When most people think about gas safety, they think about their homes. But the risks of using unqualified personnel are just as high in commercial settings, and it’s vital that those responsible for workplace mechanical systems take precautions.
This week marks the seventh annual Gas Safety Week in the UK and over 7,000 organisations are teaming up with Gas Safe Register to raise awareness of the dangers. The biggest of these dangers is carbon monoxide poisoning, which affects hundreds of people every year, with unregistered installers and engineers are often to blame.
Gavin Merry is a member of the large team of qualified 361 Degrees engineers and gas is a major focus of his servicing visits. He explained some of the steps he takes, and how important it is to know what you are looking for.
“The bottom line is observation; you’ve got to have your eyes open,” he said. “I’ll look for any defects with the flue, test the gas tightness, and check there are no leaks anywhere around the building. Then we analyse the products of combustion to make sure it’s not creating excessive carbon monoxide.”
According to Gas Safe Register, one in six gas appliances in the UK are unsafe. Managing Director Jonathan Samuel said: “Unsafe gas appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or fires, putting people’s lives at risk. It’s great to have the support of 361 Degrees this Gas Safety Week. By working together we can raise further awareness of gas safety, to help reduce the number of dangerous gas appliances.”
Whether you’re responsible for commercial premises or domestic, the organisation recommends taking the following steps to keep your system (and yourself) 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.
- Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find and check an engineer at www.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. Examples include 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.
- Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm. And remember to test it regularly.
If Gas Safety Week has inspired you to make sure your own systems are in good working order, contact the 361 Degrees servicing team to book a visit from one of our Gas Safe registered engineers as soon as possible.