Aiming to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, this is the seventh annual Gas Safety Week. Last year over 220 million gas safety messages were sent out throughout the week by over 6000 different organisations coming together to support the campaign. Carbon Monoxide poisoning affects over 1000 people each year, and having seen some boilers and heating systems first hand in a shockingly poor condition, we’d like to do our bit too! Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas leaks which lead to fires and explosions.
So here are seven simple steps to help keep you safe at home:-
- Only use Gas Safe Registered engineers to fit, fix and service your gas appliances. Whilst we are not registered with Gas Safe ourselves, all of our gas work is undertaken by our registered sub-contractor.
- Don’t be shy about asking to check ID – you can check by asking to see an ID card, by checking online at http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk or by calling 0800 408 5500. Remember also to check the engineer is qualified to complete the type of work you need to be done, which can be found on the back of the card.
- Make sure all of your gas appliances are serviced and safety checked annually – and if you rent, ask your landlord for a copy of their current Gas Safety Record. You may be entitled to a free gas safety check if you are on a means tested benefit, of pension age or chronically sick or disabled. Ask your energy company for more information.
- Know the signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – it’s colourless, odourless, tasteless and deadly!
- collapse and loss of consciousness
- symptoms which disappear or get better when you leave home but come back when you return
- other people experience the same symptoms at the same time
- Know what to do if you think you have carbon monoxide poisoning:-
- Get fresh air immediately – open all windows and doors
- turn off any gas appliances and turn the gas off at the meter
- extinguish any naked flames
- leave the house
- see a doctor or go the hospital
- call the Gas Emergency Helpline if you think there is a danger – 0800 111999
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm, much like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors are small, easy to fit and inexpensive. Easily available from DIY stores or on the internet, they cost around £20. Make sure the alarm you buy has a British Kitemark or a European approval mark on it.
- Keep an eye out for any warning signs that your appliances may not be working properly:-
- the flame on a gas cooker should be crisp and blue. Lazy yellow or orange flames mean you need to get the cooker checked.
- any signs of soot or black marks or staining around the appliance
- the pilot light goes out frequently
- there may be increased condensation inside your windows
And if you have any questions at all, we’re here to help. Get in touch via email via our contact page or by phone on 01531 631965.