Do these vital gas checks now, as three in five home appliances 'unsafe'

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Faulty gas appliances in the home pose a risk to life and must be checked regularly to ensure they are working safely and efficiently.

This Gas Safety Week, experts have released the five most vital checks that you need on appliances in your home, as it is revealed by the Gas Safe Register that one in five homes have dangerous gas appliances, and three in five appliances are classed as unsafe.

In these times of watching every penny as energy costs soar, leaking or poorly performing appliances can also lead you to spend more than you need to, so are well worth checks to ensure they are running efficiently.

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Gas Safety Week aims to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of gas appliances.

Watch for warning signs like yellow flames on your gas hob.Watch for warning signs like yellow flames on your gas hob.
Watch for warning signs like yellow flames on your gas hob.

Here, Ideal Heating shares its most important guidelines on safety at home.

Five gas safety measures

1 Check your appliances for warning signs

If you see yellow, lazy flames on your gas hob, rather than the usual blue ones, your hob needs to be checked immediately.

It's vital to have your boiler checked and serviced regularly.It's vital to have your boiler checked and serviced regularly.
It's vital to have your boiler checked and serviced regularly.

Any staining or excessive soot build up on or around appliances might also signal problems.

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If your appliance has a pilot light, do you have to relight it? If so you should get your appliance checked.

Is your appliance performing differently to normal or displaying fault lights or codes? Time for a Gas Safe registered engineer to check it.

Check when you last had your gas appliance serviced and ensure you regularly have it maintained.

2 Get annual checks by a Gas Safe registered engineer

Your gas appliances need a safety check every year - failing to correctly maintain your appliance could lead to serious problems including carbon monoxide poisoning.

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When having your service done, only use Gas Safe Registered engineers. This includes when installing any appliances too. Make sure you insist on seeing their Gas Safe ID card, and check both sides of it.

If you are renting, this responsibility falls to your landlord for appliances that are provided by them. Ask for their Gas Safety Record and ask them to ensure gas appliances, fittings and chimneys are safe (in line with the Gas Safety Regulations 1998). If you have your own gas appliances in the rented property it is your responsibility to ensure that they are regularly maintained and serviced.

Always ensure that your Gas Safe engineer has a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions and services your appliance in accordance with these. Your appliance manufacturer will be able to help if you don’t have a copy.

3 Never block any ventilation around your appliance

A lack of ventilation around appliances - whether indoors or outdoors - can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide.

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Ensure any gas appliances have good ventilation and are used in the intended way.

Keep vents and chimneys clear, vents are vital to ensure gas appliances burn properly, and chimneys need to be cleaned and checked regularly.

4 Get a carbon monoxide detector and don’t forget to test it regularly

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide (and smoke) detector in your property. Early warnings can save lives!

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It’s also important to be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. The six main symptoms to look out for are headaches, dizziness, nausea, tiredness, breathlessness and loss of consciousness.

Test your carbon monoxide alarm regularly and check that the alarm is still within the expiry date printed on the alarm.

5 Know how to react if there’s a leak

If you think there could be a gas leak or carbon monoxide leak in the home, immediately turn off the gas and open windows and doors to ventilate the property.

Do not operate any lights or electrical switches.

Leave the house and contact the Gas Emergency service and do not re-enter the property until it is safe to do so. For LPG appliances where the leak is indoors, turn off the gas at the manual outlet valve on the tanks or cylinder(s), open windows and doors to ventilate the property, and do not operate any light switches or electrical switches.

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Contact your gas supplier so they can make the installation safe and call the fire brigade on 999 and advise that there is an LPG Cylinder(s) or tank at your property.

The Gas Emergency Services number is 0800 111 999 – make a note of this and make sure all responsible persons in the property are aware of it.

If you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide, or are experiencing any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning then you need to seek immediate medical assistance.

Problems with gas can be a serious health concern and a threat to life, yet many buildings around the UK aren’t getting the checks they need to make sure they are safe.

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Enter your postcode here to see the results of the inspections that have been carried out by the Gas Safe Register in your area:

Chris Jessop, customer services director at Ideal Heating said: “It is vital that everyone, including all homeowners, landlords and tenants understand the simple steps they can take to ensure gas appliances are installed and maintained safely and correctly. We would encourage all our customers to take a moment to recap on key points around gas safety.”

You can find all the advice you need by visiting the Gas Safe Register website at Knowing what to do in an emergency saves lives.

Make sure to spread the word on gas safety information with friends, family and neighbours to make sure the whole community is safe.

For more advice on gas safety visit the Ideal Heating blog:

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