This week Ainsworth Lord Estates are proudly supporting Gas Safety Week; an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking proper care of gas appliances in the home. Many of us will never forget the Blackburn gas explosion back in March, which saw a 90 year old woman having to leave her home after an explosion seriously damaged her kitchen and left part of her home unstable and dangerous.
Gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning are all caused by badly fitted and/or poorly service gas appliances. Did you know that in Britain there are approximately 50 accidental deaths per year due to carbon monoxide poisoning? With over 1,100 cases of recorded admissions to hospital, many are likely to be suffering unknowingly.
So what can homeowners do to reduce the risk of being poisoned in their own homes?
1. Employ a registered gas engineer (with Gas Safe Register) to annually service your gas appliances.
2. Make sure that any other fossil-fuel burners (e.g. oil/coal) are also checked annually by a professional.
3. Purchase and place carbon monoxide detectors around your home.
4. Regularly check, maintain and replace CO detectors.
And watch out for:
– boiler pilot-light flames burning an orange colour, instead of the normal blue,
– sooty stains on or near appliances,
– excessive condensation in the room where the appliance is kept,
– wood or coal fires that easily go out or burn slowly,
– if you or other members of your family begin to suffer prolonged flu-like symptoms.
What if I rent my home?
If you are a tenant who rents your home, your landlord has a legal responsibility to make sure that they maintain and annually check the safety of any gas appliances within the property through a registered engineer. Additionally, they must provide you with a Gas Safety Record within 28 days of completing the check or before you move in. And from October 1st landlords and letting agents will have a new duty of care to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms within their rentals at the beginning of each tenancy too. CO alarms must be found in any room on the premises that is used wholly or partly as a living space and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. And those that don’t comply will not just be risking their tenants’ lives but also a £5,000 fine.
Furthermore, this coincides with Fire Door Safety Awareness Week which we are all in full support of. And as a North West resident it’s very comforting to know that Lancashire’s most recent fire safety statistics reveal that there were 29% less accidental housing fires, 60% less arson fires and 57% less people being killed or injured in fires than 5 years ago!
Above all else, if you smell gas or start to feel unwell when your gas appliances are in use you must act quickly to protect you and your family..