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What the Heck
is a Propane Cannon
Propane Cannons are the real reason this web site came into being. Blueberry farmers in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia use propane cannons in an attempt to scare birds away from their berry crops by blasting the birds with extremely loud noise. This approach is marginally successful in deterring birds and totally devastating to neighbours who live next door to berry farms, and extremely annoying to all others who live in the vicinity.

The picture to the right is a typical propane cannon. Cannon

These devices work as follows:
  • a regulated amount of propane gas is allowed to flow into the device.
  • the devices have timers, and at a set interval the timer triggers a spark that ignites the propane
  • the propane explodes making a very loud crack similar to that of a shotgun blast. Some cannons are as loud as 130 decibels.
  • these cannons can be set to fire as frequently as every thirty seconds, and some even more frequently.
  • and if that is not enough for you, there is also a model that fires three blasts in quick succession, tripling the noise pollution inflicted upon the neighbours.

A few facts about these devices are:
  1. They are relatively inexpensive to buy, costing just a few hundred dollars per cannon.
  2. They are inexpensive to operate, because propane is cheap and readily available.
  3. They are low maintenance. A farmer can set them up, then walk away, or move them around every once in a while.
  4. They are very loud, from 115 to 130 decibels depending on the brand and model. The human pain threshold for noise is about 120 DB's.
  5. They are marginally effective however, and this is probably bad because it encourages farmers to use more of them, turn them up full blast, and set them to go off at very short intervals. All of which has very negative effects on the neighbors.
The constant noise from these devices makes life miserable for those living in close proximity to berry fields and this is why we are protesting their use. Two or three of our members live in the heart of blueberry country and have to listen to between 12 and 16 blasts per minute, dawn to dusk. That equates to an average of 840 blasts per hour, 11,760 blasts per day in a 14 hour summer day, 352,800 blasts in a 30 day month, and the cannons now start in late June and last through into October. Thats over a million blasts per season.

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