Twenty-three million properties in the United Kingdom are gas fuelled. Gas is used for heating, hot water, and cooking. Poorly fitted and serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning, as gas can escape from the has hose that leads into your appliance or from around the seal. It’s therefore extremely important that you ensure your home is gas safe! Below are some steps you should take to keep safe:
1. Check for warning signs
You should make yourself aware of any warning signs that your appliances aren’t working properly. Common signs include dull yellow or orange flames instead of clear, crisp blue ones. Black marks on or around your appliances are another sign that they might not be working correctly. If you have a pilot light that keeps going out, this is another sign that your appliances may not be working correctly. Finally, if you notice increasing amounts of condensation in a room, then you should examine the nearby appliances, as this is another sign there may be a problem.
2. Get your appliances checked every year
Gas appliances should be checked once a year by a Gas Safety registered engineer. It may even be helpful to set an annual reminder about this. It’s important to make sure that your engineer is registered. A Gas Safety registered engineer will check that your appliances are operating at the correct operating pressure, that there is adequate air supply to the appliances and that they are burning gas correctly. If you’ve had gas work done around your property in the last 6 months, you can nominate your property for a free inspection to make sure it meets safety standards from the Gas Safe Register.
3. Be aware of Carbon Monoxide and gas leaks
There are six main symptoms to be aware of when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning. Headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness are all signs that you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s recommended that you install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home to be alerted to any signs of carbon monoxide in the air. This is especially important as carbon monoxide is not visible and has no scent. Additionally, if you smell gas or are concerned you may have a gas leak, it’s extremely important to immediately contact the free 24-hour national gas emergency number on 0800 111999.
4. Turn gas off at the meter (if it is safe to do so!)
If your gas meter is in a cellar or basement, do not attempt to turn it off. You should evacuate the building and do not re-enter, as the concentration of gas may trigger an explosion, even from a small spark. If your meter is easy and safe to locate, first locate the gas emergency control valve which you should find next to the meter. In newer houses, this may be outside in a meter box. To turn off the gas supply, turn the handle a quarter turn so the lever is at 90 degrees to the upright gas pipe. It’s extremely important to remember that you should not turn on electrical switches, don’t smoke and don’t use your mobile phone.
If you have any additional questions, or want further advice, we are always on hand to help so please don’t hesitate to contact us!