This week, we are taking part in Gas Safety Week, a national safety campaign organised by Gas Safety Register aiming to raise awareness about the importance of gas safety throughout millions of UK’s gas fueled homes.
As your property managers, we have the responsibility to ensure the developments we manage are safe for all living in them and do not pose any threat to surrounding areas in the event of a gas leak. To help raise awareness about gas safety, we are sharing everything there is to know.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is know as the ‘silent killer’ as it has no smell, taste or colour, and can kill very quickly when inhaled without much warning. Many everyday home appliances produce carbon monoxide, such as fires, cookers and heaters, but if a home is vented properly and is free from appliance malfunctions, air pressure fluctuations or airway blockages, carbon monoxide will most likely be safely vented to outside the home. However, if gas appliances are badly fitted or poorly serviced, they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as fires and explosions.
Gas safety checks
All home gas appliances require a Gas Safety Check every twelve months. All landlords legally require these. Homeowners, on the other hand, are not legally required to have Gas Safety Checks, however, checks should still be carried out annually. Gas Safety Checks assess if; appliances are operating at the correct operating pressure; there is adequate air supply to the appliance and that it is burning gas correctly; the flutes and chimneys are clear and allow the appliance to emit gases and fumes safely outside; and all safety devices on the appliances are working correctly.
Checks must only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, who should carry a Gas Safe ID card with them to prove they are qualified. Only Gas Safe registered engineers are legally permitted to carry out checks. They will record all of the checks they carry out and can provide a certificate upon completion which is known as a Gas Safety Record.
Although carbon monoxide may have no colour, small or taste, there are still ways to spot signs of CO poisoning. Headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapsing, dizziness and loss of consciousness are all symptoms of CO poisoning. Sadly, people can mistake these symptoms for a flu or cold and are too slow to take action. However, if you spot sooty stains or discoloration on or around gas appliances or increased levels of condensation in rooms with gas appliances, these are signs that appliances are producing carbon monoxide. We recommend installing CO detectors inside your home just to be extra cautious.
If you smell gas it’s important you:
• Turn off all gas appliances
• Put out any cigarettes
• Open all windows and doors
Gas Safe Register also recommend:
• Calling the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999 if you think there might be a gas leak.
• Never attempt to work a gas appliance yourself, always seek the help of a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer who can work on your gas cooker, boiler or fire in a safe way.
• Don’t cut corners – only employ a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home.
• Always ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure you check the back of the card, which will state which gas appliances they are qualified to work on.
It’s knowing little signs and symptoms like these that can help save lives in the event of a gas leak.
You must take gas safety seriously and keep yourself and others in your building safe by keeping up with annual gas safety checks – it’s everyone’s responsibility!