Gas Safety Week: Fighting for a Gas Safe nation
We are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2014, taking place 15th – 21st September.
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 co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.
- Check your gas appliances every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Tenants – make sure your landlord arranges this. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at www.staygassafe.co.uk.
- Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find and check an engineer at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
- Check your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
- Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly e.g. lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
For gas safety advice or to find and check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.
Make sure that your new home is gas safe
Homebuyers cannot always be sure when the gas appliances in their new home were last safety checked and serviced.
Ask your vendor for an annual gas safety record which shows that a Gas Safe registered engineer has checked the gas appliances.
If your vendor cannot supply an up to date annual gas safety record, you should get a Gas Safe registered engineer to check the gas appliances before you move in. This check should include the gas boiler, oven, hob and gas fire. The registered engineer will give the vendor a gas safety record which they should handover to you before you move in.
Better Gas Safe than sorry. Poorly maintained or badly fitted gas appliances can put you at risk from gas leaks, explosions, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Have your prospective appliances checked for safety performance and durability beforehand.Check if parts for boilers are still available,Check chimney linings are sound, if there are problems a report could help you re- negotiate the price to allow for necessary work to be completed and safe.We will liaise with the estate agent to ensure a hassle free service,
We have recently added ground source and air source heat pump installations to out portfolio.This is an exciting expansion as we are keen to offer more energy efficient eco friendly products to our customers.
The benefits of ground source heat pumps
A ground source heat pump (also known as GSHP):
For more information visit the energy savings trust website, http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Generating-energy/Choosing-a-renewable-technology/Ground-source-heat-pumps could lower your fuel bills, especially if you replace conventional electric heating could provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)could lower your home’s carbon emissions, depending on which fuel you are replacing
doesn’t need fuel deliveries can heat your home and provide hot waterneeds little maintenance – they’re called ‘fit and forget’ technology.Unlike gas and oil boilers, heat pumps deliver heat at lower temperatures over much longer periods. During the winter they may need to be on constantly to heat your home efficiently. You will also notice that radiators won’t feel as hot to the touch as they might do when you are using a gas or oil boiler. Air source heat pumps are usually easier to install than ground source as they don’t need any trenches or drilling, but they are often less efficient than GSHPs. Water source heat pumps can be used to provide heating in homes near to rivers, streams and lakes.
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms
Remember the six main symptoms to look out for:
loss of consciousness
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life.
Carbon monoxide symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.
Other signs that could point to carbon monoxide poisoning:
Your symptoms only occur when you are at home
Your symptoms disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
Others in your household are experiencing symptoms (including your pets) and they appear at a similar time
What should I do if I experience any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house
See your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check
If you think there is immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline
Get a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there is a dangerous problem
Don’t assume your gas appliances are safe: get a Gas Safe registered gas engineer to do a check. This is the only safe way to prevent yourself and those around you from incurring serious illness or death due to carbon monoxide exposure.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous substance produced by the incomplete burning of gas and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG).
This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.
Oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and oil can also produce carbon monoxide.
What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when you breathe in even small amounts of the gas.
When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it gets into your blood stream and prevents your red blood cells from carrying oxygen. Without oxygen, your body tissue and cells die.
Levels that do not kill can cause serious harm to health when breathed in over a long period of time. Long term effects of carbon monoxide poisoning include Paralysis and brain damage. Such long term effects occur because many people are unaware of unsafe gas appliances and subsequent gas leaks.
How do I avoid a carbon monoxide leak in my home?
Your home may show signs of carbon monoxide. Any one of the following could be a sign that there is carbon monoxide in your home.
The flame on your cooker should be crisp and blue. Lazy yellow or orange flames mean you need to get your cooker checked
Dark staining around or on appliances
Pilot lights that frequently blow out
Increased condensation inside windows
If you have a faulty appliance in your home, it could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Get your gas appliances checked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
Why should I get a carbon monoxide alarm?
Because carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour. Gas Safe Register strongly recommends you fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home.
While an alarm will alert you to carbon monoxide in your home, it is no substitute for having an annual gas safety check and regular servicing by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
A carbon monoxide alarm looks similar to a smoke alarm and is very easy to fit by following the manufacturer’s instructions. You can purchase a carbon monoxide alarm from £15 at your local DIY store, supermarket or from your energy supplier.
Before purchasing a carbon monoxide alarm, always make sure it is marked to EN 50291. It should also have the British Standards’ Kitemark or another European approval organisation’s mark on it. Follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions on siting, testing and replacing the alarm.
You are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping, as you may not be aware of early carbon monoxide symptoms until it’s too late. Do not use the ‘black spot’ detectors that change colour when carbon monoxide is present. These will not make a sound to wake you up if the poisonous gas is present while you are sleeping.
Information sourced from The Gassafe register www.gassaferegister.co.uk/learn/carbon_monoxide_kills.aspx 26/5/14
By law, you must be on the Gas safe register to carry out Gas work in the U.K. Always ask your Gas Engineer for their Gassafe (formerly Corgi) identification card, this carries all of their details including, Photo, Expiry date and on the reverse what the Engineer is able to work on. The Engineer should be happy to show you this.
All heat producing gas appliances should be checked Annually,
Make sure there are no signs of staining around your fire(black markings at the corners indicate spilling of flue gasses(possible carbon monoxide spillage).This must be investigated!!
Does your pilot light keep going out on your fire?This indicates either a service is due or the oxypilot (safety device) needs replacing
You should not operate your fire with broken or missing coals
We always recommend having a carbon monoxide detector fitted with any open flued gas appliance.
Combi boiler/System boiler not working
1, Boiler power supply, check and if necessary replace the 3amp fuse.
2 ,Boiler re-set, sometimes a boiler can trip out due to a variety of reasons, look for the reset button usually found on the front of the boiler, if not look at manufacturers instructions for the location.If this proble persists consult and engineer.
3, Gas supply, make sure your Gas is turned on at the meter, if you have a pre-payment meter make sure there is Gas available.
4, System pressure, if you have a pressurised system or a combi boiler check that the system pressure is not too low, a rule of thumb is cold setting pressure anywhere between 1 to 1.5 bar. Top up via the filling loop if necessary.Letting the system pressure drop too low can cause damage to your appliance.
If your pilot light is visible make sure it is a good blue flame, any signs of yellowing demand a closer inspection from a Gas Safe engineer! A yellow flame can produce carbon deposits therefore leading to possible carbon monoxide poisoning. A yellow flame is not as hot as a blue flame therefore could cause the thermocouple to fail causing the pilot to be extinguished altogether , this is usually a blocked injector or air inlet and requires servicing.