Watch out for the tell-tale signs of unsafe gas appliances

Mon 19 Sep, 2016



Firefighters are supporting Gas Safety Week, which runs from today until Sunday 25 September, to help raise awareness of the importance of having boilers and other appliances properly maintained and serviced. 

It’s an annual initiative coordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on your gas boiler, gas cooker and gas fire.

Gas Safe Register figures show that over the last three years, there have been 22 deaths and about 1,000 gas-related injuries the UK.

Richard Priest, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “Making sure your gas appliances are safe to use could save your life. It is important that people understand the risks posed by unsafe gas work.

“We are urging everyone who uses gas to ensure that their boilers and appliances are regularly serviced and maintained by a Gas Safe-registered engineer, to be aware of the warning signs of a faulty appliance, and to know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"We are also asking everyone to do everything they can to spread this message to older relatives and friends."

Jonathan Samuel, Gas Safe Register’s MD, said: “We know from our own investigations that one in six gas appliances in the UK are unsafe, meaning far too many people are victims of preventable gas-related incidents. 

"It’s great to have the support of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service this Gas Safety Week so that we can work together to raise public awareness of gas safety and reduce the number of dangerous gas appliances lurking in the homes of the UK’s 23 million gas consumers.”

Richard and Jonathan are asking everyone to follow this advice:

  • Gas appliances should be safety-checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe-registered engineer. This includes your gas boiler, gas cooker and gas fire. Sign up at www.staygassafe.co.uk for a free reminder service.
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe-registered. You can find and check an engineer at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Check the front and back of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card, making sure they are qualified to do the specific type of gas work you require.
  • Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
  • Check you have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Check you know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.

Click here for a carbon monoxide safety leaflet produced by the charity CO Awareness.