February 24, 2024

South West News

South West News from Gloucestershire to Cornwall

As Gas Safety Week Approaches, Custom Heat Highlights Ways to Keep Safe and Steps to Take if Poisoned by Carbon Monoxide

Boiler Service Giveaway and Prices Frozen Amid Concerns of Rise in DIY Gas Appliance Work

With Gas Safety Week 2022 fast approaching, Cornwall-based heating and plumbing specialist, Custom Heat, is advising people on how to stay safe in their homes and businesses and what to do if a gas leak is suspected. The firm is also warning people against undertaking DIY gas work, even if they are tempted to during difficult economic times.

Furthermore, the firm is giving away 10 gas boiler services and 20 carbon monoxide alarms. Visit https://customheat.co.uk/gas-safety-week-2022-cornwall/ before 5pm on Friday, 30 September to enter for free or find the link in the footer of Custom Heat’s website.

Gas Safety Week is now in its eleventh year and is running from 12 to 18 September.

 

Managing Director of Custom Heat, Lincoln Smith, not only wants to remind people of some simple gas safe steps and what they should do if they think they have carbon monoxide poisoning, but he is also raising concerns about a potential increase in people trying to do work on gas appliances themselves.

Custom Heat MD LIncoln Smith

He said: “The rising energy and general living costs are going to make this winter very difficult for many families and I cannot impress enough how dangerous it would be for people to try and fix a broken boiler or other gas appliance themselves to save money. It is so unsafe for anyone not fully qualified to attempt any work – simply put, carbon monoxide poisoning or an explosion, can too easily lead to loss of life and it’s just not worth the risk.”

 

Shaun Smith, Cornwall Installation Manager

14 simple gas safe steps

  1. Never allow anyone unqualified to attempt work on your gas appliance, including yourself.

 

  1. Fit audible carbon monoxide alarms in the rooms where you have a gas or oil appliance. If one detects a carbon monoxide leak, it will alert you just like a smoke alarm – you can also buy two in one devices.

 

  1. If you smell gas, phone the emergency gas number – 0800 111 999 – immediately and follow these steps: do not smoke, light matches or turn electrical switches on or off but do open doors and windows and turn your gas meter off by the control handle, unless it is located in a cellar.

 

  1. Be aware that the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from an unsafe gas appliance are similar to those of many common illnesses. It’s also important to teach them to young people. They are headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.

 

  1. Set a monthly reminder to check your gas appliances. For example, flames should be blue and crisp, not yellow and burning lazily, too much condensation in the room is a warning sign and sooty black marks or stains on or around the appliance is a sign of incomplete combustion. Call an engineer for advice if you find any of these gas safe red flags.

 

  1. Vents are vital to ensure gas appliances burn properly so never block them.

 

  1. Chimneys should be kept clear, checked regularly and cleaned annually.

 

  1. Never try to use a gas appliance for a different purpose they were designed for, such as using a gas cooker to heat a room.

 

  1. All gas appliances should be regularly serviced, and safety checked every year – set yourself a reminder for your appliances, which include gas fires, cookers and boilers. People who rent properties should ask their landlord for their current Gas Safety Record.

 

  1. Always ensure the engineer undertaking any works to your gas appliances is Gas Safe registered – you can check if a company or sole trader is registered at gassaferegister.co.uk or by calling 0800 408 5500.

 

  1. However, also undertake due diligence. Before you engage a firm to undertake work, ensure it is experienced and trustworthy – unfortunately cowboys can be qualified and Gas Safe Registered, so recommendations from friends or family are often best.

 

  1. When your engineer arrives at your home or business, ask to see their Gas Safe Register ID card, and check the back of the card to make sure they are qualified for the specific work you need doing.

 

  1. If you think someone is carrying out work illegally or you have any safety concerns about work that has been carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, report it via the Gas Safe Register website.

 

  1. Share your gas safe knowledge with friends, family and neighbours – let’s keep everybody safe!

 

Lincoln Smith continued: “There are various simple steps people can take to keep their homes and business premises safe, including having appliances regularly serviced by a Gas Safe registered professional, installing carbon monoxide alarms and being aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Further to this everyone should know what to do in an emergency, that is if they smell gas or think they may be being poisoned by carbon monoxide. We wish people luck in winning a boiler services or carbon monoxide alarm from our giveaway, but we also hope it will inspire anyone without an alarm to go out and buy one, as they really do save lives.”

 

What people should do if they suspect a gas leak or carbon monoxide in their property 

  1. Immediately leave the contaminated area and go outside.

 

  1. If you have any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, seek urgent but appropriate medical advice from either your GP, by calling 111, visiting the A&E department or calling 999.

 

  1. Call the emergency gas free phone number on 0800 111 999 to report the issue.

 

  1. If it is possible, shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve, but not if it is in a cellar due to likelihood of concentrated fumes.

 

  1. If safe to re-enter the property, open the windows and doors to ventilate the room, but do not sleep in it, and switch off all your gas appliances and don’t use them again until the problem has been fixed.

 

  1. Call a Gas Safe Registered heating firm, such as Custom Heat, to check all your gas appliances and fix the problem.

 

Gas Safety Week is coordinated by Gas Safe Register, the legal registration body of gas businesses and engineers in the United Kingdom. The week (12 – 18 September) aims to raise awareness about the importance of gas safety and taking care of gas appliances.

To learn more or to book an appointment online, please visit customheat.co.uk, or join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram – @custom_heat_ltd.