Gas is your friend! For many households, gas is a vital part of keeping the home warm in the cold winter months, and ensuring that there’s always enough hot water to wash and bathe with. It’s also responsible for cooking our meals to perfection. But if you have just moved to a new property, you should get to know your energy supply and know how to set up gas and electricity in your new home. Whether your home has always used gas, or you’ve just been connected to the national gas grid, you should follow the steps in our gas safety guide to keep your home gas safe. Our gas safety guide can help to ensure that your relationship with gas remains healthy and happy.
Last update: September 2021
Gas ovens and hobs distribute heat more even than their electric counterparts, get hotter faster and waste less heat. But like our electrical supply, our gas supply needs to be treated with respect and understanding. Without due care and attention, gas can become unsafe and even deadly.
Annual gas safety check: Why is it important?
If you are a landlord, you are legally required to have a gas safety check carried out in your rental property every year, and acquire a gas safety certificate. However, even if you’re not a landlord, you should still get your appliances checked and serviced every year. An annual gas safety check can help you to sleep soundly at night in the knowledge that your home is gas safe. In addition to gas safety, there are many other safety measures that one should be aware of when inspecting gas or electrical parts.
What does a gas safety check include?
During a gas safety check, an engineer will:
- Assessing the safety of your appliances
- Checking that internal systems are working as it should.
- Pipes are secure with no evidence of potential leaks.
- Ventilation passages are in working order with no blockages.
- Safety devices are operating efficiently.
What does a boiler service include?
Please note that a gas safety check is not the same as a gas boiler service. However, many of the same steps are carried out including:
- A Visual inspection of the boiler unit, making sure there is no corrosion or leaks.
- A visually check the boiler’s flame / pilot light.
- Removal of the boiler casing, checking the components (heat exchanger, burner, main injector and spark probe)and cleaning inside of the boiler.
- Flue check to ensure that the flue is safely fitted with no blockages.
- Gas pressure check and boiler fire up.
Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer
Whenever you have your property’s gas appliances and infrastructure checked, serviced, maintained or repairs, it’s essential that you use a Gas Safe registered engineer. Only they can issue you with the Gas Safety Record you need.
Fortunately, virtually all boiler cover and homecare plans guarantee that all work will be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Install a CO alarm
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas that occurs when solid or gaseous fuels are burned in a space without sufficient oxygen. It can be fatal when inhaled for long periods of time. It’s important to note that while some smoke detectors are combination detectors that can detect carbon monoxide as well as smoke, not all smoke detectors are carbon monoxide detectors. As such, part of gas safety means ensuring that your home has a CO alarm.
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Ensure adequate ventilation when cooking or burning anything
Carbon Monoxide can be generated by a poorly maintained boiler as well as other gas appliances like your oven or gas fire. As such, it’s important to ensure that there is adequate ventilation in spaces where anything is burned. Avoid burning fuels in small spaces with poor ventilation like cellars and basements.
Know what to do when you smell gas
Finally, it’s essential to know what to do if you or someone in your household should smell gas. Natural gas is odourless. However, a harmless chemical called mercaptan is added to make it easy to detect.
If you smell gas in the home:
- Open all windows and doors to allow the gas to dissipate.
- Switch off the gas at the meter, if you are able.
- Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. If calling on a mobile phone, do this outside, as even the faint charge of an active mobile phone can ignite escaping gas.
- Do not use electrical appliances of even turn lights on or off. These can also ignite escaping gas.
- If you smell gas in your cellar or basement, wait outside for an engineer to arrive.
Stay gas safe and gas smart!
As important as it is to stay gas safe, it’s also important to stay gas smart! Part of which is ensuring that you’re not paying over the odds for the gas you use. We can help you to find the perfect gas and energy supplier and tariff for your home. Some of which may also include boiler cover and servicing at specially discounted prices.
What’s more, we’ll even manage your switch from end-to-end. So you can enjoy cheaper, safer gas without headaches or hassle.
Sound like a plan? Call us today on 0330 818 6223 to find out more. We’re available from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm.
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What is a gas compliance certificate?
A gas compliance certificate is a document stating that your home is compliant with government standards and regulations. It shows gas suppliers that installations in your home (like your boiler etc.) are safe to supply to, and have been tested for defects or faults that could make them less safe.
Is a gas safety record the same as a gas safety certificate?
Yes. A Gas Safety Record is the official name for a gas safety certificate. While it is not a legal requirement for private residences, it’s good to have one for your household’s peace of mind. If you’re a landlord, however, you need to acquire a new certificate every year.
How often should I replace my boiler?
Over time, boilers can become prone to inefficiencies, wear and tear. These can make them less energy-efficient. But they can also make them more conducive to leaking natural gas and carbon monoxide. As such, you should replace your boiler every 12-15 years or if you notice any of the following symptoms:
* Strange noises or smells.
* Your boiler’s pilot light burning yellow instead of blue.
* Radiators taking much longer to warm up.
Will my carbon monoxide detector be able to detect a gas leak?
No. Carbon monoxide is a gas that is created when any kind of fuel (whether a gas or a solid) is burned in a space that doesn’t have sufficient oxygen. As such, a carbon monoxide detector will not detect a gas leak. As well as a smoke detector (a legal requirement) you should consider investing in a carbon monoxide detector *and* a gas leak detector.
How do I find a Gas Safe registered engineer?
Most boiler cover and homecare plans guarantee that repairs, servicing and maintenance will be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. That’s just one of the ways in which the right boiler and heating cover can give gas consumers peace of mind. However, if you’re looking for a gas safe registered engineer to carry out repairs or maintenance on your home’s gas infrastructure, you can find one using Gas Safe Register’s online search tool.
Updated on 4 Oct, 2021
Consumer Energy Expert