September 10th to 16th was Gas Safety Week in the UK – this national campaign, organised by Gas Safe Register, aims to highlight the importance of correct and safe gas usage in the home and workplace. As winter approaches, UK families and offices are more likely to use gas appliances including cookers and central heating systems.
While gas is a widely-used and affordable source of power, it is of the utmost importance that all gas appliances are properly cared for and maintained, to avoid hazards such as fires, gas leaks or carbon monoxide poisoning. There is a simple set of rules and regulations UK gas users can follow in order to ensure their safety this winter season:
Correct Care and Maintenance
• All gas appliances should be serviced regularly, and a thorough gas safety check or inspection should be performed once a year.
• Be sure to allow for adequate ventilation so your gas appliances can burn safely and correctly.
• Use your various gas appliances for their intended purpose ONLY.
Trust the Professionals
• When it comes to working with gas appliances, never attempt a DIY fix; call a professional gas engineer, with the correct expertise and safety workwear, to handle the job. You might think DIY will save you money, but it is risky and mistakes can be costly.
• Only qualified gas engineers with Gas Safe certification should be trusted to work on these appliances. Be sure to check your engineer’s Gas Safety Register ID Card, and make sure that the following details are correct and up-to-date:
o Licence number
o Expiry date
o Security hologram
o Domestic and/ or non-domestic work the engineer is qualified to do
• While you can’t put a price on the safety of your household, it’s also useful to know that gas suppliers are required to conduct free gas safety inspections for vulnerable people, for example, the elderly or chronically ill.
• Always be aware of how your gas appliances are functioning, and be aware of the warning signs that there may be something wrong.
• Black marks around the appliance, and gas flames changing from their usual crisp blue to yellow or orange, are telltale signs that an appliance may be in disrepair.
• Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm marked to EN 50291 safety standards to detect gas leaks.
Gas Safety Week only comes around once a year, but it pays to ensure your appliances are cared for all year round; this will help your household stay warm and safe during the winter months.