Gas Safe Tips
Have gas appliances checked annually
If you move home request a gas certificate from the previous owners or the estate agent. If there isn’t a certificate then have your home gas safety checked
Never do DIY on gas appliances and never block any vents. Always use a gas safe engineer (see details below).
Be aware of the dangers and know what the symptoms are (see below)
Know what to do in an emergency and who to contact
If you’re renting a property ensure your landlord has produced a gas certificate
Have a Carbon Monoxide alarm installed
Please remember that if you’re caring for a loved one, it’s important to ensure their gas appliances are also checked annually and they have a working Carbon Monoxide alarm.
What is carbon monoxide? How can you detect it? What should you do?
IMPORTANT GAS ADVICE
We should all take gas safety in our homes seriously as faulty or poorly maintained gas appliances, such as boilers, can have disastrous and deadly consequences. The purpose of this gas safe article is to provide information and advice, and to offer our services to ensure your home is gas safe.
A few simple steps which are covered in this article will help keep you and your family, or tenants, safer!
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide (CO), is an odourless, colourless gas that can cause serious damage to your health and can even kill. Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal or wood do not burn fully within an enclosed space.
What if you are exposed to Carbon Monoxide?
After breathing in carbon monoxide, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin (the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body), to form carboxyhaemoglobin. When this happens, the blood is no longer able to carry oxygen, and this lack of oxygen causes the body’s cells and tissue to die.
Effects of severe carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- chest pains
- fits (seizures)
- loss of consciousness
- long term illness and death
Around 10 to 15% of people who have severe carbon monoxide poisoning develop long-term complications. In very severe cases, it can result in death.
What causes Carbon Monoxide?
Gas, oil, coal and wood are sources of fuel used in many household appliances, which includes:
- gas fires
- central heating systems
- water heaters
- open fires
Incorrectly installed, poorly maintained or poorly ventilated household appliances, such as cookers, heaters and central heating boilers, are the most common causes of accidental exposure to carbon monoxide.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is difficult to detect because it has no smell, taste or colour. Being aware of the symptoms could save your life as you can inhale it without realising. If you googled these symptoms then no doubt you’d find a whole bunch of illnesses with the same symptoms. However, the key things to remember are do you only feel like this when you are at home, and do others feel these effects while at your home?
How common is the problem?
Based on NHS stats, every year in the UK over 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, which leads to around 40 deaths.
- 5.5 million Brits fail to get an annual gas safety check, which could be putting their health and finances at risk.
- 67,000 gas emergency call outs last year in the UK.
- 1 in 6 gas appliances were found to be unsafe out of the 142,000 homes we inspected in the past 5 years.
- 40 deaths, 300 injuries and over 200 admitted to hospital last year based on NHS stats
- If you rent your home, your landlord is legally obliged to arrange this for you every 12 months and must provide you with a copy of the gas safety record.
What to do?
If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds or you suspect a leak:
- Stop using all appliances and isolate the gas (if you can).
- Open all windows and evacuate the property immediately – stay calm and avoid raising your heart rate.
- Call the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 to report the incident or Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300 363. You can also call us if you have any concerns – 01628 533 550.
- Do not go back into the property – wait for advice from the emergency services
- Get immediate medical help – you may not realise if you’re badly affected by the carbon monoxide and going outside into fresh air won’t treat any exposure by itself.
Gas Explosions and Fires
Gas is obviously highly combustible. Correctly installed and maintained appliances ensure that the gas is burned in a safe and controlled way to heat a home. Modern boilers also have safety devices which are designed to turn the boiler off if it detects a fault such as pressure issues or over heating. These days the chances of an explosion are rare as gas regulations, training and technology have improved significantly.
This happened in Wooburn Green
An explosion that destroyed this house was caused by a gas leak from a portable heater, according to Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue investigators. The explosion destroyed the house and damaged near by cars. The homeowners were pulled from the rubble by neighbours and were lucky to survive such a blast.
Our advice is simple. Never do DIY work on gas appliances at your home, always use a registered gas safe engineer. We also advise that you get your boiler and gas appliances checked annually. Furthermore, you should install a carbon monoxide alarm. Our engineers carry these on their vans so feel free to request they install one for you.
We certainly don’t wish to scare anyone, and the chances of an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning are low, however the purpose of this article is to provide advice so that you have the information in order to improve the safety within your home.
Things you may want to check are;
- Has your boiler been regularly maintained and gas safe checked?
- Was you boiler installed by a gas safe registered engineer?
- Is your central heating system exposed to any potential hazards?
- How old is your boiler and when was it last checked?
- Have you or anyone that is not a gas registered engineer ever worked on a gas appliance within your home?
- Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm?
- Are all the gas appliances certified / meet gas regulations?
BEWARE: Illegal Gas Fitters
It is shocking that recent studies from Gas Safe have raised concerns over the number of illegal fitters and the number of home owners that didn’t even check for a local Gas Safe engineer. Watchdog have also recently reported on the issues, and if you think these illegal fitters are just in other towns, then think again! Just recently there have been articles in the local newspapers of so called local Gas Safe engineers being fined for illegal work that put home owners at serious risk.
28% didn’t even check!
Gas Safe have issued a new press release around illegal gas fitters. Gas Safe recently surveyed 2,000 home owners and of those who have had gas work carried out in the last year, more than 1 in 4 (28 per cent) didn’t even think about checking that the engineer was legal and on the Gas Safe Register. 1 in 6 even went on to admit that they would knowingly employ an illegal gas fitter if they came recommended. This is a worrying statistic as Gas Safe found from their investigations that 9 in 10 illegal gas jobs are not completed to the required standard, and one in five jobs were so dangerous that their investigations officers had to switch the appliance off. Gas Safe are urging consumers to be more diligent when it comes to making sure their gas engineer is registered and qualified to do the work they need.
DON’T RISK IT!
Our customers can benefit from a comprehensive range of boiler and heating services provides by our experienced, professional and fully trained gas safe engineers. Furthermore, our clients benefit from our 30 day workmanship guarantee and long product warranties.
Homeowners can have their gas appliances checked and a certificate produced. Moreover, it’s advisable to have a boiler service at the same time, which will provide a good saving. For Landlords IT’S THE LAW that all household gas appliances and pipes are checked every 12 months with a landlord gas certificate. Read more
Boiler manufacturers and the gas safety authority ‘Gas Safe’ highly recommend that all gas fired boilers are serviced on an annual basis. This is predominantly to check the safe operation and test for gas leaks and Carbon Monoxide, but will also help improve the efficiency and extend the life of your appliance. Additionally, failure to annually service your boiler may also invalidate your manufacturers warranty. Regular maintenance can also help prevent a system breakdown, which can be expensive to repair. Read more
An old poorly maintained or poorly installed boiler can be dangerous. Therefore, we highly recommend a boiler service. If the boiler is older than 10 year old, then it maybe wasting energy and your money. It is therefore recommended that a boiler replacement is considered. As approved installers for multiple leading manufacturers, which include Worcester Bosch, Ideal, Vaillant, our customers benefit from a professional installation. Our Gas Safe engineers are experienced and fully qualified. Furthermore, we provide up to 10 years warranty, easy payment options and a boiler scrappage scheme. Read more
From time to time a boiler may have a fault. You should always use a gas safe registered engineer to fix it and never attempt to do it yourself. Our Gas Safe engineers are specialists in diagnostics and repair. We also have a dedicated customer care team to ensure any parts required are sourced as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. Read more
Installing a gas cooker and other kitchen appliances will require a Gas Safe engineer.
Our service includes installing radiators, towel rails, valves and other heating products, we have Gas Safe engineers that undertake this kind of work on a daily basis.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Install a Carbon Monoxide alarm. If one of our engineers is at your property, then why not ask him to install a Carbon Monoxide alarm for you. Read more.