Gas Safety Week is here!
Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is coordinated by the Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
Why should you care about gas safety?
Gas can kill. Quick.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that has no taste, colour or smell. It can make you feel seriously ill and can kill quickly without warning.
What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Headaches – sharp head pains, paired with a dull ache behind the eyes that occur in a confined space, are symptomatic of a gas leak.
Nausea – waves of sickness that never seems to dissipate can indicate poisoning and exposure.
Dizziness – feeling light on your feet or unsteady could be an indicator of carbon monoxide inhalation.
Breathlessness – gasping for air or a tight chest paired with shallow breaths can indicate exposure to CO.
Collapse – Fainting, passing out, or your legs coming out from under you can be a sign of prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide.
Loss of consciousness – Loss of consciousness, even if just for a moment, indicates long-term exposure and must not be taken lightly.
If symptoms get better or ease up once you or your loved one steps outside; there is a strong possibility, they are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. If so, get them checked by a doctor as soon as possible, and do not re-enter the house without clearance from a gas-safe engineer.
What are the signs of a Carbon Monoxide leak?
Carbon monoxide can fill your home when poorly maintained, incorrectly fitted, or badly repaired appliances do not burn gas completely.
Keep an eye out for the following signs that could indicate that a gas appliance is not working correctly, and CO may be present in the house:
• Floppy, weak yellow or orange flame on your gas hob, instead of the usual crisp blue flame
• Sooty and dark staining on or around gas appliances
• Pilot lights that frequently extinguish or blow out
• Increased condensation inside windows
What steps should everyone take to become gas safe?
- Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and regularly serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Look out for your local community. You may have a loved one who cannot arrange their gas safety check on their own or are unaware of what they need to do to keep safe. Help them stay safe by ensuring that they have their appliances checked and serviced regularly.
- Check that your engineer is Gas Safe registered, all of our engineers are Gas Safe registered. It is equally important to check that your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need, e.g. natural gas. This information can be found on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and the Gas Safe Register website.
- Check for warning signs that could indicate appliances are not working correctly. See 'what are the signs of a carbon monoxide leak.'
- Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and make sure your loved ones have them too. Check they are marked EN50291 and display the British Standards Kitemark.
What about Tenants?
As a tenant, everything can sometimes feel out of your hands, but it is vital to speak up if your landlord or managing agent is acting in an unsafe manner. It could save a life.
- Check your Landlord's Gas Safety Record. By law, your landlord must keep gas pipework, appliances and flues supplied for you to use in good condition and arrange gas safety checks every year, giving you a record of the check. If your landlord refuses to provide you with one, you can report their details to the HSE.
- Check any gas appliances you own every year. As would be stated in your tenancy agreement, the landlord is not responsible for gas appliances you own. This means it is your responsibility to arrange for these to be safety checked once a year and regularly serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder, so you don't forget at StayGasSafe.co.uk.
What do Landlords need to know?
Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants and must ensure a Gas Safe registered engineer carries out maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances.
If you're a landlord, you are legally obliged to make sure:
- Gas pipework, appliances and flues provided for tenants are well maintained.
- All gas appliances and flues provided for tenants' use have an annual safety check. Failure to do this can lead to you being reported to the HSE!
- A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check/ to any new tenant before moving in and completing check-in.
- You must keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record until two further checks have taken place and provide this documentation when asked.
- Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.
- All gas equipment, including anything left by a previous tenant, must be safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.
Stay safe and help your loved ones stay safe in their homes too. For more information visit GasSafetyWeek.co.uk