Top tips to stay gas safe - Simon Hewer of Hewer FM
The dangers of gas can cause fatalities and very serious injuries. Poorly maintained or badly fitted gas appliances can cause, fires, gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poising, all of which can be harmful to life.
Simon Hewer, managing director of Gloucester-based Hewer Facilities Management, offers some simple steps to help keep your home and business safe and warm.
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500. Hewer FM covers many Gloucestershire postcodes, call 01452 525854.
- Check both sides of your engineer's Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
- Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home ask for a copy of the landlord's current Gas Safety Record.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning - headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.
- Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
- Regularly check that your carbon monoxide detector is working by pressing the test button.
- Keep vents and chimneys clear. Make sure you don't block any vents, as they are vital to ensure gas appliances burn properly, and chimneys need to be cleaned and checked regularly.
- Use gas appliances only for their intended purpose. Don't be tempted to use them for something they weren't meant for (e.g using a gas cooker to heat a room).
- Know the emergency procedure. If you smell gas or suspect immediate danger, make sure you familiarise yourself with the emergency procedure and contact the relevant number for your UK region.
- Spread the word. Share vital gas safety information with friends, family and neighbours to make sure your community stays safe.
In addition, if you are a landlord managing rented properties within England, new legislation is set to come into affect on October 1.
This new legislation states that all private and social landlords must install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room of a property that contains a fuel burning appliance, such as a gas boiler, oil burners, biofuels, coal boilers/stoves, wood pellets etc.
Social landlords will also be required to install at least one smoke alarm on each storey of their properties. Regular alarm testing will remain to be the residents' responsibility.
To find out more about the services offered by Hewer FM, visit their website at www.hewerfm.co.uk or call 01452 525854.
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