Gas Safety Week has arrived! This annual event helps to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of maintaining your gas appliances. Organised by the Gas Safe Register, this event is also largely supported by the gas industry itself; including manufacturers, retailers, consumer bodies and the general public. Raising awareness to gas safety is extremely important, considering over 23 million households across the UK use gas for heating and boiler purposes. From gas fires to cookers and stoves – almost every household in this country uses gas somehow.
Regular Service is Vital to Safety
Badly fitted gas appliances, or those that are poorly serviced, can easily cause gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning and even explosions. Each and every year, thousands of individuals across the UK suffer some form of carbon monoxide poisoning. This highly dangerous gas cannot be seen, smelt or tasted – meaning it can become deadly with no prior warning at all. What is even more worrying is that the Gas Safe Register reckons there are approximately 7,500 illegal gas fitters working in the UK. In addition to this, up to a quarter of a million jobs are performed illegally every year.
The majority of UK residents understand that gas appliances should be checked regularly and at least once a year. However, 43% of Britons simply do not do it and approximately 10% own a gas appliance that has never been checked before.
Top Tips for Staying Safe
Follow these simple tips to ensure your gas appliances are safe and checked every single year. By following these recommendations you can ensure you prevent your appliances from breaking down when you need them the most.
- Do not employ anyone other than a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix or service your gas appliances. Always ask to see their ID card and ensure they are qualified to carry out the specific job in hand.
- Research and recognise the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and/or loss of consciousness.
- Check your appliances for signs that they are not working right – i.e. a yellow flame instead of a blue one or black marks around the appliance.
- Purchase a loud carbon monoxide alarm for your house and ensure it is situated next to your gas appliances.
- Only use your appliances for their intended purposes – i.e. do not use a gas powered barbeque indoors.
- Always ensure your gas appliances have adequate ventilation so that they can burn properly.
The Carbon Monoxide & Gas Safety Society
If you would like to get involved and help raise awareness of gas safety, simply search for ‘CO-Gas Safety’ or ‘The Carbon Monoxide & Gas Safety Society.’
CO-Gas Safety offer free independent confidential help and advice to victims and their families. In the event of an incident, the sooner you get in touch with CO-Gas Safety the better as evidence is often changed. Allow appliances to be turned off but otherwise not touched until you have got in touch.