When I was pregnant with the small boy, I like most expectant mothers started nesting. It wasn’t enough for me to decorate the nursery, we had everything painted. The bathroom ripped out and replaced and a new boiler fitted. We hadn’t planned to have a new boiler, it’s just that on our annual gas safety inspection the Gas Safe Engineer condemned both it and the gas fire. Oh dear.
Since then I’ve been especially on the ball when it comes to booking our annual gas safety check. Every summer we get our boiler and central heating system checked over and serviced. Summer may seem an odd time to get it done, but I’d rather ensure that everything is safe and sound while we’re not really needing central heating, than wait until winter kicks in before finding that our boiler is kaput.
It’s not just your boiler which needs an annual check and service, but all gas appliances in your home, such as gas fires, ovens and hobs and anything else you may have in the house. Although you may not store your gas BBQ or any camping gas in your home, and they are unlikely to fall within the remit of your annual gas safety check, you should take care to ensure they are stored safely and that they are regularly checked over for damage or wear and tear.
Horrifying stories about carbon monoxide poisoning appear too regularly on the news for my liking. I often think how vulnerable we were when I was pregnant and the boiler was spewing out harmful gases we couldn’t smell, and may never have known about until it was too late.
to ensure the gas safety of your home you should –
Get your boiler and gas appliances checked annually.
Ensure they are checked by a qualified Gas Safe Engineer.
Get a Carbon Monoxide Alarm and fit it, it could save your life.
If the alarm sounds, turn off your gas supply and seek professional advice.
If there is a problem call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999
Having your boiler and gas appliances checked annually by a qualified gas safety engineer is a simple thing you can do to ensure the safety of your family in the place they should feel the safest – your home.
Gas Safety Week this year falls on 14th – 20th September. The end of September is generally the time when many households give into temptation and put their heating on, only to find that it’s not working properly or even at all. The start of autumn is a good time to get your boiler and central heating system serviced by a suitably qualified professional, just to make sure everything is working properly, efficiently and most importantly safely.
Looking back over my Facebook memories the other day I was reminded of a time in our old house, I was very pregnant and we were getting everything shipshape for the baby, we decided to get our boiler serviced. The engineer came, ran a few tests and then shut the whole system off. It was leaking dangerous carbon monoxide gas, and although it was a bit inconvenient, I’m very glad we got it checked and then repaired properly. I dread to think of what would’ve happened had we just left it. Now we make sure our whole system gets serviced annually and we have a couple of carbon monoxide sensors in the house.
It’s important that you get your boiler checked by a suitably qualified and registered Gas Safe Engineer. A check could help protect you and your family from dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. Fitting a carbon monoxide detector is another useful safety precaution.
For more information on Gas Safety Week and for advice on getting your boiler properly serviced visit the Corgi Homeplan website. You can find out more about the harmful effects of carbon monoxide in this blog post I wrote last year too.
There have been a number of quite horrifying news stories in recent years about deaths related to carbon monoxide poisoning. Each year more than 200 people are hospitalised with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning and around 40 people die.
Carbon monoxide leaks are commonly found in incorrectly installed or poorly maintained household appliances such as cookers, heaters and central heating boilers. A blocked flue or chimney can also cause carbon monoxide levels to rise to lethal levels in an enclosed space. When we had our chimney opened up so we could have a real fire, we had an extra air vent fitted for this very reason.
The problem with carbon monoxide is that it’s a colourless, odourless gas. You can’t taste it, see it or smell it, which is why it’s known as the silent killer and why it kills so many people each year. It’s something I’m frankly terrified of, so I make sure our boiler and appliances are checked out annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and that our chimney is swept regularly too.
It’s also a really good idea to get a carbon monoxide detector which work in a similar way to smoke detectors, these are relatively inexpensive and could save your life. They’re also really useful to have if you go camping or boating, as a number of deaths occur each year in caravans and boats due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you suspect you have a carbon monoxide leak (or any gas leak) then turn off all of your appliances including the boiler, make sure your house is well ventilated by opening doors and windows, if you can access your gas isolation valve, turn it a quarter turn so the lever is at 90 degrees to the upright gas pipe, then ring the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 11 999.
Corgi Homeplan are currently campaigning for every home to have their own CO detector and they’ve launched a new website to help people be aware of the dangers of gas appliances in their own home. The website has lots of easy to follow advice as well as information about the warning signs to look out for. The Corgi Homeplan website is a great resource for homeowners unsure about how to protect themselves and what to do when things go wrong at home.