Guest Post by Dan Edwards, Stakeholder and Community Manager at SGN
We manage the network that distributes natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across Scotland and the south of England. No matter who your supplier is, our pipes deliver your gas safely, reliably and efficiently.
We also provide the National Gas Emergency response to our network – which means, if you report a gas escape or gas emergency (inside or outside of your home), our engineers provide a 24-hour service 365 days a year to make the situation safe.
My previous role at SGN was as an emergency engineer – so I have first-hand experience of attending gas emergencies. I want to share with you some advice and information on carbon monoxide poisoning and how to stay gas safe in your home.
If you do smell gas, you should follow these six simple steps:
The ‘silent killer’: What is carbon monoxide (CO)?
CO is a colourless, tasteless, highly poisonous gas that’s produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels (including gas, oil, wood, petrol and coal) by your home appliances. You can’t see it, smell it, hear it or taste it – and that’s why it’s known as the ‘silent killer’.
But it’s not just appliances in your home that can produce CO. If you’re going camping or having BBQs this year, remember these key points: BBQs, portable heaters, camping sites and holiday accommodation are also risk areas.
- Never use BBQs and portable heaters in enclosed spaces (e.g. tents, caravans or cabins) without proper ventilation
- Appliances must be used for their intended purpose – don’t use cookers, hot plates or BBQs as space heaters
- Always ensure you can see your lit BBQ – don’t leave it on whilst sleeping
- BBQs are still dangerous even once you’ve finished cooking they can still give off fumes – so it’s a good idea to keep it outside
Keeping yourself safe
It’s important that you keep yourself and others gas safe in your home – make sure all your gas appliances are checked every year by a Gas Safe engineer. If you’re a tenant, this is your landlord’s responsibility. You can check if an engineer visiting your property is registered Gas Safe by checking their ID card.
Flames on most heating appliances should be crisp and blue. If you notice yellow or orange coloured flames, they should be checked by a professional. You should also look out for staining or discolouration on appliances – this could be a sign of carbon monoxide.
Finally, have an audible CO alarm fitted to protect yourself from the dangers of CO poisoning. It’s very simple to do, and it might just save your life.