Using gas can sometimes be dangerous, so we’ve put some useful information together about the safe use of gas appliances.
Dangers of gas - carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. It usually comes from gas appliances in your home that have not been properly installed, maintained or ventilated. Carbon monoxide can cause serious long-term health problems and can kill. Every year around 25 people are killed by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales.
A tension-type headache is the most common symptom, although other symptoms include:
- Feeling sick
- Tiredness and confusion
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath
You can find out more about the symptoms of carbon monoxide here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/carbon-monoxide-poisoning/
If you think you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide you should go to hospital immediately.
How do I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?
- Get all gas appliances checked every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This is the most effective way to prevent carbon monoxide release.
- Ensure ventilation is not blocked
- Ensure all gas appliances are installed by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
- We recommend you also install an EU compliant carbon monoxide alarm. Make sure your alarm is marked EU 50291 or EN 50291 and carries a British or EU approval mark. A carbon monoxide alarm is not a substitute for a gas safety check, but can help to keep you safe whilst you sleep.
- Check devices for warning signs such as; discoloring, soot marks or stains, pilot light goes out regularly, device burns with yellow/orange flame, condensation or a damaged flue.
You can read more about carbon monoxide awareness at the following resources:
If you can smell gas, call the national gas emergency line on 0800 111 999
If you think your appliance is leaking carbon monoxide
- Switch the gas appliance off and do not use it again until it has been fixed by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Open all doors and windows to let fresh air in and do not go to sleep.
- Shut off your gas supply at the meter control valve. If gas keeps escaping, call the national gas emergency line on 0800 111 999.
Some customers are eligible for free gas safety checks
If you meet ONE of the following criteria:
- You are disabled, chronically sick or a pensioner and you live alone.
- You are disabled, chronically sick or a pensioner and you live with others who are all disabled, chronically sick, pensioners or under the age of 18 years old.
- You live with a child under the age of five.
AND you meet ALL of the following criteria:
- You receive means tested benefits.
- You do not live in a rented property.
- You have not had a gas safety check within the past 12 months.
THEN you are eligible for a free gas safety check. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to arrange a check by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
If you’re not eligible, you can always arrange your own gas safety check. Please make sure you use an engineer on the Gas Safe Register.