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Gas and Carbon Monoxide Emergencies

It is important that you know what to do in an emergency gas leak situation and how to recognise the symptoms of a carbon monoxide leak and the precautions you can take to avoid these situations.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas which is produced when fuels such as gas, coal, oil and wood don’t burn properly. This gas can be fatal if you are not aware of the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. NHS records show that in the UK more than 200 people a year go to the hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning leading to around 50 deaths.

You should make sure that any appliances that burn fuel in your household such as boilers, gas cookers, and gas fires are serviced annually by a gas safe registered plumber and you revive a copy of the gas safety certificate, and if you are renting make sure your landlord gives you a copy of the certificate.

Signs of a faulty boiler:

• Yellow/ orange flame instead of blue
• Soot around the appliance
• Pilot light blows out easily
If you notice any of these you should call a gas safe registered plumber to come out and fix any problems with your boiler to avoid potential carbon monoxide poisoning.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide Poisoning:

• Nausea
• Feeling light-headed
• Dizziness
• Headaches
• Drowsy
• Shortness of breath

If you are suffering with these symptoms at home but then they ease when you are out of the house you should call a gas safe registered plumber to come and investigate a possible carbon monoxide leak and fix the issue.

If you think you can smell gas in your home it may not be a gas leak but you should still take the necessary precautions to ensure its safe for you and your family.

The first thing you should do if you smell gas in your home is turn off your gas supply by turning the emergency control valve as far as it will go into the horizontal position, you should find this valve next to your gas meter. When the gas supply has been turned off you should call the emergency gas board on 0800 111 999 and a trained operator will take you through the next steps and safety precautions while they arrange for a gas engineer to visit your property.

Below is a list of what you should do before ringing the emergency gas board and what the operator will talk you through.

• Turn off the gas supply to your property
• Ventilate the property by opening windows and doors
• Extinguish any type of ignition
• Avoid the area the gas smell was detected
• Ring the emergency gas service to inform them of the situation
• Give your name and address to the operator
• Make sure there is access to the property
• Dont turn any switches on or off
• Dont smoke or use any sort of ignition such as mobile phones or candles.
• Wait for the engineer from the gas board.

When the gas engineer arrives at your property they will preform a gas check, this will show them if there are any gas leaks at the property. If there are no leaks the engineer will leave the gas service on, but if a leak is found the gas supply will remain switched off and a warning sign stating DO NOT USE with more information will be left on the supply. When the engineer has checked everything is safe and is happy with the situation at the property they will then leave.

If the gas engineer has turned off your gas supply then they would of advised you to call a gas safe registered emergency plumber to come out to your home to fix the problem with your gas. The emergency plumber that comes out to your property should have an ID card that proves they are gas safe registered, after seeing this ID you can be sure that the plumber will carry out the work professionally and safely.

For more information gas and plumbing emergencies contact us on 0151 345 4039

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