Did you know that this is Gas Safety Week, running from September 16th to 22nd?
Organised and co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register, this annual event has run since 2011 and aims to raise awareness of gas safety in the home and the importance of only using qualified and registered tradespeople when dealing with any household gas appliance.
In the right hands gas is safe, but badly fitted and poorly serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. The theme of Gas Safety Week 2019 is addressing the safety needs of vulnerable people, including elderly people who might not have had their gas appliances checked out for some time.
The Gas Safety Week website has lots of advice on how to stay safe, including these six simple steps to help keep you safe and warm in your home as the colder weather draws nearer:
- Make sure you have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home, ask for a copy of your landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your gas appliances. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call for free on 0800 408 5500.
- Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
- Check gas appliances for warning signs that they might not be working properly. For example, does the appliance have lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones? Does the pilot light keep going out? Are there black marks or stains on or around the appliance? Is there too much condensation in the room where the appliance is located? All these are warning signs that there might be a problem.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, but it can be emitted by faulty gas appliances and is extremely dangerous and potentially even fatal, especially if you’re exposed to it while sleeping. Six key symptoms to be aware of are headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. You can’t smell carbon monoxide, but a CO detector can and it will emit an audible alarm to warn you of its presence. Fit detectors in rooms that have a gas appliance, such as a gas-fired boiler, cooker or a gas fire. If you already have detectors, test them regularly to make sure the batteries don’t need changing.
Following these six simple steps will help keep you safe and secure in your home, but the most important one is to make sure your gas appliances are regularly serviced and checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You can find registered tradespeople in your area by clicking here and entering your town or postcode in the information bar then clicking the ‘find now’ button.
It should produce several results so you can phone three or four businesses to get the best price for the work you need doing. If you care for elderly parents or relatives, you could help them through the simple process to make sure the gas appliances in their home are working well and safe to use. Pensioners in receipt of certain benefits might qualify for a free safety check from their gas supplier. You can check with the supplier to see if they offer this service. Some energy suppliers also offer deals which include an annual safety check on gas appliances.