Gas Safety Week 2021

Posted on the 15th September 2021

Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous gas, that is especially dangerous because you can’t see or smell it, and the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headaches, dizziness and nausea, can be similar to a virus.

 

Our Gas team take reports of Carbon Monoxide alarm activations (when something sets the alarm off) extremely seriously. We respond to all reports of CO alarms going off to investigate the reason why. All of the Gas team’s engineers are Gas Safe Registered and qualified to check for Carbon Monoxide and unsafe appliances. We also have 5 specially trained engineers who carry the qualification CMDDA1 (Responding to reports of fumes and carbon monoxide alarm activations), who can attend jobs that need a more in-depth investigation.

 

Sometimes we find that when CO alarms go off it’s a false alarm – this can be for a number of reasons, including:

  • The CO alarm is positioned incorrectly and not in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • The smoke alarm activated but it was reported that the CO alarm had activated instead
  • The alarm is out of date
  • The batteries need replacing

 

As part of their investigation, our engineer is required to ask lots of questions to find out which appliances were in use at the time the alarm went off and what happened. The engineer will also test all the gas appliances within the property to see if any of the appliances may be at fault.

 

The main appliance that we find causes CO alarms to go off is the cooker. In most of our investigations, this is because:

  • Domestic cookers are designed for use with saucepans of a certain size – the appliance instructions will provide information on the largest pan that can be used
  • Where large commercial sized stock pans, cooking woks and commercial catering pots are used, they can increase the risk of CO production by restricting the secondary air supply to the appliance hotplate burners
  • When Gas burner hot plates are covered with aluminium foil to keep them clean, the aluminium foil can prevent the hob burner from getting the correct amount of oxygen it requires for the flame to burn correctly, thus producing an orange flame and carbon monoxide
  • Other reasons for cookers producing carbon monoxide are having food such as bread touching the grill burners and using the grill with the grill door closed.

 

It is extremely important to use all gas appliances in line with the manufacturers’ instructions and to have your appliances checked regularly.

If you think that your gas appliance needs a repair, you can report this to us:

If we can check and repair faults in gas appliances as soon as a problem occurs, it helps us to provide you with the assurance that we have kept them in a safe condition.

However, if you can smell gas in the air, it is important to ventilate your home as well as possible by opening windows and doors. Call the National Gas Emergency Service freephone on 0800 111 999 immediately. Do not use anything electrical or light any open flames until they have told you it is safe to do so.

 

Nick Bowden, Gas Supervisor

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