Step on the gas
In our homes there are basically two services that we should monitor on a regular basis; one is electricity, the other is gas. On this occasion I’m not writing about energy saving but our own safety in the home.
Many people heat their homes and cook using mains gas and thankfully there are only a few accidents but every year there are about two hundred incidents involving gas. We only usually get to hear about the serious incidents when there has been an explosion or loss of life. There are two main dangers associated with using gas in the home.
- Explosion and fire, which actually account for very few gas related incidences
- Carbon monoxide poisoning, which accounts for approximately 20 deaths each year.
These dangers can be minimised by having all your gas appliances, central heating boiler, cooker and fire, tested and serviced every year by a properly qualified gas engineer or plumber who is registered with Gas Safe (they used to be known as CORGI registered). You can also check that your engineer is Gas Safe registered by calling the Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or using their ‘check a gas engineer’ service. The cost of these checks or servicing varies but if you are elderly or receive benefits then you may qualify for a means tested grant.
In the home you should also have a CO2 alarm that is ideally hard wired into your mains electrical circuit, but relying on battery power is better than nothing at all.
If you are moving house you will be asked to provide a certificate from a Gas Safe engineer. If you’re buying a house it is unlikely that your surveyor will be qualified to comment on the condition and safety of the gas appliances in the house.