Gas Safety Week highlighted the dangers of gas and recent and old stories of carbon monoxide poisoning surfaced, reminding everyone how lethal gas can be. Trevor and Alan Leighton died of carbon monoxide poisoning in 1992 when a landlord reconnected a gas supply to an appliance that had been already been judged as unsafe by a registered engineer. An incident like this is easily avoidable and having a day’s worth of home cooking is never that worth it.
These days, registered engineers are incredibly accessible so make sure that you hire a safe, registered engineer when carrying out any gas work inside your home. ‘Gas safe’, the legal body for gas engineers also make it easy on their website to check if an engineer is registered to their system and all you have to do is type in their ‘Gas Safe’ number and all the information will come up for you.
All registered engineers should carry their badges with them at all times so you can always check for yourself. Gas companies should also have a number so you can ask for this when choosing who to go to for your work.
Often people wait till carbon monoxide is a problem for them before they check their appliances in the home. However, carbon monoxide can kill within minutes so make sure you keep a close eye on your gas. Here are a few tips to look out for carbon monoxide: Make sure all your gas appliances are checked at least annually. These are things such as your boiler, cooker or gas fire. Always make sure that you are using a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer to carry out any of your gas jobs. This is the law and only they are fully qualified to keep your appliances safe. To check you can visit the Gas Safe Register website and check your engineer’s badge number. Make sure you are familiar with the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These are headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. Look out for signs that your appliances are not working properly. If you see yellow flames instead of blue ones, black marks, stains on or around the appliance or too much condensation, this can be a sign of a leakage. You can also purchase a carbon monoxide alarm for your home which you can make sure is close to your gas appliances. These are not expensive at all. Do not use barbecues or even the small disposable ones in the house or within a closed environment. This is lethal. Always ensure there is enough ventilation around your appliances. Make sure you report ANYONE who is working with gas appliances and is not registered. This is illegal and this can put many lives at risk.