You can improve the way in which your home is heated, just by making some subtle adjustments…
With summer in full swing and temperatures soaring, you might finally be able to switch your heating system off. As you are less likely to use central heating in the summer, it is the ideal time to carry out those annual maintenance checks.
Why is gas safety important?
It is important to have the gas appliances in your home serviced every year. This is down to the fact that, if gas appliances, such as ovens, cookers and boilers, are not properly installed and maintained, there is a danger of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.
During the gas safety checks, a Gas Safe registered engineer will test your appliances in several different ways. These include checking whether an appliance is physically stable, securely fitted and properly connected to the gas pipework, while also ensuring that any flues, chimneys and air vents are operating correctly.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. When you breathe carbon monoxide in, it enters your bloodstream and mixes with haemoglobin, which is the part of red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body, to form carboxyhaemoglobin.
This deadly mixture means that your blood can no longer carry oxygen, therefore, causing your body’s cells and tissue to fail and die.
As breathing in high levels of it can kill you, unfortunately, there are roughly 60 deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales, every year.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
If you have been exposed to a low level of carbon monoxide, then the symptoms will not necessarily be that obvious and can even be like those of the flu and food poisoning. For a mild form of carbon monoxide poisoning, a tension-type headache is the most common symptom.
Although, other symptoms include dizziness, feeling and being sick, tiredness, confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
How can I tell if I have a gas leak?
There are a few giveaways that indicate that you have a gas leak. If the flame in your boiler is not blue and instead is either yellow or orange, then it is not burning the fuel properly which could cause it to produce carbon monoxide.
If you notice black stains on or around your boiler, there could be a gas leak. Pipework that is stained black, damaged, rusty or corroded should always be inspected by a Gas Safe registered heating engineer as soon as possible.
If you think there is a gas leak in your home because of a strange odour, turn off your gas supply, open all your windows and doors, then exit the property. You should also call the National Gas Emergency Service, while in the meantime, ensuring you avoid doing anything that could cause a spark.
How can I stay gas safe in my home?
The first step in keeping your home gas safe is making sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector to discover any leaks. You should ensure that it has the relevant, working batteries in and keep it close to your gas appliances. It is important to show everyone in your house what the alarm looks and sounds like, so you are all aware if it goes off.
It is also worth the annual investment to keep your boiler in good working order. This is usually a straightforward process, that can be completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Do not leave clutter around, blocking the gas meter. This is so, in the event of an emergency, it can be easily shut off. You should not have any flammable items, such as paper and boxes, near the boiler itself.
It is vital that you never try to move or repair any gas pipes yourself, as any damage to them, could cause a leak.
Homeowners are still able to get a FREE boiler grant or insulation grant via the ECO scheme, which is still available to households that qualify. Warma UK are currently working throughout the UK helping privately owned and rented homes to improve home energy efficiency and save money on rising energy bills.
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