In Gas Safety Week (13th-19th September), Clwyd West MS Darren Millar is calling on people to protect themselves and their neighbours by sharing gas safety tips in their own networks, including neighbourhood WhatsApp and Facebook groups.
Gas Safety Week is the annual campaign which brings consumer organisations, the gas industry and individuals together to provide a focus on all gas safety communications in one week, with the aim of creating greater public awareness of gas safety.
The campaign is now into its second decade of keeping people safe and this year has an ongoing focus on keeping communities’ gas safe, as well as advising on topics such as illegal gas fitters.
“This annual campaign is a timely reminder to homeowners and tenants to make sure they know how to stay gas safe ahead of the winter months.
“Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. I therefore urge everyone to look at their appliances before the winter sets in, when more and more people start to use their gas central heating.
“In the past 18 months or so we have seen communities come together to support one another. Through taking these simple steps and sharing information with family, friends and neighbours, we can all play a part in saving lives.”
Follow these Gas Safety Week 10 top tips to stay safe and warm this winter:
1. Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
2. Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
3. Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.
4. Know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.
5. Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
6. Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
7. Keep vents and chimneys clear. Make sure you don't block any vents, as they are vital to ensure gas appliances burn properly, and chimneys need to be cleaned and checked regularly.
8. Use gas appliances only for their intended purpose. Don't be tempted to use them for something they weren't meant for (e.g using a gas cooker to heat a room).
9. Know the emergency procedure. If you smell gas or suspect immediate danger, make sure you familiarise yourself with the emergency procedure and contact the relevant number for your UK region.
10. Spread the word. Share vital gas safety information with friends, family and neighbours to make sure your community stays safe.
If you need to find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your local area, you can type your postcode or town name into the search bar on the Gas Safe Register homepage, or visit the Check The Register page where you can search for a registered business by location, their company name or reg number, or the engineer's licence card number.