Staying Gas-Safe at Home
The biggest potential for danger with the gas that’s supplied to your home is a gas leak, which generally is the result of either a faulty appliance or worn/damaged pipes. The gas itself isn’t poisonous and won’t make you ill, but it is incredibly combustible, and so if you think you can smell gas, there are a few things you should and shouldn’t do.
- Check if the problem has been caused by an extinguished pilot light
- Open as many windows and doors as possible to provide ventilation
- Check in advance where the gas emergency control valve is on your meter, and familiarise yourself with switching off the supply (only switch off supply in a leak if it is safe to do so)
- Get safely clear of the building and call 0800 111 999 to report the leak
- Switch on any lights
- Plug in or unplug any devices
- Light a naked flame, or smoke
- If your meter or faulty appliance is in the basement, don’t go down there. The gas could have accumulated
- Use any phone
The risks of gas leaks are drastically reduced when you ensure that anyone who services or installs your appliances is a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Faulty appliances in the home aren’t just responsible for leaking natural gas, they can also be responsible for emitting carbon monoxide, an odourless and highly poisonous gas that can cause death very quickly.
As you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, it’s essential to have safety measures in place to detect it early. Carbon monoxide detectors are as important as smoke detectors, and should be on every floor of your home, and in every room that contains an appliance that burns fuel such as gas stoves, gas heaters, boilers and fireplaces. Each carbon monoxide detector you buy will come with instructions on how best to install it for maximum safety.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide include:
- Stomach pains
- Shortness of breath
If you think there may be a carbon monoxide leak in your home, either because an alarm goes off or a member or members of the household experiences the above symptoms, it’s essential that you completely vacate the property and call the gas emergency line on 0800 111 999. Do not go back into the property until an expert has deemed it safe, and seek urgent medical attention.
Last updated: Wed, 16 Sep, 2020 at 4:58 PM
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