his units and he’s now levelling accusations of his own against safety inspectors.
“I think it’s totally and utterly reckless and I just keep going back to what the inspectors have told me, that they’re in this to shut me down,” said Andy Tower, owner of Riske Creek Manufacturing Ltd., out of Salmon Arm.
The B.C. Safety Authority (BCSA), however, says his accusations are false.
Wayne Lock, BCSA provincial gas safety manager, said he’s heard of Tower’s grievances but has never seen an official complaint.
“It’s news to me that inspectors would act that way,” said Lock.
The BCSA issued a press release Wednesday stating that Riske Creek trailers do not comply with electrical and gas certification requirements and “may be hazardous for occupants.”
Fire or shock is possible in the trailers and faulty gas appliances create risks of carbon monoxide poisoning “which can be fatal,” said Lock.
He said there’s “an urgent need” for occupants to have their Riske Creek trailers inspected.
Owners are also asked to report Riske Creek trailers by emailing email@example.com or calling 1-866-566-7233.
Tower, who has been in business four years, said Riske Creek trailers have been installed exclusively in the Shuswap area and South Okanagan, most notably Salmon Arm and Osoyoos.
The BCSA also stated that some units were affixed with “unauthorized” Canadian Standards Association labels or none at all.
Tower said CSA inspectors stuck the labels on themselves after his units passed certification standards.
However Lock said the manufacturer typically applies the decals and referred questions regarding the decals to the CSA.
Calls to the CSA were not returned by press time.
Tower said allegations stem from a “grey area” in regulations as well as a personal vendetta on the part of inspectors. He said his Park RV model falls somewhere between provincial mobile home regulations and the building code.
Lock refuted those assertions.
“It’s pretty clear,” he said. “And our safety officers are there to clear up any kinds of confusion.”
Tower said an antagonistic relationship with inspectors formed three years ago when he demanded explanations over what he perceived to be unfair treatment compared to his competitor.
He said inspectors refused to explain themselves so he became “resistant.”
“The inspectors in this area have been belligerent, have used profanity, have used bullying tactics as well as slander to achieve what they want to do,” said Tower.
He said he complained to BCSA management, but was simply redirected to the problem inspectors.
Media representative Quinn Newcomb said BCSA has a comprehensive complaints process online that Tower has not filled out.
“If we receive any complaints about inspectors or safety officers . . . not performing to a professional standard we do always follow up with those complaints,” he said.
Tower said he has no plans to fight the BCSA, saying he continues to work on meeting their requirements.