Gas is part of our lives. We use it from the moment we wake up and throughout the day. As a result, we sometimes forget how powerful and dangerous it can be. An unsafe gas appliance has the potential to lead to gas leaks, fires and explosions, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, but these are all risks which can be avoided by following some simple gas safety advice.
Last year, British Gas identified more than 26,000 unsafe and dangerous gas and electric appliances in homes they visited in the first seven months of the year alone. Unsafe appliances were detected in one in 20 homes visited– with the most common faults found with boilers and old cookers.
Worryingly, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of respondents to a recent survey conducted by British Gas, admitted they had used an appliance despite it being faulty, and one in 10 (eight per cent) said a fire had started in their home because of a broken appliance. The research also revealed that one in 10 (nine per cent) would ‘probably still use’ an appliance if they saw it spark.
Top tips from the Gas Safe Register to keep your home safe
- Get an annual gas safety check– Get a Gas Safe registered engineer to check all gas appliances in your property once a year. They’ll also do a visual inspection of your gas pipework and a tightness test to confirm there aren’t any gas leaks. If you’re a tenant renting a property, make sure you landlord arranges a gas safety check.
- Find a Gas Safe registered engineer– we are fully licensed and on the Gas Safe Register. Read more here
- Look out for gas appliance warning signs– If your appliance isn’t working as it should be, there are certain signs to look out for like floppy yellow flames, extra condensation and black or brown marks.
- Know the signs of CO poisoning– You’ll want to look out for headaches, dizziness, nausea, and breathlessness. More severe symptoms include collapse and loss of consciousness. Find out more by reading our Carbon Monoxide Poisoning article.
- Buy an audible CO alarm marked EN 50291– Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and install it near your appliance so if a CO leak occurs, you’ll be alerted to it.
- Ensure adequate ventilation– This is essential for gas appliances to burn properly. You’ll want to make sure that no air vents or chimneys are blocked.
- Only use gas appliances for their intended purpose– Don’t use an appliance for something it wasn’t meant for – for example, using a cooker to heat a room.
If you smell gas or suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s important to contact your emergency service provider straight away.
We always advise to have things checked over by a qualified engineer if you are worried. All of our employees are highly skilled and have the training and experience to carry out risk assessments.
If you’ve found this article useful or you would like some advice about gas safety in your home, one of our friendly team members at National Maintenance will be happy to help. Just give us a call on 0330 113 1117 or drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org