As it is Gas Safety Week we've asked our SHE manager Dominic Scullion to answer some frequently asked questions in relation to CO:
What is CO?
CO or Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas which is produced when gas, oil, wood, petrol or coal doesn’t burn properly.
What is CO poisoning?
Because you can’t see it, taste it or smell it, CO is highly dangerous and can make you very sick, very quickly. There are six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
Are there signs which could indicate an issue with my appliances?
Signs may include lazy yellow /orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out and too much condensation in the room.
These signs might not always be obvious therefore you should install an audible carbon monoxide alarm (even if you don’t have gas appliances in your home) and make sure your friends and relatives have one too. Check they are marked EN50291 and display the British Standards’ Kitemark.
How do I ensure my appliances are safe?
Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you are a tenant in a rental property then make sure your landlord arranges this.
There is a useful reminder tool you can setup at StayGasSafe.co.uk.
Some people may be unable to arrange their own gas safety check or may be unaware of what they need to do to keep safe. Help your loved ones by ensuring that they have their appliances checked and serviced regularly.
Can anyone work on a gas appliance?
No, only Gas Safe registered engineers can work on gas appliances, you can find or check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
You should also check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing e.g. natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and on the Gas Safe Register website.
For gas safety advice and to find or check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.