We rely on our gas appliances to help us stay cosy during winter, but gas safety is equally important during the warmer months. Poor boiler maintenance and irregular servicing can increase the chances of gas leaks, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Get a boiler service
Ensure you have all gas appliances in your home serviced or inspected at least once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Whilst the engineer is at your home, ask him/her to carry out a tightness test of your gas installation, the test will determine if you have any gas leaks in the house.
If you suspect you have a gas leak, read our tips about how to deal with a gas leak.
Always use an approved engineer
If you need to find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your vicinity visit Gas Safe’s website or call them on 0800 408 5500. Always ask to see a engineers Gas Safe identification, the front will confirm their identity (photograph, name, the business they work for and a date when the card expires). The rear of the card will tell you what appliances and gas types they are qualified to work on.
Do not employ unregistered gas engineers to work in your property.
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. Carbon-based fuels are safe to use, it is only when the fuel does not burn properly that excess CO is produced, and this is poisonous. When CO enters the body it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs.
Know the symptoms
Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Headaches, dizziness, nausea, feeling breathless and in extreme cases collapse, loss of conciseness and death.
Install a carbon monoxide alarm
Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm installed in your home; ensure the alarm is installed correctly to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Only use appliances for their intended use; a cooker should not be used to heat a room.
Ensure your gas appliances have adequate ventilation (a fresh supply of air) to operate correctly, don’t block air vents inside your house, even if they are a nuisance during winter months.