Unsafe gas appliances can put your life in danger. Make sure you are aware of the potentially dangerous consequences and the warning signals to look out for.
A well maintained gas appliance will burn cleanly and will not produce carbon monoxide in significant quantities. However, that changes as appliances wear out and if they are not maintained in good condition. Carbon monoxide is a poison and works by displacing the oxygen in the blood stream, effectively suffocating the body’s organs. You can’t see it. You can’t taste it. You can’t even smell it. But carbon monoxide can kill without warning in just a matter of hours.
You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
- your appliance was poorly installed;
- your appliance is not working properly;
- your appliance has not been checked for safety or maintained regularly;
- there is not enough fresh air in the room;
- your chimney or flue gets blocked up;
- you allow an engineer who is not on the Gas Safe Register to install or maintain your appliance(s).
But don’t worry, you can protect yourself and your family by following some simple steps.
NEVER use a gas appliance if you think it is not working properly.
NEVER cover an appliance or block the convection air vents.
NEVER block or obstruct any fixed ventilation grilles or air bricks.
NEVER block or cover outside flues.
ALWAYS test your Carbon Monoxide alarm periodically.
ALWAYS have your appliances checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
This advice is especially important for mobile gas heaters, like bottled gas cabinet heaters and any flueless appliance.
We do not recommend mobile gas heaters as they pose an unacceptable risk to tenants and property, and it is illegal to store spare cylinders indoors.
Also, for safety information on gas, solid fuel and oil burning appliances, and information on the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, look at the Department of Health booklet Keep Warm Keep Well (updated annually).
Gas safety advice
If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety call the National Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999.
Carbon Monoxide detectors
If your carbon monoxide detector is sounding, call SGN on 0800 111 999.