Christmas Gas Safety Tips
Did you know most gas related house fires occur on Christmas Day? According to the Gas Safe Register, only 5% of adults put a gas safety check on their to-do list in the run up to Christmas, making the festive season the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to gas safety.
The Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas businesses, finds a higher proportion of dangerous gas appliances in December than during any other month. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that 19% cent of homes have not had their gas appliances legally checked this year—leaving up to 12 million people potentially living with dangerous gas appliances.
This is a habitual problem. Over the last five years, 17% of boilers, fires and cookers investigated in December were unsafe, according to the Gas Safe Register.
Follow these top tips to ensure that your gas appliances are safe this Christmas:
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home. Find an engineer in your area by calling 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk.
- ‘Trust the Triangle’, and always ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure that you check the information on the back of the card, too.
- Set up an email reminder for when your gas appliances are due for their annual check. You can do this at staygassafe.co.uk.
- Speak to your energy supplier to see if they can provide a free gas safety check.
- Call the 24-hour national gas emergency number (0800 111 999) immediately if you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak.
- Stay aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Look out for warning signs that a gas appliance isn’t working properly – lazy yellow flames, excessive condensation and black marks/stains. However, gas appliances can be unsafe without displaying these symptoms, so best practice is to have them checked every year.
- Buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm and install it (in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines) near to your gas appliance. Alarms are a strong second line of defence against carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Use gas appliances for their intended purposes only, e.g. do not use a cooker to heat a room.
- Provide enough ventilation for gas appliances to burn correctly and make sure no air vents or chimneys are blocked.
- If you’re a tenant in a rented property, make sure your landlord provides you with an annual gas safety check,
Visit the Gas Safety Register website for more gas safety tips this season.