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
Which is why Row.co.uk 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.
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
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, Row.co.uk 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.