Badly fitted, damaged, poorly serviced or faulty gas appliances can put you at risk of gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. It is important to know what steps you can take to stay safe in your home.
Signs that your appliances need servicing
Gas appliances should be serviced regularly but if you notice any of the warning signs below you should arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to service your appliance as soon as possible:
Your gas appliance is not working properly
Your appliance is burning with a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame
You can see black marks or stains on or around your gas appliances
The pilot light keeps going out
There is increased condensation in the room
damage or signs of corrosion on gas pipework, such as rusting or green discolouration
Badly fitted or poorly maintained gas appliances can produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (CO) which can leak into your home. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but it can be deadly or cause serious long term health problems such as brain damage.
Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and tiredness. It is common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else. The six main symptoms to look out for are:
Loss of consciousness
It’s a good idea to fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home, which will alert you to the presence of any carbon monoxide in the air.
What to do in an emergency
If you smell gas or start feeling ill when gas appliances are in use, it is important to act quickly.
Get fresh air immediately. Open all doors and windows to ventilate the room
Switch off the appliance and do not use it again until it has been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer
Turn off the gas supply at the mains
Call the National Gas Emergency number 0800 111 999
If you are feeling ill visit your GP or the hospital immediately and tell them that your symptoms may be related to carbon monoxide poisoning
Contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to check and fix the appliance.
Having a gas safety check
All of your gas appliances, including your gas boiler, gas cooker and gas fire should be safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer, ideally once a year.
A gas safety check involves a Gas Safe registered engineer inspecting your gas appliances. They will check the appliance is working correctly and will check the following four areas:
Gas appliances are on the right setting and burning correctly with the correct operating pressure
Harmful gases are being removed from the appliance safely to the air outside
That any ventilation routes are clear and working properly
All the safety devices are working
The check will identify any defects which require repair work.