Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can put homeowners at risk of gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Gas Safety Week takes place from 16th – 22nd September, and this year focuses on the most vulnerable members of society and how they can stay gas safe.
Here are some of the steps everyone can take to ensure their gas appliances are properly maintained and safe to use.
If you’re renting
If you’re renting your home, your landlord is legally obliged to arrange a gas safety check every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You can ask to see the property’s Gas Safety Record to check this has been done, but your landlord should show it to you within 28 days of the check being carried out.
If you’re a new tenant, you should be shown the record of the annual gas safety check at the start of your tenancy.
The record should include a description of each appliance or flue checked who carried it out, the date on which it was done, and if there were any defects identified and repaired.
However, your landlord isn’t responsible for any gas appliances you own personally, for example, gas heaters. You should therefore get these checked yourself annually too.
It’s also a good idea to ensure there is a carbon monoxide alarm in the property.
If you own your home
If you own your property make sure you only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your gas appliances.
You can find and check an engineer at www.gassaferegister.co.uk, or by telephoning 0800 408 5500.
When they arrive at your property, they should show you their Gas Safe Register ID card, which provides their qualifications.
Again, make sure you have an audible carbon monoxide alarm installed, which will alert if you there is carbon monoxide in your home.
Know the warning signs
There are several signs to watch out for which might indicate your gas appliances aren’t working safely.
• If gas flames are yellow or orange rather than blue, or there are black marks or stains around any appliances you have, these could be signs they aren’t working correctly.
• Too much condensation in the room may also indicate that there’s an issue with one of your gas appliances.
• If you have headaches, feel dizzy, or become breathless or nauseous, you might have carbon monoxide poisoning and you should seek medical help immediately. Don’t delay, as if it goes untreated it can cause you to collapse or lose consciousness.
Is your home Gas Safe?