Gas safety tips for the home

keep your family safe from the dangers of faulty gas appliances

Gas Safe Registered Engineer

You should never allow anyone who isn't suitably qualified to service or install any appliance that uses gas in your home since this will drastically increase your risk of getting carbon monoxide poisoning. This particular gas is very toxic and can easily kill you without warning because it is not possible to smell, see or even taste carbon monoxide.

The official gas safety body for the United Kingdom is Gas Safe Register which was also called CORGI in the past. So, if you do need to hire someone to handle gas in your home, then you need to hire someone who is on the Gas Safe Register.

If you need someone to fix or diagnose your heating system, then you should only hire boiler engineers that are also on the Gas Safe Register. If they present a CORGI card, then they are likely not registered and you shouldn't hire them because they are not legally qualified to do this type of work.

Make sure to check the engineer's membership card and ensure that you look for the Gas Safe Register symbol which is a yellow triangle as opposed to an orange badge which is representative of CORGI.

10 Tips For Gas Safety

1. Check your appliances that use gas yearly

If you are disabled, have a means-tested benefit, have a chronic illness, or at the age of pension, then you are actually entitled to getting a completely free yearly gas safety check. So, if you want to know if you qualify for this free check, simply call your local energy company to find out.

2. Make sure that the engineer is Gas Safe Registered

In Guernsey, Isle of Man, or the United Kingdom, it is illegal for any individual to work with gas if they are not Gas Safe registered. As a result, before you allow any engineer into your property, make sure that they are on this register by either checking the official website or even call 0800-408-5500.

All engineers that are Gas Safe registered will have an ID card by Gas Safe.
Keep in mind that there are various types of registration. So, there are engineers who are only registered and qualified to work on gas fires but are not qualified and registered to work on pipes or boilers. Make sure that you thoroughly check the front and back of the card to make sure they are registered to do the type of work that you've called them to do.

3. Gas Safe Registered Business employees cannot do private work and it is illegal for them to do so

It is illegal for you to privately hire any person who is Gas Safe Registered and works with a Gas Safe registered business. While you may think it is a smart idea, it definitely isn't.

4. Always report any person who you think may be working illegally on gas

If you believe that someone is doing any type of gas work illegally, make sure that you call and report that person or persons to the Gas Safe Register.

5. Get an inspection for your gas work

If you've had gas work completed on your property within 6 months, you'll be able to nominate it for a free Gas Safe safety inspection. This inspection will check to make sure that your gas work is up to standard.

6. Make sure to get your appliances tested if you've moved

Whenever you move into a new house, you shouldn't automatically believe that all of your appliances are fine and safe. Make sure that you get them thoroughly checked out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

7. Be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and the common symptoms

It is important to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning since this knowledge cans ave your life or the life of your loved ones. The signs include:

- breathlessness
- dizziness
- headaches
- nausea
- loss of consciousness

These symptoms may improve when you leave your property and then start again when you are back in your home. Be conscious if more than one person is also experiencing these issues within the home, especially at the same time.

8. Be knowledgeable on what you should do if you believe yourself or someone else is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning:

- Open all of the windows and doors and try to get fresh air as quickly as possible
- Exit the house
- Switch off any appliances that use gas as well as turn off the gas
- Make sure there are no naked flames in the house and turn off any if necessary
- Go to your doctor or a hospital. Make sure that you let them know that you believe you may have carbon monoxide poisoning. You should also call the Gas Emergency Helpline at 0800-111-999

9. Look for signals that your gas appliances aren't functioning well

Many signs may indicate that your appliances aren't working as they should and these include:

- Black marks around the appliance
- Issues with the pilot light going out often
- Orange or yellow flames on your stove since they should be blue
- A lot more condensation on the interior of your windows

10. Install a loud carbon monoxide alarm

Since it is not possible to see, taste, or even smell carbon monoxide gas you should get a carbon monoxide alarm to let you know when this gas is present for protection. These alarms are very similar to smoke alarms and they are simple to install. They typically cost under £20, however, you should only purchase a carbon monoxide alarm that has a European or British seal like Kitemark.

Gas Safe Register Defined

This body was created in 2009 and replaced the previous gas safety body known as CORGI Gas Registration. This company has been in existence for over 17 years and successfully lowered domestic gas safety problems in this period.

However, in 2006, this body was reviewed by various gas engineers, stakeholders in the industry, consumers, etc and they determined that even more could be done to progress in this industry through reform. So, in 2008 the HSE or Health and Safety Executive allowed the Capita Group Plc to create a new registration for all gas engineers. As a result, the Gas Safe Register was formed and they have been working hard toward increasing gas safety for engineers as well as the entire public.

Poisoning by carbon monoxide

Every year, about 50 people are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning within their homes. Also, every year there are over 200 people who suffer from health issues due to exposure to carbon monoxide. As a result of this, you must be aware of the risks of this gas and how to prevent getting poisoned by it.

This gas is so dangerous because humans can't sense it via smell, sight, or hearing. Therefore, you need to be aware of the symptoms of CO poisoning such as breathlessness, headaches, feelings of nausea, dizziness, loss of consciousness, etc. Once you notice these symptoms only happening while you're in your home, then you're likely dealing with a CO leak which has to be fixed asap.

About the Author

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Heat Quick Direct are Vaillant accredited engineers

Heat Quick Direct is accredited by all the major gas boiler trade bodies, such as Gas Safe and we are approved G3 unvented hot water storage engineers approved by Worcester as accredited engineers and we are approved advanced Vaillant engineers.