Being safe around gas

Worried about your gas supply?

We want to ensure all our customers and community understand how to be safe around gas. If you smell gas or have any concerns about gas safety you need to:

  • Open all doors and windows
  • Avoid using any electrical equipment (including mobile phones and light switches) or naked flames
  • Switch the gas off at the Emergency Control Valve (ECV) by the gas meter (this is normally switched off when the handle is at right angles to the pipe)
  • Call GAS EMERGENCY on 0800 111 999 immediately; calls are free and the service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Once your supply is made safe, please call us free on 0808 281 2222 to advise us of what has happened

Your gas appliance isn’t working but you can’t smell gas

If you can’t smell gas, but are having problems with a gas appliance the next steps depend on if you’ve have a gas meter installed within the last two weeks.

If you’ve had a gas meter installed in the last two weeks then follow the steps above – ‘worried about your gas supply’.

If you’ve not had a new meter installed in the last fortnight:

  • Contact a “Gas Safe” registered engineer to check the appliance
  • If the engineer identifies that there is a problem with the gas meter, please call us free on 0808 281 2222
  • We’ll send someone (this may be through a third party working on our behalf) and call you back to let you know what’s happening within four hours 

Gas Safety Checks

To protect yourself and your family all gas appliances and flues and other gas fittings should be checked and serviced every 12 months.  

Any work carried out on gas appliances or fittings in your home should be by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer. They will hold certificates demonstrating that they are competent in specialist areas of gas installation and maintenance. You can find registered engineers at www.gassaferegister.co.uk. 

Are you a vulnerable customer?

If you’re signed up to our Priority Services Register (PSR) you could be eligible for a free gas safety check

Information on our PSR can be found here or by calling us free on 0808 281 2222

Has your boiler or appliance been condemned? 

If your boiler or an appliance in your home has been deemed unsafe it will be issued with a warning label and should not be used. It could be at risk of producing the lethal odourless gas carbon monoxide.

Do not turn the gas appliance on again until an engineer has remedied the issue and provided a written statement that the gas appliance is now safe.

If you believe that you have been recently exposed to carbon monoxide then you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Carbon Monoxide

What is carbon monoxide and why is it dangerous?

Carbon monoxide is an extremely dangerous gas which is invisible, odourless and tasteless. High levels of exposure can be fatal.  Lower levels of exposure can still be very damaging to health.  

You can find full details of the risks of exposure to carbon monoxide at www.thesilentkiller.co.uk

I believe I may be at risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide. What should I do?

Symptoms of poisoning can include:

  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

If you find that the symptoms above improve when you’re away from home, this may mean that there is a problem with one or more of your gas appliances emitting carbon monoxide.  

Actions:

  • Switch off the appliance
  • Open all windows and doors
  • Call GAS EMERGENCY free on 0800 111 999 (24 hrs)
  • Seek URGENT medical advice
  • Get to your GP or local A & E and ask for a blood or breath test
  • Carbon Monoxide leaves your body quickly so immediate action could save your life

What signs can I look for?

  • Evidence of soot, stains or discolouration near appliances like boilers, gas fires or water heaters
  • Gas flames should burn blue – if they look yellow this is a sign that attention might be needed

How can I avoid being exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning?

Making sure that your gas appliances are serviced every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer helps to ensure that you and your family are kept safe.

We strongly recommend the use of audible carbon monoxide detectors as a useful precaution but these should only be used in addition to regular gas appliance servicing by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

You can be particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning when you are asleep, because you may not be aware of symptoms until it is too late.  Having an audible carbon monoxide detector could alert you and save your life.

Useful links:

www.nhs.uk

www.gassaferegister.co.uk

www.hse.gov.uk

www.gassafecharity.org.uk

www.covictim.org

www.co-gassafety.co.uk