If not looked after properly gas fittings and appliances in a home can be deadly. But careful use and maintenance can provide a very efficient means for cooking, heating rooms and heating water within a home.

1 Never fit appliances yourself

Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit or move appliances, or work on pipes and gas supplies. Poorly fitted appliances can lead to gas leaks, fires, explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Gas Safe

2 Check your engineer

By law all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register. Always check your engineer's ID card, back and front, to confirm that they are indeed Gas Safe registered or check

3 Test annually

Make sure all your appliances - gas boiler, gas cooker, gas fire - are checked and serviced at least annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This will also help them to continue to run efficiently, as well as safely.

4 Vents and flues

No matter how tempting never block up vents or flues. To work safely all gas appliances need air to complete the combustion of gas and an efficient flue to remove combustion products, including carbon monoxide.

5 Install a Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarm

Installing such an alarm does not negate the need for the safety measures above but it will help alert you to any leaks of Carbon Monoxide and could be life-saving. These alarms can be purchased at most hardware shops at a cost of around £15. Always choose a CO Alarm which complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as Kitemark.

What to do if you suspect a gas leak

If you suspect a leak, immediately:
  • Call the National Grid's Gas Emergency Freephone on 0800 111 999
  • Open all doors and windows to allow as much fresh air as possible through the room
  • Shut off the gas at the meter control valve
  • Vacate the room or property if it is safe to do so

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide PoisoningSymptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of many viral infections or food poisoning and may include:
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of consciousness

If you or any household member suspect gas poisoning you should seek urgent medical help from either your doctor or local accident & emergency department.

What if it is a rented property?

Landlords you have a legal obligation to ensure that in your property the gas pipework, gas appliances and chimneys and flues are maintained in a safe condition. You should follow the safety tips above regarding installation and servicing.

Tenants you are responsible for your own gas appliances eg if you have supplied your own cooker, and therefore must also follow the safety tips above regarding installation and servicing. Take care not to cover up vents and flues and if you have any concerns about the safety of your appliances speak to your landlord or the agent looking after your tenancy. When a Gas Safety Check is being carried out on the premises be sure to allow access and check the ID card as stated above.

At Propertyhop we always advise on the safety rules to ensure our tenants are safe and will arrange Gas Safety Checks on behalf of our Landlords.

Gas is certainly a very efficient way to heat our homes providing comfort and convenience, but if not handled properly it can be lethal.