Gas Safety Week a reminder to ensure our gas appliances are not an accident waiting to happen
This week marks the fifth annual Gas Safety Week and SSE has demonstrated we are committed to raising awareness of gas safety by pledging our support along with more than 5,000 other organisations.
There are 23 million gas-fuelled homes in the UK and using gas to heat our homes and to power appliances is something many of us take for granted. An unsafe gas appliance can put you and those close to you at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions. Gas Safe Register, which is co-ordinating this week’s campaign, is the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
A poorly serviced or maintained gas appliance can cause the release of carbon monoxide, which is often referred to as “the silent killer”. It cannot be seen and has no smell or taste, but it can kill quickly and without warning. As well as ensuring gas appliances are well maintained, if you haven't already you should consider installing a carbon monoxide detector which will alert you of its presence. If you do have a detector installed, then make sure to check regularly that it is working properly.
Research conducted by the Gas Safe Register found that around 68,000 potentially deadly gas incidents were prevented in 2013 by gas engineers. Worryingly, around half of those were as a result of the appliance not having been maintained and serviced regularly. With 20 deaths and 1,000 gas-related injuries in the last three years, it’s vital that people make sure their gas appliances are safety checked every year by a registered engineer. Anyone working on gas appliances while not being Gas Safe registered is breaking the law.
We’ve put together a list of simple tips to ensure that you and your family remains ‘gas safe’.
- If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24 hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.
- 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.
- Only use gas appliances for their intended purpose. For example, do not use an oven to heat a room or use a barbeque inside (or in a tent).
- Always ensure that there is plenty of ventilation for your appliances to burn correctly and make sure that air vents are unobstructed.
- Visually inspect flues for any obstructions (for example falling leaves) particularly at this time of year.
- Remember the above points apply to your caravan and holiday home if you have one.
More and more SSE customers rely on our gas engineers to keep their gas appliances safe and in good working condition. To find out more about becoming a Shield customer, call us on 0800 912 1670.