If there are fumes escaping from your gas appliance they may contain carbon monoxide (CO) – a colourless, odourless gas. If you believe fumes are escaping you should call 0800 111 999 immediately. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also operates a Gas Safety Advice Line, 0800 300 363.
Badly fitted and poorly serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and CO poisoning. CO is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
Protect yourself from the dangers by following these simple steps:
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix or service your appliances.
- Get your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year.
- Fit an audible CO alarm that meets British Standard EN 50291.
- Check for warning signs such as lazy yellow flames or black marks or stains around the appliance.
- Know the six main signs and symptoms of CO poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
If you believe you have been exposed to CO it is advisable to seek a blood test within 4 hours of the suspected exposure.
If you use LPG contact your supplier immediately. Their details should be on the cylinder or tank or a notice behind your emergency shut off valve outside your house.
By law, anyone carrying out gas work must be registered with Gas Safe Register. To protect yourself and your family, you should ask to see your installers ID card.The front of the card shows their photograph, name, individual licence number and card expiry date. On the reverse, you will find details of the areas of gas work that person is competent to undertake.
For more information visit the Gas Safe Register website.