Gas Safety for Carers
Gas safety is an important consideration for caregivers, especially when it comes to the use of gas appliances or systems in the home. Gas can be safe when handled properly, but if gas appliances or equipment are installed incorrectly or not maintained well, there is a risk of gas leaks, fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning!
Here are a few key points to keep in mind:
1.Regular maintenance: Ensure that gas appliances, such as boilers, ovens, or heaters, are regularly serviced and maintained by a qualified professional. This helps to identify and address any potential issues or leaks. Annual maintenance will not only keep the heating and hot water working properly, but will also keep the person you are responsible for safe.
2.Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is crucial when using gas appliances. Make sure that the area where the appliance is located has proper ventilation to prevent the buildup of harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide. Watch for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning as it can be deadly – carbon monoxide has NO taste, NO colour and NO smell!
Symptoms are –
- Loss of consciousness.
If the person you care for has these symptom’s it is best to go to the doctor and get them checked!
3.Carbon monoxide detectors: Install carbon monoxide detectors in the home, particularly near gas appliances. These detectors can alert you, the caregiver to the presence of this odourless and potentially deadly gas.
4.Gas flame: Take a moment to observe the gas flame while you are cooking. Ideally, the flame should appear sharp and have a blue hue. However, if the flame appears weak, yellowish. or orange, it may indicate that the appliance is not functioning properly (except for fuel-effect fires, which intentionally produce flames of this colour).
5.Gas leaks: Educate yourself on the signs of a gas leak, such as a strong smell of gas, hissing sounds near gas appliances, or dead plants in the vicinity of gas pipes. If you suspect a gas leak, evacuate the area immediately and contact the gas emergency helpline or a qualified professional.
6.Emergency procedures: Familiarise yourself with emergency procedures in case of a gas-related incident. This may include knowing how to shut off the gas supply and having an evacuation plan in place. Remember, it is always advisable to consult with local gas safety regulations and guidelines specific to your region to ensure comprehensive gas safety for caregivers and those under their care.
Keeping Your Family Safe
- Make sure a Gas Safe engineer checks ALL your gas appliances on your property annually. This will include a visual inspection of your pipework and a tightness test confirm that there are not any gas leaks. If you are a tenant renting a property, make sure your landlord arranges a gas safety check annually.
- When you book your gas engineer, make sure they are Gas Safe registered. You can check this online – https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer-or-check-the-register/
- Check your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card, the front and back.
- It is good to know how to spot the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, and breathlessness. Severe symptoms are collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted.
- Ensure that your home is well ventilated as this is essential for gas appliances to burn properly. You do not want to have air vents or chimneys blocked.
- Do not use your gas appliance for something that it wasn’t meant for, for example do not use a cooker to heat a room.