With the current economic climate a lot of homeowners and landlords are cutting back on Gas servicing and safety checks, which for landlords is illegal as they must ensure the safety of any tenants living in there premises by having a registered gas engineer carry out an annual safety check, and any servicing that is required. At this moment in time there is no legal requirement for homeowners to ensure gas appliances are safe, although they may be found liable should an incident occur due to a badly maintained appliance.
Often referred to as ‘the silent killer’ CO (Carbon Monoxide) fumes are particularly dangerous because they cannot be detected. You cannot see, smell or taste the fumes, which in extreme cases can kill without warning in a matter of hours, badly maintained gas appliances are one of the biggest causes, it only takes small measures to protect yourself from the silent killer. One such measure is an audible CO alarm which will alert any occupants of a possible CO leak, you can obtain them reasonably cheaply (anywhere from £12-£50) both online and from many retail outlets.
To guarantee your safety a gas appliance service is recommended from a Gas Safe registered engineer your nearest engineer can be found by visiting the Gas Safe website. A service will identify any potential problems that can be caused from poorly maintained appliances, average cost is between £95-£150.
One of the main problems with detecting CO poisoning is that symptoms can mimic many common illnesses, such as flu, tiredness and migraines. The HSE advise that key symptoms to look out for are drowsiness, headaches, breathlessness and vomiting. CO is produced when there isn’t enough air for the complete burning of carbon fuels suchas gas, oil and coal, which causes an excess of poisonous fumes.
If you believe you may be suffering from CO poisoning, you must immediately turn off all gas appliances and move you and any occupants to the outside air, next you must call the emergency helpline on 0800 111 999, and follow the instructions given.
Can you really put a price on you and your families safety?