KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE AND WARM THIS WINTER
We rely on our gas boilers, cookers and fires to keep warm, have hot baths and showers and cook hot meals. It’s important that gas appliances are regularly serviced to help keep us safe and prevent them from breaking down when we need them the most.
Stay Gas Safe in your home with these top tips:
- Have all your gas appliances, including boilers, gas cookers and gas fires, safety checked annually.
- Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and check gas appliances in your home – it’s the law and will help keep you safe.
- Always ask to see an engineers Gas Safe ID card and check the back of the card to ensure they are qualified to carry out the specific type of gas work you need.
- Find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your area or call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500
- Recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room. Remember that an unsafe appliance sometimes has none of these signs at all.
- Buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm for your home and make sure it is located near to your gas appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance. Carbon monoxide can leak from appliances and kill.
- Only use gas appliances for their intended purpose e.g. don’t use a gas oven to heat a room or use a gas barbeque inside the house.
- Always ensure there is enough ventilation for your gas appliances to allow them to burn correctly and make sure you are not blocking any air vents that provide an air supply to the gas appliance.
- Anybody working with gas has to be Gas Safe registered by law. Report someone working without registration or call Gas Safe Register on the free phone number 0800 408 5500.
GET YOUR GAS APPLIANCES SAFETY CHECKED EVERY YEAR
Gas appliances that are left unchecked could be dangerous and leaking carbon monoxide
All of your gas appliances, including your gas boiler, gas cooker and gas fire should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly according to manufacturer’s instructions. Trust the Triangle and have your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer you could be putting you and your family at risk and in possible danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
What is a gas safety check?
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 remedial work. You should have a gas safety check every year. If you are a landlord this is the law.
Are you entitled to a free gas safety check?
Your gas supplier may be able to provide you with a free of charge gas safety check upon request. A free gas safety check may apply to home owners on means tested benefits who:
- Are of pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick and either live alone or with others who are all of pensionable age, disabled, chronically sick or under 18
- Are living with others where at least one is under 5 years old
- Have not had a gas safety check carried out at the premises in the last 12 months
- Do not occupy premises where a landlord is responsible for arranging a check under regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work Act
Please note that decisions around eligibility for free gas safety checks sit outside the remit of the Gas Safe Register and this advice is for general guidance only. Please contact your energy supplier for more information.
What is a service?
Whilst a gas safety check assesses the basic safety of a gas appliance a service will consist of a full check of a gas appliance and the engineer is likely to take the appliance apart to inspect it. The engineer will assess the physical condition of the appliance, installation pipework, air vents and any flues for deterioration. They will carry out performance tests and take any necessary remedial action.
Appliances should be serviced regularly in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Servicing your gas appliances regularly will make sure they are safe to use. It will also maintain your appliances efficiency and performance.
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
What if my engineer identifies a problem with my gas appliance?
All Gas Safe registered engineers must follow the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP) when assessing the risks of an unsafe gas appliance. The guidance provides ‘best practice’ advice to Gas Safe registered engineers on how they should deal with various gas safety concerns which may affect your safety. Download the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure for more information regarding this procedure.
Gas safety records
After a Gas Safe registered engineer has fitted, carried out a safety check or serviced your gas appliance; they may leave you with a report which explains what checks they have completed. This report may be issued as a gas safety record, depending on the job you have asked them to do. It isn’t always a legal requirement for your engineer to give you this type of information, but many Gas Safe registered engineers will provide it or similar. We recommend you agree with your service provider before they complete the work what documentation you will receive.
The gas safety record tells you that the gas appliance or gas fitting has been checked to see if it is working safely and meets the correct safety standards. This information may also tell you when you next need to service the appliance. As with any documentation always check it includes your engineer’s name and Gas Safe registration number.
Flues, chimneys and air vents
Flues, chimneys and air vents play a vital role in the safe operating of gas appliances. Flues and chimneys allow products of combustion to escape from your home. Air vents ensure there is a good supply of combustion air (ventilation) to appliances. For this reason you must keep all flues, chimneys and air vents clear.
Never block these airways to prevent a draft. Blocking ventilation is dangerous and could result in carbon monoxide building up in your home.
Have chimneys checked every year, no matter how much you use the fire, to make sure there are no blockages and fumes can escape freely. The Gas Safe registered engineer will check for bird’s nests, leaves and other natural debris, they could be blocking the exit.
Do you live in a block of flats or terraced housing? It is also possible for carbon monoxide to seep into properties through shared flues and chimneys. If you live in a property with a shared flue or chimney, share responsibility to get them checked every year to make sure they are allowing gas to escape.