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Gas safety risks

Badly fitted, poorly serviced and faulty gas appliances can put you at risk of gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Gas leaks

Gas leaks can occur from faulty gas appliances and pipework. Un-burnt natural gas and LPG are not poisonous in the same way that carbon monoxide is but both can lead to fires and explosions. To aid detection of a leak an odorant is added to gas which makes it easy to smell.

To avoid a gas leak in your home, take care with your gas pipework - get any damage or signs of corrosion, such as rusting or green discolouration on copper pipework, checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Fires and explosions

Gas is, by its very nature highly combustible. Correctly fitted and maintained gas appliances ensure that gas is burned in a safe and controlled way to heat our homes and to cook with. If gas leaks from a faulty appliance or pipework it can spread quickly and there is a risk of it accidentally igniting causing a fire or explosion.

Carbon monoxide

Badly fitted or poorly maintained gas appliances can produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (CO) which can leak into your home. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but it can kill quickly and with no warning. It can also cause serious long term health problems such as brain damage.

Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and tiredness. It is common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else. The six main symptoms to look out for are:

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizziness
  3. Nausea
  4. Breathlessness
  5. Collapse
  6. Loss of consciousness

Make sure you know the facts on carbon monoxide as it could save your life.

Gas emergency

If you smell gas or start feeling ill when gas appliances are in use, it is important to act quickly to protect you and your family. Make sure you know what to do in a gas emergency.

All of your gas appliances, including your boiler, cooker and fire should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly according to manufacturer’s instructions.

What Next?

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Has an engineer put a warning label on your appliance? Find out what it means.

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