Gas Safety Week - Common Boiler Breaks

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the Gas Safety Register’s annual Gas Safety Week campaign. Over the past decade, this event has played a crucial role in raising awareness about gas safety issues in the home, which sadly still lead to dozens of avoidable tragedies every year.

Which is why is proud to be backing such an important and worthwhile cause.

So what is gas safety all about? Most homes these days contain one or more gas appliances, whether a boiler, a cooker or gas fires/heaters. Gas is a very useful fuel, but it is also very volatile, which makes safety considerations around its use in our homes critical.

Maintenance is key. Put simply, if you do not take good care of your boiler and other gas appliances, you risk them becoming a threat to the health and safety of you and your family. It is recommended that boilers should be serviced by a Gas Safe-certified engineer once a year. Yet it is thought nearly two thirds of boilers in UK homes have not been serviced in the last 12 months.

gas safety week appliance repair man repairs boiler due to gas leak

The silent killer

But what exactly could go wrong if you don’t stay on top of servicing and maintenance for your boiler? By far and away the biggest risk is carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it has no taste or smell, yet in sufficient quantities it is deadly poisonous.

Any fuel that burns, be it gas, wood, coal or anything else, gives off carbon dioxide as a by-product of the burning process. However, in some conditions where the fuel is not able to burn as efficiently as it would do normally, the closely related chemical carbon monoxide starts to be given off instead.

Carbon dioxide is harmless and is one of the main gases that makes up the air around us (although it is a main culprit behind global warming). Its cousin carbon monoxide, however, is anything but harmless. When enough of it is released into an enclosed space like the room of a house, anyone who breathes it in will start to experience dizziness, nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, tiredness and confusion. Eventually, this can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

There are around 60 fatalities from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK every year.

How do I know if my boiler is at risk?

Aside from regular servicing, the best way to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning is to install a detector. Choose a carbon monoxide alarm which meets the BS EN 50291 Kitemark industry standard and works along the same principles as a smoke detector.

There are also some tell-tale signs to look out for which may indicate that your boiler is not burning as efficiently as it should do - which is when carbon monoxide emissions start. Your pilot light changing colour from blue to yellow or orange is the most obvious sign. If you spot this you should call out a qualified engineer immediately. You might also notice signs of soot accompanied with a coal-like musty smell.

To help you get in the habit of having your boiler serviced every 12 months, offers great value boiler cover - have a look at the details and get a quote today.

*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.

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