How to Make Sure Your Home is Gas Safe

When it comes to making your home safe, whether it’s you that’s living in it or you’re renting it out to tenants, one of the most important safety regulations you will need to carry out is checking your gas systems. This guide will help identify what you should and shouldn’t be doing with the gas in your home; who should be helping you with any problems you may have, and how to make sure your home is gas safe.

Some of the most standard things to remember are to get any gas appliances in your home serviced on a regular basis and to always adhere to any instructions or guidelines that come with gas appliances. Firstly, check any handbooks you may have for any advice on how regularly your gas appliance needs servicing; this will often be on an annual basis. You should also check these handbooks to see how the appliance should be used correctly.

If you are having something installed that is gas related, e.g. a boiler or gas fire, then always employ someone who is registered as a gas installer and has experience of dealing with these types of appliances. You can find people in Great Britain and the Isles of Man by checking the Gas Safe Register, or the CORGI register if you live in the Channel Islands or Northern Island.

Always be alert of any changes that could occur with your gas appliance. For example, if you’ve noticed a strange odour, noise or there are different coloured flames to usual, get in contact with your registered gas installer to seek some advice as to what you should do. If you are concerned about any of your gas appliances, it may be a good idea to turn off your gas supply and contact the emergency helpline for immediate assistance.

Fitting a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

These are essential in every home, providing you with peace of mind that you and your family are safe should there be any form of carbon monoxide leakage. When choosing your carbon monoxide alarm it is advised to choose one that has a Bsi Kitemark and complies with the BS EN 50291; you should also install them as advised in the handbook.

To ensure maximum safety, it is recommended that a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted in every room in which a gas appliance is fitted. You will also need to test your alarm regularly (rather like your fire alarm) by simply pressing a test button to check it is working. If your alarm becomes out-of-date you will probably find that you will have to replace the whole alarm as batteries are not normally replaceable due to them being an integral part of the alarm. The average life span of a carbon monoxide alarm is around 5 years.

If your carbon monoxide alarm does happen to start making a noise, you should start moving your family into an open area outside of the house, trying to open any windows and doors in your home if you can. Turn off the gas supply to your home and contact the emergency service number for the National Emergency Service Provider (Great Britain) or Phoenix Natural Gas (Northern Ireland).

Never ignore a carbon monoxide alarm, even if you have had a false alarm in the past. You cannot be too safe when it comes to you and your families’ lives so always evacuate to the outside of the building and seek emergency help.

Don’t DIY Gas Appliances Yourself

Another key thing to remember is not to fiddle with any gas appliances yourself as you could cause a much more significant problem. Regardless of how simple you think the job may be it is vital that you contact a registered gas fitter to carry the work out.

You should never modify any gas appliances yourself either; for instance, don’t change the ventilation of your boiler or block any of these off. If you are making improvements to your home and need to change where your boiler / gas appliance is fitted, then speak to a registered installer for advice on the best way to go about this.

If you find a gas appliance unsightly and wish to remove it from view, don’t start boxing it in without having approval from a gas safe registered installer first. You could affect the efficiency of the boiler if you start blocking up parts of it, which could make it unsafe and potentially hazardous.

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