Millions of people here in the UK use gas to heat their homes and cook their meals. It is so commonplace that many people have forgotten, or never learned in the first place, just how dangerous gas can be if it isn’t properly managed. With Gas Safe Week about to start (it runs from the 16th to the 22nd of September), now is a good time to reacquaint yourself with the potential risks.
First things first. When gas appliances are regularly serviced and maintained, and people follow specific recommendations, any danger from gas is virtually non-existent. But bearing in mind that gas is highly combustible and that it undergoes changes as it burns, you must always be sure to follow best practice.
Your responsibilities as a homeowner, a tenant or a landlord
Whether you own and live in your own home, or you own one which you let out, your responsibility to anyone sharing or renting that property remains the same. You are answerable for their health and safety. If you are a landlord, this responsibility in inscribed in law.
Gas Safe Week was created to raise awareness of being gas safe and to ensure you take care of any gas appliances in your property. It is the brainchild of the people who run the Gas Safe Register – the enterprise to which all fully qualified gas engineers belong.
Only ever employ Gas Safe registered fitters
In terms of being gas safe, the Register is a good place to start because you should only ever employ Gas Safe registered fitters, Like Evans Heating, when having work carried out on gas appliances or piping in your home. If you follow this guideline, you won’t go far wrong.
What you owe it to yourself to do
If you own and live in your own home, the onus is on you. This should give you all the incentive you need to follow the recommended procedure as by doing so you will be ensuring not only your own safety but that of your family too. But if you rent your home from a landlord, you still owe it to yourself to follow the correct procedure, just in case your landlord isn’t doing what he or she should be doing by law.
What you must do is demand copies of gas appliance safety certificates for each gas appliance in your home. Certificates are issued annually by Gas Safe registered fitters, and you are legally entitled to be given copies. By ensuring you get them, you can be confident that all appliances are being properly looked after.
Eliminating carbon monoxide emissions
When gas appliances are serviced, any parts that are showing signs of wear are replaced. The fitter will also ensure that the appliance is burning its fuel supply fully. This eliminates the possibility of CO gases being unwittingly emitted.
As part of Gas Safe Week, you will be encouraged to be aware of the signs that CO gasses are being produced. Any gas flames should always burn blue, not orange or yellow. If you spot any black sooty deposits building up on appliances, this too can indicate an appliance not burning its fuel correctly.
Finally, if you or anyone in the premises start having headaches, feel breathless or becomes nauseous, this too can indicate there could be a carbon monoxide issue. If you think you might have a carbon monoxide (CO) problem, switch off all appliances and call a registered Gas Safe fitter immediately.
Pledge your support now
Gas Safe Week provides a platform that will raise awareness of any issues relating to gas appliances. If you would like to pledge your support (https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gassafetyweek/about/) before it gets underway, you can find out how you too can be a part of the campaign.