The tenth annual Gas Saftey Week runs from today, organised by the Gas Safe Register. To celebrate ten years of awareness, Ideal Boilers are sharing their top pieces of advice on gas safety for landlords and tenants alike.
The annual event is between 14th-20th September this year and aims to raise awareness of gas safety issues across the UK to help keep the nation safe and healthy.
Problems with gas can be a serious health concern and even a threat to life and yet many buildings around the UK aren’t getting the checks they need to make sure they are safe. Whether it’s gas hobs, to boilers and gas fireplaces.
To help avoid unwanted breakdowns and risks to your safety, here below are some top tips from Ideal Heating:
1: Get annual checks by a Gas Safe registered engineer
Your gas appliances need a safety check every year - failing to correctly maintain your appliance could lead to serious problems including carbon monoxide poisoning.
When having your service done, only use Gas Safe Registered engineers. This includes when installing any appliances too. Make sure you insist on seeing their Gas Safe ID card.
This responsibility falls to landlords for appliances that are provided by you. Keep track of your Gas Safety Records and ensure gas appliances, fittings and chimneys are safe (in line with the Gas Safety Regulations 1998). If tenants have their own gas appliances in the rented property it is their responsibility to ensure that they are regularly maintained and serviced.
Always ensure that your Gas Safe engineer has a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions and services your appliance in accordance with these. Your appliance manufacturer will be able to help if you don’t have a copy.
2: Never block the ventilation around your appliance
A lack of ventilation around appliances, whether indoors or outdoors can lead to a build-up on carbon monoxide.
Ensure any gas appliances have good ventilation and are used in the correct way.
3: Get a carbon monoxide detector and don't forget to test it regularly
Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide (and smoke) detectors in your property. Early warnings can save lives!
It’s also important to be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Encourage your tenants to know the symptoms which include, headaches, dizziness, nausea, tiredness and breathlessness. Think about whether symptoms improve when you leave the house, are others in the home suffering similar symptoms?
4: Test your CO alarm regularly and check that the alarm is still within the expiry date printed on the alarm
Encourage your tenants to check appliances for warning signs! If appliances have a pilot light, do you have to relight it? If so you should get your appliance checked.
If you see yellow, lazy flames on your gas hob, rather than the usual blue ones, your hob needs to be checked immediately
Any staining or excessive soot build up on or around appliances might also signal problems.
Is your appliance performing differently to normal or displaying fault lights or codes? Time for a Gas Safe registered engineer to check it. Check when you last had your gas appliance serviced and ensure you regularly have it maintained. All other fuel-burning appliances (e.g log burning stoves) should also be checked and maintained by qualified engineers.
5: Ensure both you and your tenants know how to react if there’s a leak
If you think there could be a gas leak or carbon monoxide leak in the home, immediately turn off the gas and open windows and doors to ventilate the property. Do not operate any lights or electrical switches. Leave the house and contact the Gas Emergency service and do not re-enter the property until it is safe to do so.
For LPG appliances where the leak is indoors, turn off the gas at the manual outlet valve on the tanks or cylinder(s), open windows and doors to ventilate the property, do not operate any light switches or electrical switches. Contact your gas supplier so they can make the installation safe and call the Fire Brigade on 999 and advise that there is an LPG Cylinder(s) or Tank at your property.
Gas Emergency Services 0800 111 999 – Make a note of this number and make sure all responsible persons in the property are aware of it.
If you suspect you have been exposed to, or are experiencing any symptoms then you need to seek immediate medical assistance
You can find all the advice you need by visiting the Gas Safe Register website here. Knowing what to do in an emergency saves lives.
Chris Jessop, Customer Services Director at Ideal Heating, comments:
“Many people do not take gas safety seriously enough. Neglecting to follow guidance on checks and maintenance can be life-threatening and so initiatives like Gas Safety Week are massively important in helping protect people, homes and workplaces.
"At Ideal Heating, we place huge importance into making sure staff are fully trained and up to date on the latest best practice. The safety of our customers is paramount and we work closely with Gas Safe Register in support of their initiatives throughout our normal working practices every day.”