Almost every home has gas connected for various reasons. Some homes use gas for the hob, some use it for heating and with many other things that gas is used for, it continues to prove to be a useful tool within the home. Despite its usefulness, gas is something that requires the utmost safety measures in place. Gas is extremely flammable, and although that is useful for the job that it does, it can pose a fire risk to your home. On top of this, the gas itself is poisonous to humans, which means a leak could be very dangerous to human health. In this article, we’re going to talk through the annual gas checks and servicing requirements to make sure you’re well equipped and safe within your home. We’ll also cover some useful information on how you can keep yourself safe within your home when it comes to has. See below for some useful headings for this article!
- Why is Gas so Important to Keep Safe?
- Keeping Safe with Gas
- Gas Detectors
- Locate the Stopcock
- Learn the Smell of Gas
- Conduct a Gas Leak Check
- Annual Gas Checks and Servicing
- Annual Gas Checks and Servicing. What Are They?
- Why Do I Need an Annual Gas Check?
- What Can I Expect From an Annual Gas Check?
- What Can I Expect From a Gas Service?
- Hiring a Professional
- Check the Gas Safe Register
- Check Their Skills/Expertise
- Search Online
- Ask Around!
- What Should I Keep an Eye Out For?
Why is Gas so Important to Keep Safe?
As mentioned earlier, gas is extremely useful but can very quickly cause major problems if it’s not kept safe. When it comes to gas, there are many precautions that we need to take to ensure that it’s working as best as it can be and different things we need to be aware of to make sure we know what to look out for. The first reason why gas needs to be kept safe is that gas is harmful to humans. Breathing in a little bit of gas isn’t harmful, but long exposure can be dangerous to your health. The problem can arise when a small leak isn’t properly maintained, leaving the occupants to the house exposed to the gas for prolonged durations of time. An example of when this may happen without being noticed is when a leak occurs late at night, and the occupants of the house are asleep. If you notice the smell of gas at any point, immediately close the stopcock. The safety of you and others around you is incredibly important, so don’t hesitate in doing so! The other reason that gas needs to be kept safe and secure is that it’s extremely flammable. If not properly contained or stored, the leak can lead to a large fire or explosion in a worst-case scenario. The gas is primarily methane, which is a highly flammable substance. As your boiler of hob works, the gas can be very easily lit and therefore needs to be contained at all times to prevent any accidental fires. Based on the above, we know that gas can be dangerous. So, what can we do to help keep it safe? Fortunately, there’s plenty of safety measures and precautions that go into houses to keep you safe and keep any gas-related incidents to a minimum. Let’s explore them!
Keeping Safe with Gas
We know that we need to keep safe when it comes to gas, but how do you make sure of this? With plenty of technology safety measures around the house, you may not even realise what goes into keeping you safe. We’ve included them below for you!
Gas detectors are often confused with carbon dioxide detectors. Although carbon dioxide detectors are extremely important, you can get a gas detector that’s designed to check the air for the natural gases within your house. These detectors will continue to check for gas and emit a loud noise if there’s any sort of gas leak in your house, making you or your neighbours aware very quickly.
Locate the Stopcock
If you’re unsure where the gas stopcock is, take the time out from reading this article and take a look where it is. This can be found near your hob and maybe in the back of a cupboard, or it might be outside your house near the gas meter. Wherever it is, all the occupants of the house should know just what to do if you smell gas and can’t locate the source. Turn the stopcock and stop the flow of gas quickly to prevent any additional gas from entering the atmosphere.
Learn the Smell of Gas
If you’re unsure what the smell of gas is like, it’s important to make sure you’re familiar. It’s a very distinct smell, however, if it’s one you’ve not experienced before then it’s not something you’ll be accustomed to. If you don’t have a gas hob at home, visit a nearby friend or family member and ask if you can use theirs. Turn the gas on for only 2-3 seconds maximum, and turn it off. The small amount of gas is typically harmless in such a small quantity, however, it’ll give you a good idea of what gas smells like and what you need to keep an eye (or nose in this case!) for.
Conduct a Gas Leak Check
If you can smell gas in the air, and it’s a faint smell, walk around the house and try to locate the source of the gas leak. Make sure that the leak is only small and isn’t an overwhelming smell, as not only will it be very difficult to locate the gas leak but it also opens up the risks associated with gas leaks. With a small gas leak, the smell usually becomes stronger in the area that the gas is leaking from. If you can locate which room the gas is coming from, it’ll allow you to show the plumber where the leak is coming from to prevent them from having to undertake further investigation. If you’re looking for the gas leak, always make sure you’re keeping yourself safe and don’t risk the dangers of a large gas leak occur. If you’re in doubt at any point, turn the gas off to your home and call a professional immediately.
Annual Gas Checks and Servicing
A great way to keep your home safe is through an annual gas check and service. This allows you to give your home the best opportunity to be gas safe and allows you to have the peace of mind in knowing that your home is safe when it comes to gas.
Annual Gas Checks and Servicing. What Are They?
We mentioned annual gas checks and servicing briefly in the last section, but they’re highly useful in ensuring your home is safe when it comes to the natural gases used. As the name suggests, an annual gas check is where a trained professional conducts a full check of your home to make sure that it’s safe and there are no minor traces of gas leaks. They’ll be able to give a full rundown of their findings, allowing you to get it sorted safely and effectively. Servicing involves a trained professional to get their hands dirty and start cleaning out appliances that use gas. They won’t clean your oven for you, but they will clean out the pipes, the flues and all things related to gas. This allows you to get the best out of the equipment that you’ve got, and it allows a trained professional to take a close look at the pipework and what’s included in your home and gas safety to ensure that you’re as safe as possible. If they find anything that’s unusual or that they deem as unsafe, they’ll make you aware and could even repair it there and then for you.
Why Do I Need an Annual Gas Check?
The most important reason that you’d need an annual gas check is safety. Keeping your home and occupants safe is the number one priority when it comes to gas, and undertaking an annual gas check helps you to ensure that your home is safe for your family and that there are no risks of any minor gas leaks becoming a problem. If you’re a landlord, you must ensure that your home is safe for your tenants. If your property is proven to not be safe, you can be fined and even face prosecution for not ensuring the property is safe for people to live in. You have to ensure the property is safe to live in for your tenants, and gas is no exception. Gas safety is something that many people don’t consider until it’s too late. Once a leak occurs, the risks are already occurring and you may well find that the damage to the pipework is substantial and therefore expensive. An annual gas check helps to prevent this from occurring, keeping you and your wallet safe.
What Can I Expect From an Annual Gas Check?
When you’re getting a gas safety check in your home, you’ll find that the engineer will come and take the time to properly review your home and make note of all of the appliances. They will then use this and go in-depth, checking the connections and using professional tools to ensure that you’re keeping safe. They’ll document their findings for each appliance and make sure it’s documented in their notes so that they can include this information in their report for you, allowing them to share any advice on what they think needs to happen to ensure gas safety for your home. They’ll check your boiler and make sure that the boiler is working properly, again outlining any notes and information that they need to jot down as they’re doing this check. This information will also feed into the report. Outside of checking all of the appliances, they’ll also check to make sure there’s sufficient ventilation and ensure that these aren’t blocked so that any gas can escape if needs be. Things like extractor fans are checked to ensure that these are in a fully working condition. Once the engineer has completed the checks, they’ll then use the information they’ve collated to document a detailed report for you to allow you to understand if there are any areas that they feel you need to take action on. If there’s something they feel is urgent they may even advise that this needs working on there and then, and get to work once you give them the go-ahead.
What Can I Expect From a Gas Service?
The engineer will do very similar to a gas safety check, however, instead of doing checks and making sure that everything is okay they’ll get to work and start cleaning the connections for your gas appliances. They’ll make sure that everything is working and is connected up properly and take action where needed. A gas service is similar to a service for your car, and an annual gas check is similar to an MOT. Where one takes a close look a what’s going on and makes sure that everything is working, the other goes through the key areas and makes sure that everything is cleaned and changed where needed.
Hiring a Professional
Having an annual gas check or servicing should always be undertaken by a professional. Due to the safety element, this isn’t a DIY job and needs the hands of an expert to ensure that all is working as it should be. When hiring a professional it’s important to make sure you hire someone who’s got the right skills and the knowledge to get the job done properly for you. We’ll cover the key things to look out for and make sure you know just what you’re after to ensure that you get the right person for the job, ensuring you’re keeping safe.
Check the Gas Safe Register
This is probably the number one thing to check when it comes to gas safety. The Gas Safe Register is a list of all the approved engineers who are proven to demonstrate the safety requirements from Gas Safe, proving their reliability. To land on the Gas Safe Register, a plumber or engineer needs to demonstrate various evidence that they are qualified and safe to work with gas appliances, as well as proving their qualifications before they’ll become approved. This process isn’t an easy one, nor is it a quick one and requires a lot of time to invest and prove their worth and expertise as a gas engineer. Once they have become approved, they need to continue to reapply once a year to stay on the Gas Safe Register. If they don’t, they’ll lose their accreditation and have to re-register to be back on the Gas Safe Register. To check if an engineer is Gas Safe registered, simply head to the Gas Safe Register and search from here. Each engineer who is Gas Safe registered will be allocated a unique 7 digit ID number, which can be used to check their registration and ensure they are safe to work with gas. Most engineers carry this card with them and are more than happy to share it with you if you ask.
Check Their Skills/Expertise
Many plumbers build up their expertise and experience in a certain type of appliance, understanding the inner mechanisms and intricate workings of that appliance. This helps them to be an expert in their field but doesn’t mean they’re best placed to tackle every job. Make sure that they’re able to undertake the job that you need them to do, and that they’ve got the right skills and abilities for the job.
Many different online websites will list the details of plumbers, and many have their website to allow you to find them easier. Often the best way to find them is by searching for ‘gas engineer in’ and include the name of your town or city. This will localise your online search to your location, finding you the right person to hire for the job at hand.
You’ll have friends and family around you that are more than likely to have hired a gas engineer at some point in time. Ask around and they’ll be able to provide you with details of the plumbers they have used in the past and share their first-ha/nd experience. This will give you a good insight into what you can expect when working with them to prevent being caught out with any nasty surprises. If you’ve not got anyone around who has hired a plumber, you could always post online on social media. This will help you to get a list of people from your local area to share their recommendations and even their experiences, allowing you to make an informed decision.
What Should I Keep an Eye Out For?
When it comes to hiring someone for a job, many people will offer to do the job and they may well do a great job. However, it’s not always worth the risk in guessing that they’ll do the job for you and often it’s worth doing a little research and making sure they’re the right person for you. We’ve collated some handy tips to help you make sure you’re hiring a professional. Check Online First – Always check online for the company or the tradesman and see what you can find. An experienced person often has an online presence, and this allows you to find a little more information about them and their skills/experience. If you can’t find anything out about this person, this could be an early red flag for you. Check for Reviews – If you can find them online, great! Take a look around what you can find and see if you can find any reviews left by customers of theirs. This will help you to build up a good idea of what to expect when you’re hiring someone and help you to hire someone that’s right for you. Check Their Gas Safe ID – If someone isn’t qualified, this won’t stop them from showing the Gas Safe logo and lead you into the belief that they’re qualified for the job at hand. However, they won’t be able to show a fake ID as the number can be easily checked online to ensure that it’s legitimate. If they don’t show you their ID, or the number is fake, take this as another red flag. Listen Closely to Them – When they explain a job to you or talk about what needs to happen, are they explaining it clearly so that you know what needs to happen? Sometimes rogue traders or unqualified tradesmen can use complicated terminology to try and confuse you, leading you into a sense of trust that they know what they’re talking about. If you’re unsure, ask them to clarify what they mean. If you’re still unsure, take notice of this! Ask About Payments Early – If you’re going to hire someone, ask about their payment terms and what they’re expecting. Rogue traders can often quote for a job and them suddenly spring on extra charges, which is never nice. They may also ask for a large payment upfront and then leave poor quality work, so make sure you’ve got a solid plan for the payments. Trust Your Instinct! – If anything feels a bit off to you, trust your instinct and ask a family or friend to take a look over the communications between you and them or ask them to be there. Your instincts are often right, so it’s best to make sure and ask someone to double-check and make sure.
Gas safety is crucial to ensure that you’re keeping safe at all times. You’ll need to make sure that your home is safe for you and your family, and gas safety is one of the best ways of ensuring this is the case. For the price of a gas safety check and a service, it proves to be a worthy investment. They’re often inexpensive but could save you a lot of money in repairs if they ever come up and could save you from poor health due to a gas leak. We’ve covered what to look out for and how to keep safe, as well as what’s included in an annual gas check and gas servicing. We’ve also talked about the needs to make sure you’re hiring the right tradesman for you to ensure that you get the best results out of your investment. We hope you’ve found this article useful!