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

Tagged in: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Gas Safety Certifcates

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Service Maintenance Check Certificate

Your Gas Safe registered engineer may give you gas safety information to show your gas appliances are working safely.

After a Gas Safe registered engineer has fitted or serviced your gas appliance, they will often leave you with a report, which explains what checks they did.

This report may be issued as a gas safety record, sometimes referred to as a gas safety certificate depending on the job you have asked them to do. It isn’t always a legal requirement for your engineer to give you this type of information, but many Gas Safe registered engineers will provide it or similar.

The gas safety information tells you that the gas appliance or gas fitting has been checked to see if it is working safely and meets the correct safety standards. This information may also tell you when you next need to service the appliance.

It’s important to get your appliances regularly serviced to make sure they are working efficiently and safely. You should also have a gas safety check done on all gas fittings and appliances every year.

Do you live in a rented property?

Did you know that your landlord has legal responsibilities when it comes to gas safety?

If you rent a property, ask your landlord for a copy of the current Gas Safety record. This record shows that gas appliances have had an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Landlords must also maintain gas appliances, so check the date when yours were last serviced as well.

Learn about what other steps you should be taking to make sure the home you rent is gas safe.

Are you a landlord?

Landlords must be able to provide their tenants with an up-to-date Gas Safety record.

By law, landlords must have all gas appliances serviced regularly, normally once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. The Gas Safe registered engineer will provide a Gas Safety record upon completion of the check.

Learn about what other steps you should be taking to make sure the property you let is gas safe.

What information does the Landlords Gas Safety record contain?

As a minimum, the record of a gas safety check must contain:

• Description and location of each appliance and/or flue checked.
• Name, registration number and signature of the engineer who carried out the check.
• Date on which the appliance and/or flue was checked.
• The address of the property at which the appliance and/or flue is installed.
• The name and address of the landlord (or his agent where appropriate).
• Any defect identified and any action required or taken to fix it.
• Confirmation of the results of operational safety checks carried out on the appliances.

Are a gas safety check and a service the same thing?

Not quite. A service includes a thorough clean of the appliance as well as the gas safety checks.

For a gas safety check or a service, essential safety checks are done to make sure gas fittings and appliances are safe to use. These checks include:

• Checking the flue or chimney to make sure the products of combustion (fumes) are being safely removed to outside.
• Checking there is an adequate supply of fresh air so the gas burns properly.
• Checking the appliance is burning the gas properly.
• Checking all safety devices are working properly and shutting the appliance off if a fault occurs.

Are you a homeowner?

Building Regulation Compliance certificates

Since April 2005, there has been a requirement under the Building Regulations (England & Wales) to notify building works (including the installation/commission of some gas appliances homes).

For further information on what building work should be notified under these regulations, please visit the website. Gas Safe registered businesses are able to carry out this notification for you through a self-certification process available through Gas Safe Register. 

If gas appliances are notified through this system, as the homeowner you will receive either a Declaration of Safety certificate or a Building Regulation Compliance certificate. 

To make sure that you are receiving the correct certificate you can view examples of both the Declaration of Safety certificate and the Building Regulation Compliance certificate online. In the UK and Isle of Man any gas safety record given to you after 1 April 2009 will only be valid if the engineer is registered with Gas Safe Register. In Northern Ireland and Guernsey it will only be valid after 1 April 2010.

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

Tagged in: , , , , , , , , , ,

Bookmark and Share