Safe gas appliances burn gas in a controlled manner to allow us to heat up our homes and to cook our food; however Gas Safe have released information which indicates that an unsafe gas appliance is reported in every 1 in 6 houses that are inspected.*
So, here is some important information on the dangers of unsafe gas appliances and how to prevent them in your home.
According to manufacturer’s instructions, all appliances must be annually checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer and any appliance that is left unchecked can pose a threat to you and your family. It is also within your best interests to get your gas pipework inspected during a gas safety inspection to check their condition, which is a legal requirement if you’re a landlord.
If you have an unsafe gas appliance in your house then you are at risk of a gas leak and although gas has no natural smell, a distinct odorant is added to gas so it can be detected; you can usually smell this briefly when you turn a gas hob on to make your morning fry-up!
Gas Leaks must be attended to immediately as they can lead to the following serious problems within the house: Fires & explosions and Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
- Fires & Explosions
Gas is highly combustible as it is majority made up of methane and other flammable chemicals. As a result if there is a gas leak at your property and an ignition occurs, which could be the lighting of a match or the firing up of a cooker, then the exposed gas can cause a fire or even worse, an explosion.
How to Detect a Gas Leak
There are a few ways to detect a gas leak. Most commonly gas leaks are detected from the distinct smell that gas has, however you can also detect a gas leak if you see any signs of damage, rust or corrosion on your gas pipes.
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Unsafe gas appliances can also produce a poisonous chemical called Carbon Monoxide (CO) which can cause long-term health impacts such as brain damage whilst also being fatal with 7 CO related deaths per year**. CO is known as a ‘Silent Killer’ as it has no smell, taste or colour whilst 32% of people misdiagnose its symptoms for more common illnesses: headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness*.
According to Gas Safe, over a half of UK households do not own a CO alarm which leaves 12million homes at risk of CO poisoning and makes the annual inspection of gas appliances even more important whilst the ‘Health and Safety Executive’ strongly recommends fitting a CO alarm in your property to detect and prevent CO leaks**.
How to Detect Carbon Monoxide Leaks
The best way to prevent CO leaks is to ensure you have annual gas safety checks at your property. Apart from gas safety checks, audible CO alarms can be fitted to detect CO leaks and it is advised that one is fitted in each room that has a gas appliance in order to detect the leak as soon as possible. The British Standards Kitemark is EN 50291, so ensure that your CO alarm has this code or another European equivalent.
Why Get Your Home Gas Safety Checked?
According to Gas Safe, close to 1.1 million jobs are carried out each year by illegal, unregistered gas engineers which accounts for the unsafe installation of:186,000 gas cookers, 147,000 boilers, 75,000 gas fires, 32,000 gas meters and 645,000 gas pipework over one year*. So, whether you have moved to a new house and are unware if the installers were gas safety registered or whether this is something that wasn’t checked upon installation then you may be at risk.
As well as safety benefits, gas safety inspections can also help: Avoid expensive breakdowns, maximise fuel efficiency, reduce bills, ensure correct gas pressure, ensure correct operation of controls, ensure safe ignition and guarantee that you comply with the most recent Gas Safety legislation.
How to Get Your Home Gas Safety Checked
To guarantee the gas appliances in your home are safe, protecting yourself and your family from leaks and the risk of CO poisoning contact Rightio for a Gas Safety Check with one of engineers who are all Gas Safe registered.
*Information from the Gas Safety Week Report 2017 https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/media/2499/gas-safety-week-2017-report.pdf *
**Information from Health Safety Executive http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqownerocc.htm**