With the seventh annual Gas Safety Week commencing from September 18th PlumbNation have put together a quick guide to warn you of dangerous gas appliances. Poorly maintained fixtures such as boilers and fires could be an unknown hazard lurking in your home, causing gas leaks, fires and even Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
With the cold weather slowly creeping upon us, our first reaction is to switch on our household heating, whether it is the central heating, a gas fire or a multi fuel stove. But what if those appliances we rely on are in fact emitting a dangerous gas that could cause long term health complications or even death?
Carbon Monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of Carbon-based fuels. The fuels are generally safe to use, however when it does not burn properly is can produce excess CO. When inhaled into the body, Carbon Monoxide stops blood from being oxygenated, subsequently starving cells, the brain and organs of oxygen.
Visible indicators of high Carbon Monoxide levels in the home include yellow or orange flames instead of blue, soot or staining around the appliance and excess levels of condensation in the room.
It’s simple to practice CO safety within the home by increasing awareness of the risks and taking sensible precautions to reduce your chances of coming into contact with Carbon Monoxide gas.
Always Seek a Professional
It is illegal in the UK to install or perform any DIY on gas pipe or gas appliances such as boilers or fires. You must be on the Gas Safety Register to perform maintenance or an installation on any items which burn gas. It is advised to always seek a competent professional who is qualified to carry out any work or assessments on your appliances.
It’s strongly advised that gas appliances are installed and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe engineer. All fuel burning appliances are generally tested and safe to use from purchase but it is essential to have continual checks on your appliances by a qualified installer.
Always ensure that the rooms which contain your gas, oil or solid fuel appliances are well ventilated with good accesses to fresh air.
If you are having a gas fire installed, make sure the engineer checks that the chimney is not blocked and the vents are uncovered as this is vital to maintain a safe and reliable fire. This is because when a fire is lit it requires oxygen to burn well; which then needs to be replaced by air from outside to maintain safe levels oxygen. If not fully ventilated a fire could spill gas into your home and put everyone in the household at risk.
Purchase a Detector
It is strongly recommended to install a CO detector in all homes across the UK. Audible alarm systems are preferred as the sound will alert you to high levels of Carbon Monoxide in the home.
Carbon Monoxide detectors work by measuring the amount of CO in the air, if there is a certain level of this gas over a period of time the detector will sound an alarm. Once the alarm sounds, the CO detector will not shut off until it is situated in a Carbon Monoxide free environment. There are various sensors available to purchase at a range of prices.
The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be confused with various common illnesses; this includes breathlessness, dizziness, vomiting and loss of consciousness. If you believe your symptoms are CO related you should seek immediate medical advice.
If you believe that an appliance is spilling Carbon Monoxide switch it off immediately and call a professional to assess the unit. Always check that the installers you use are Gas Safe certified.
Post supplied by PlumbNation