There are over three hundred gas hazards reported every year in the UK, and the number is likely to increase with time. The outcome of gas-related hazards can often be fatal to you, and your loved ones, and can even destroy your property.
Even then, most landlords and residents seem to ignore the ever-growing issue. Moreover, ignoring gas safety within your property, especially as a landlord renting out a property in the UK can land you on the wrong side of the law.
According to the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, you’re responsible by law to get the gas appliances on your property inspected for any faults or leaks by a gas safe engineer and also obtain a gas safety certificate.
However, that is not where gas safety ends. Since prevention is better than cure, whether you’re a landlord, a tenant, or a house owner, gas safety should be an utmost priority to protect everyone that lives within your home and your home itself.
5 Tips To Keep You Safe From Gas Hazards
Several steps can be taken apart from annually getting your property inspected for gas safety by a gas safe engineer to avoid gas-related hazards. Therefore, we’ve decided to compile a list of 5 gas safety tips to keep you safe at home.
1. Check For Carbon Monoxide Symptoms
Carbon monoxide is an undetectable poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels. This can include oil, gas, wood, and coal.
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when the fuel does not burn properly leading to the production of excess carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be nearly impossible to detect without an alarm and lead to serious injuries or even fatalities.
HSE statistics show that 7 people die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning that is often caused by improperly installed, maintained, and poorly ventilated gas appliances or flues.
Since it may not be possible to properly detect the gas yourself, we recommend being aware of the possible symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning to protect you and your loved ones in case of an emergency.
Note that if you think you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 and seek medical help for your symptoms immediately.
Here are some carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms we recommend looking out for:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
- Poor vision
2. Ensure You Get Your Home Inspected For Gas Safety Annually
Since most gas-related incidents are caused by faulty or improperly installed gas appliances, getting your home inspected for gas safety should be a priority for every homeowner and landlord. A registered gas safety engineer is the one who does the gas safety check.
The engineer will ensure all the gas appliances and fuels in your home are correctly functioning and properly installed and thus, are safe to keep in your home. A gas safety inspection will cost you anywhere between £60 to £90 depending on the location of your property and the number of appliances to be checked within your home.
As a landlord of any property in the UK, you’re required to obtain a gas safety certificate from the gas safety engineer and provide a copy of this to your tenant. As a landlord renting a commercial property, you will need to obtain a commercial gas safety certificate.
3. Install A Carbon Monoxide Alarm On Your Property
Since carbon monoxide is difficult to detect, carbon monoxide is recommended to be installed in every property that includes any gas appliances. Audible carbon monoxide alarms come in several varieties and are manufactured by many reliable companies.
An audible carbon monoxide should be a preference considering it can make significant noise and alarm you about a CO leakage in case you’re asleep during an emergency or mistake your carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms for another condition.
However, note that a CO alarm can not be considered an alternative for proper installation and maintenance of the gas appliances within your property. You should continue to get your gas appliances inspected for any leaks or faults whether or not you have an alarm to ensure you, your tenants, and property remain fully safe from any gas hazards.
4. Keep Your Fireplace And Chimneys Clean
If you have a fireplace with a chimney in your home, it is highly important to have it cleaned regularly along with regular inspections. Some aspects of your fireplace a professional such as a gas safety engineer should inspect include:
- Smoke vents and flumes
- Gas line
- Ignition system
However, getting it cleaned regularly is equally important to avoid the build up of a substance called creosote. Creosote is a highly inflammable substance that can lead to chimney fires. Some steps you can ensure to keep your chimney clean include:
- Clean out any ashes regularly to ensure proper airflow
- Try only burning seasoned wood that is low in moisture content to decrease build-up of creosote
5. Know Where Your Natural Gas Shut-Off Valve Is
In case of a gas emergency, you should shut off your gas valve as soon as possible. Knowing where the shut-off valve is located and how you can turn it off is important to know. You may also need a screwdriver or wrench to turn it off. So, it may come in handy to store it nearby!
Taking sufficient steps to prevent gas safety hazards will keep you and your loved one protected from any emergencies along with ensuring you stay on the right side of the law. Therefore, make sure to do all that you can to ensure you stay safe from any gas-related hazards.