Faulty gas appliances leave Brits at risk of CO poisoning

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, often caused by faulty central heating systems, gas cookers or gas fires.

Thousands more suffer without even knowing they are being poisoned. Gas Safe Register has launched gas safety week to highlight the importance of having gas appliances in the home safety checked annually.
Research released by the Department of Health confirms that large numbers of people are presenting themselves at hospital with low-level CO poisoning. Over a 12 month period, around 4,000 people have presented themselves at hospital with low-level CO poisoning. Accidental CO poisoning, arising from a variety of fuels, has resulted in more than 50 deaths this year.

Low-level CO poisoning symptoms mirror ailments such as cold, flu or general tiredness and can come about when small amounts of CO gradually escape from gas appliances into the air. But because CO has no taste, colour or smell, it is almost impossible to detect and people don’t realise they are in a dangerous situation until it’s too late.

The CO poisoning statistics come at the same time as research commissioned by Gas Safe Register, which found that a staggering 43% of people don’t get their gas appliances checked regularly, and nearly 1 in 10 are living with appliances that have never been checked.

Paul Johnston, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, said “Both sets of research expose worrying problems. It has been known for a long time that even low-level CO poisoning can cause significant harm, but people are failing to understand the importance of annual safety checks. That is why we’ve created Gas Safety Week (12 -18 September) to encourage people to take care and be gas safe.”

Medical expert Dr Rosemary Leonard comments,

“CO poisoning is a big problem because it creates symptoms that mirror more common everyday ailments. High levels of CO, often caused by faulty central heating systems, gas appliances and gas fires, can cause loss of consciousness and it can kill quickly with no warning. Those with low-level CO poisoning can face long-term health problems and children. Pregnant women and older people are particularly vulnerable.”

Contact Square Services for more information on 0208 226 5678 (phone), 0752 535 5005 (mobile) or info@squareservices.co.uk

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Gas boiler breakdown / Fault Finding

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Finding your gas boiler has stopped working can be a frightening time for even the most technically-minded of us all – the problem could be as simple as a seized part, right up to something more dangerous, so it is wise to act as soon as you find your gas boiler has stopped working. Get a qualified Gas Safe registered Engineer to check over and do some fault finding on your boiler/ system.

Do not attempt to do any work on your gas boiler to fix the problem yourself, but, if possible, turn off the supply of gas to the boiler itself.

This short guide should teach you what to do in the event of a gas boiler breakdown, as well as the risks involved in leaving a gas boiler broken.

Contacting Insurance

If you have taken out insurance on your gas boiler, your insurance company should have a 24 hour emergency number to contact in case of a gas boiler breakdown, with qualified and reassuring customer service agents that will then guide you through what to do next, depending on their procedure.

Some insurance companies will take the whole problem out of your hands and contact an engineer to fix the gas boiler from their trusted sister companies, others will require that you contact a n engineer yourself and provide the quote to repair to the insurance company.

Contacting an independent company like Square Services

If you have not insured your gas boiler, or your insurance requests that you contact an engineer to fix your gas boiler breakdown yourself, there are several important factors to look out for. Although most engineers available to fix your gas boiler are to be relied upon, there are a few issues you must ensure you check before committing to an engineer, these are:

Qualifications – All engineers must be Gas safe registered to work on a gas boiler, always make sure to check.

Experience – Whether you get a recommendation from a friend about an engineer, or go through an established company that specialises in sending out experienced boiler engineers. If possible, do a little research on your local engineers ring around, use the internet. This could save you a lot of heartache over unreliable or just plain dodgy engineers.

Quotes – Always get a quote, and make sure you ring several trusted, qualified engineers to make sure you can get the best deal you can. Even if you are insured, some insurance companies will put a limit on the amount you can claim on your policy, or raise your premium, so it is wise not to go for the more expensive or the cheapest just because you are insured.

For more information or a quote

Contact Square Services for more information on 0208 226 5678 (phone), 0752 535 5005 (mobile) or info@squareservices.co.uk

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