Gas Safety Week is in full swing and it’s the mission of heating professionals like ourselves to express the importance of routine gas safety checks and services. Is your boiler due a service? Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home? Are your gas appliances looking a bit worse for wear?
With the stresses of daily life, it’s easy to forget the importance of maintaining your gas appliances, but did you know that over 55,000 homes in the UK escaped deadly gas incidents in the last year thanks to gas engineers switching off dangerous appliances?
This Gas Safety Week, we’re encouraging you to get your appliances checked and, whilst nothing compares to commissioning the expertise of a qualified Gas Safe engineer, there are ways you can ensure you and your family are safe.
Here’s our top 10 tips for ensuring your home is “gas safe”:
1. Know when to call for a professional
According to advice given by the Gas Safe Register, you should consider calling a professional if:
- A gas appliance is not working properly
- A gas appliance stops working completely
- The appliance is burning with a lazy yellow flame rather than a crisp blue one
- Black marks/stains are evident around the gas appliance
- There is increased condensation in the room
If you notice any of the above, it is recommended that you call your local Gas Safe engineer to provide a service of the affected appliance(s).
2. Ensure your engineer is Gas Safe registered
The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are registered to work safely and legally on boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances. By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register. If you commission a gas engineer, make sure you ask to see their credentials.
3. Report anyone you suspect is working illegally
If you suspect an engineer is working illegally (e.g. they cannot provide proof that they are on the Gas Safe Register), it is important to report the individual to Gas Safe. It is better to be safe than sorry – by not reporting an individual you suspect is practicing illegally, they remain free to complete gas installations for other unsuspecting householders, potentially putting their lives at risk. Details of how to file a report can be found here.
4. Get your appliances checked annually
Gas appliances should be serviced at least once a year unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. The service will check that the appliance is in working order and is still fit for purpose.
5. Be alert to the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is invisible to the naked eye and has no smell or taste. For this reason, it is commonly known as the ‘silent killer’. When gas appliances are faulty or fall into disrepair, they can release carbon monoxide into your home – and without a carbon monoxide detector you might not know until it is too late. Every year sees an average of 30 people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning with many more falling ill due to exposure. So, what are the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
– Nausea and dizziness
– Vomiting and stomach pains
– Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
6. Get an audible carbon monoxide detector
The best way to protect your home against carbon monoxide is to install an audible carbon monoxide detector and to remember to get your appliances checked annually. With an audible carbon monoxide detector, you and your family can be reassured that you will be alerted if a leak occurs.
7. Moving house? Ask to see the Gas Safety Record of the property
You can’t always know for certain when pipework and appliances in your new home were last serviced or checked. Ask your vendor if this information is available. If not, you should contact a Gas Safe engineer to carry out checks before you move in.
8. Renting your home? Request a copy of any gas safety checks from your landlord
If you are renting a property, it is the responsibility of your landlord to ensure all gas safety checks are up-to-date, to ensure all appliances are working safely and to provide you with a copy of the records that they keep.
9. Never tamper with your gas appliances
When an appliance starts playing up, it’s easy to think a quick tinker will fix it – but don’t be tempted! Not only is this dangerous and a risk to you and your family, but it could also invalidate any warranties you might have. It is also important that your appliances are only used as they are intended to be used.
10. The final tip – and this is our favourite – if in doubt call Optima!
At Optima, it is our aim to bring a new professionalism to the world of heating installations. We promote a professional service, the benefits of energy efficiency and, above all, gas safety in the home.
In support of Gas Safety Week, we’re offering a discounted £50 boiler service plus a FREE carbon monoxide detector for anyone in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas who contacts us to book within Gas Safety Week (the enquiry must be made within this week, but the service itself can be carried out during and after Gas Safety Week).