gas safety

5.5 million Brits are failing to get gas safety checks

More than 5.5 million people in the UK are putting their health and finances at risk by not getting their gas appliances gas safety checked every year – which, according to a new survey among gas engineers costs, as little as £60.

In the last year there have been more than 67,000 gas emergency call outs to homes in the UK, the equivalent of 186 every day. On top of which, the gas authority – Gas Safe Register – has found dangerous gas appliances lurking in one in six of the 142,000 homes it has inspected in the past five years. These dangers have led to six deaths and more than 300 injuries in the last year alone.

Left unchecked, gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Not only can these kill you, they can also result in damage to your home which can run into thousands of pounds to rectify. Common problems associated with faulty or badly maintained gas appliances include black staining on surrounding walls, burst gas pipes, excessive condensation and in extreme cases, house fires and explosions.

Having a gas safety check is a legal requirement for landlords, however for homeowners the onus is on them to get this done. To mark this year’s Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register is calling on homeowners to protect themselves and their property by having a safety check.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register comments:

“With the average cost of safety checking your gas boiler at just £60, it’s a small price to pay to keep you and your family safe and prevent damage to your home. While we’re seeing more people getting gas safety checks compared to last year, millions are still taking risks so we’re reminding people to make sure all their gas appliances are safety checked every year.”

Across the UK, the West Midlands has the highest number of homes with unsafe gas appliances (one in four were unsafe) compared to the East Midlands where the fewest number of homes with unsafe gas appliances was found (one in nine were unsafe).

Mother of two, Jade Ullrich from Newquay, knows only too well the importance of being aware of potential gas dangers. After moving into a new property, Jade, like many other gas consumers, did not find out if the gas appliances had been safety checked. Jade was pregnant at the time and for around a year she and her family suffered from CO poisoning caused by a poorly maintained gas appliance.

The public can find out the number of unsafe gas appliances and gas incidents there have been in their local neighbourhood by visiting Gas Safe Register’s interactive gas map atStayGasSafe.co.uk. People can also sign up to a free annual gas safety check reminder service.

To keep you and your family safe, follow Gas Safe Register’s top tips:

  • Get your gas appliances safety checked and serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer every year. If you live in rented accommodation your landlord has a legal obligation to get this done.
  • Recognise the warning signs that your gas appliances are not working properly including lazy yellow flames and black marks around the appliance.
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.

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Gas central heating vs. electric central heating

Gas central heating vs. electric central heating

The facilities that consume the most energy and heat within the home are central heating system. So with that in mind, when it comes to the decision on whether to install a gas central heating system or an electric central heating system, a lot of questions start to arise.

As a home owner, you should consider all options and choose the one that fit the best to your specific needs. It also depends on whether you need a system for a domestic property or commercial one. Do be aware that both types of system can be installed, although their costs will vary and the fuel source to use will be different. Which one is the best for you? Let’s find out.

Which one is the best for you, gas central heating or electric central heating?

This all depends on the kind of consumption which system will be the most cost-effective in the long run. The first thing to take into consideration is whether the property has access to natural gas network.

If the property has access to the natural gas network:

If you do have gas installation, gas central heating is the best option as gas consumption is profitable. Without gas installation it can be expensive but in the long run it can be worth it.

If the property DOESN’T have access to the natural gas network:

If you don’t have gas installation or access to natural gas network, then LPG propane boilers are recommended. These boilers are efficiency and are pretty similar to natural gas boilers and are supplied in bulk and in cylinders. Another benefit is LPG propane is cheaper than heating oil.

Gas central heating

When choosing gas central heating, natural gas is one of the most cost-effective supplies and offers good performance if compared with other fuel sources.
The decisions have been made and have now opted for gas central heating, the first thing to make sure of is that the building has access to the gas network. Once this is checked, you must get in touch with different gas suppliers and compare prices. As a fuel source, natural gas has the following advantages:
Natural gas price evolution has a lower rate of increase than other fuel sources.
Gas central heating required less maintenance than other heating systems.
Condensing gas boilers are highly efficient and their performance is better than other type of boilers.

Electric central heating

Electric central heating is frequently the chosen option for properties with no access to the gas network or where heating consumption is very low. When compared to natural gas price, electric central heating is not cost-effective unless you have a ‘time-of-use’ electricity tariff.

Electric central heating types:

  • Air conditioning system with heat pumps.
  • Underfloor heating. Electricity heats the system installed under the floor which, in turn, heats the room.
  • Oil cookers.
  • Heat accumulators. They are frequently used in properties with a ‘time-of-use’ tariff.

Heating for a cheaper price

In order to reduce heating consumption and therefore its price, whether you opt for gas or electric central heating, the following things should be taken into account:

  • If natural gas is available in your area, gas installation should be carried out and then gas suppliers should be contacted so you can compare prices. That’s one of the most cost-effective decisions you can make.
  • Ask for a quote for bulk propane or oil boilers. Compare prices and contract conditions.
  • Compare electricity tariffs so you can be sure you have the most economical one for your property.
  • Last but not least, ensure you and your family/co-workers control, monitor and measureenergy consumption.

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Gas Safety Week: Fighting for a Gas Safe nation

Gas Safety Week: Fighting for a Gas Safe nation

Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is co-originated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.

We are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2015, taking place 14th – 20st September.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.

By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.

  • Check your gas appliances every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Tenants – make sure your landlord arranges this. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at staygassafe.co.uk.
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Check your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
  • Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly. lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
  • Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.

For gas safety advice or to find and check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.

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Carbon Monoxide alarm

Nest Protect: The Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm Reinvited

These products should keep us safe, not annoy us. Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm does much more than just sound a shrill alarm when there’s danger in your home.

It speaks to you, telling you where the danger is and what the problem is. And before it sounds a piercing alarm, Nest Protect gives you a friendly Heads-Up warning that you can silence with a wave of your hand – no more swinging towels or brooms to try to quiet a false alarm. It integrates with your mobile devices and even messages you if the batteries run low, avoiding that all-too-familiar midnight low-battery chirp.

“With our first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, we set out to help people reduce home energy use,” said Tony Fadell, Nest founder and chief executive officer. “Now, we’re turning our attention to something that’s also important: keeping families safe in their homes. We’ve all experienced the smoke alarm going off while we’re cooking or searched for the source of that incessant low-battery chirp in the middle of the night. Every time a smoke alarm cries wolf, we trust it a little less, and then – in a moment of frustration – we rip the batteries out to stop the beeping. And that leaves us and our families at risk.”

According to a study by the National Fire Protection Agency of smoke alarms that failed to activate during home fires, 73 percent of them had dead, missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.

“Safety shouldn’t be annoying,” said Matt Rogers, Nest founder and vice president of engineering. “It was unacceptable to us that almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. These products are required by law and are supposed to keep us safe, yet people hate them. We wanted to change that, so we created Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide.”

Product Features

High-quality smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Nest Protect is a multi-criteria detector with heat, CO, and smoke sensors that work together to detect danger.

Heads-Up. If Nest Protect sees that smoke or CO levels are rising but have not yet reached emergency alarm levels, it will give you an early warning so it can avoid crying wolf.

Nest Wave. No need to wave towels or climb on chairs. Nest Protect lets you silence nuisance alarms with a wave of your hand.

Mobile notifications. Connect Nest Protect to your free Nest account using Wi-Fi and you can receive low-battery alerts, Heads Up and emergency alarm notifications on your smartphone or tablet. In an emergency, the What to Do feature will remind you of recommended actions and give you one-button access to an emergency phone number.

Nightly Promise. Sleep safe and sound. Before you doze off, Nest Protect shows you its sensors and batteries are working with a quick green glow after you turn off the lights so low-battery chirps don’t rattle your dreams.

Pathlight. Nest Protect offers more than just smoke and CO warnings. Its LED lights can be a night light in your home. When it’s dark, Nest Protect will light your way as you walk underneath it.

Vocal alarms. According to a study by Victoria University, children can sleep through beeping smoke alarms. So in addition to alarm sounds, Nest Protect uses female Voice Alarms to help wake sleeping children in case of emergency.

More sensors, more features. Nest Protect’s sensors include a photoelectric smoke sensor, CO sensor, heat sensor, light sensor, ultrasonic sensors and activity sensor. Together, they analyze smoke and CO levels, see when you wave, and light your way at night.

Wireless interconnect. If you have more than one Nest Protect, they connect so you’ll hear alarms from all Nest Protects in your home, even if the danger is in only one room.

Design. Nest Protect introduces a distinctive square shape with a white sunflower pattern. A black version will be available only at www.nest.com.

Multiple languages. In the U.S., Nest Protect offers voice alerts in both English and Spanish. Simply select your preferred language during setup.

Better Together

For families that have both the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect, a free Nest user account allows the products to work together. If Nest Protect’s carbon monoxide alarm goes off, your Nest thermostat automatically turns off your gas furnace, a possible source of poisonous carbon monoxide leaks. In addition, the Nest Protect activity sensors improve the Auto-Away feature of your Nest thermostat.

New Nest App

The Nest app on iOS, Android and the Web can be used to set up, control, and get alerts for both Nest Protect and the Nest Learning Thermostat. Available in English, Spanish and French, the Nest app will be updated with a new design and new features when Nest Protect ships.

We now installed the Nest Alarm so give us a call today.

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Illegal Gas Work: The Facts

Illegal Gas Work: The Facts

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What is Illegal Gas Work?

  • Gas Work is illegal if it not been carried out a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • It’s also illegal for gas work to be done by someone else that is registered but is working outside the scope of their qualifications.
  • Intentionally signing off the work of a non-registered fitter is also illegal and may result in the prosecution of both the registered engineer and the unregistered fitter.

If you find Illegal Gas Work.

  • If you come across illegal gas work, report it asap to Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or emailenquiries@gassaferegister.co.uk.
  • If the work is dangerous, make the installation safe but do not correct the defects yourself, a Gas Safe Registered engineer will need to attend. Nonetheless, if the customer needs to have the work put right before the Gas Safe investigations officers can inspect it, make sure you record your findings and take photos if possible. Gas Safe Register will then take a statement from you and the customer.

What Happen Next?

  • When you report illegal gas work, someone from Gas Safe Register will send a regional investigations officer to make a detailed report for the enforcement agencies within 10 working days.
  • Enforcement agencies, including the HSE and local authorities, will investigate further and decide on the most appropriate course of action – this might include enforcement notices or prosecution.

Punishment

  • Maximum penalty in magistrates’ courts for breaching the gas safety regulations is £20,000 or one year in prison.
  • The maximum penalty in the Crown Court for breaching the regulations is an unlimited fine or two years in prison.

 

Gas Safe Register Website

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