Why the annual Gas Safety Week is so important.

Why the annual Gas Safety Week is so important.

Every September the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) runs its awareness-raising Gas Safety Week to raise awareness of the dangers of failing to take care of gas appliances. The event is co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on your gas appliances.

Every September the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) runs its awareness-raising Gas Safety Week to raise awareness of the dangers of failing to take care of gas appliances. The event is co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on your gas appliances.

It has been calculated that an estimated one in 10 people do not have their gas appliances serviced regularly, which underlines the need for this regular annual event, which is mainly targeted at householders and landlords.

It emphasises three things you should do to stay 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.
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find and check an engineer at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk
  • 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.

In addition to the annual checks on appliances that are compulsory for any landlords letting properties, it emphasises an additional requirement to ensure that pipework that runs from the meter to the appliances is maintained in a safe condition and should therefore be regularly inspected.

Why is gas safety so important?

One of the biggest risks from faulty appliances is Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

CO is produced by the incomplete burning of natural gas or liquefied 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.

There are six main symptoms:

  1. headaches
  2. dizziness
  3. nausea
  4. breathlessness 
  5. collapse 
  6. loss of consciousness

A good test of whether the cause is something in your home is whether symptoms only occur when you are at home and seem to disappear when you leave home and whether they are experienced by other people, or pets, in your home. The long-term risks of CO poisoning are paralysis and brain damage.

Warning signs that an appliance is faulty include Flames of a lazy yellow or orange colour on your gas hob, rather than being a crisp blue, dark staining on/around appliances, pilot lights that frequently blow out and increased condensation inside windows.

Anything that can help to raise awareness of gas safety is therefore to be welcomed, and next year’s event will be 14 – 20 September.

 

 

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