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Gas Safety Week 14-20 September 2015

14 Sep 2015


 The importance of getting your gas boiler serviced annually


Gas appliances that are left unchecked could be dangerous and leaking carbon monoxide



All of your gas appliances, including your gas boiler, gas cooker and gas fire should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly according to manufacturerâ??s instructions.  If you do not have your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer you could be putting you and your family at risk and in possible danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.


What is a service?

A gas appliance a service will consist of a full check of a gas appliance and the engineer is likely to take the appliance apart to inspect it.  The engineer will assess the physical condition of the appliance, installation pipework, air vents and any flues for deterioration.  They will carry out performance tests and take any necessary remedial action.


Servicing your gas appliances regularly will make sure they are safe to use.  It will also maintain your appliances efficiency and performance.


Generally a service will take less than 60 minutes to complete.


Gas safety records

After a Gas Safe registered engineer has carried out a gas service they will leave you with a copy of a CP12 certificate (gas safety record).  The gas safety record tells you that the gas appliance or gas fitting has been checked to see if it is working safely and meets the correct safety standards.


Flues, chimneys and air vents

Flues, chimneys and air vents play a vital role in the safe operating of gas appliances.  Flues and chimneys allow products of combustion to escape from your home.  Air vents ensure there is a good supply of combustion air (ventilation) to appliances.  For this reason you must keep all flues, chimneys and air vents clear.


Never block these airways to prevent a draft.  Blocking ventilation is dangerous and could result in carbon monoxide building up in your home.


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is produced when there is not enough oxygen to bond with carbon-producing compounds - it is the incomplete burning of gas or LPG.  Carbon Monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that is very difficult to detect as you cannot see, smell or taste it.  You may not be aware of its presence until it is too late as Carbon Monoxide has no taste, smell or colour.


It occurs naturally but, in enclosed spaces like the home, it is usually the result of faulty gas appliances like heaters, boilers and fireplaces. It can also happen if chimneys, flues or vents are blocked.


Carbon monoxide can also be produced by oil, wood, petrol and coal.

  • High levels of Carbon Monoxide exposure can prove to be fatal, even low exposure can cause lasting damage.
  • Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer as around 30 people die each year from Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and many more are seriously injured.


Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning - it could save your life:

·         headaches

·         dizziness

·         nausea

·         breathlessness

·         collapse or loss of consciousness

·         symptoms which disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return

·         other people (and animals) experiencing the same symptoms at the same time


What to do if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning:

·         get fresh air immediately - open the doors and windows

·         turn off any gas appliances and turn the gas off at the meter

·         extinguish naked flames

·         leave the house

·         see your doctor immediately or go to hospital - let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning

·         call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999 if you think there''s any danger


The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 clearly state that all gas appliances must be maintained in a safe condition and serviced every 12 months, as a Helm tenant it is part of your tenancy agreement to provide access once a year to have your boiler serviced by Helmâ??s contractor â?? FUSION.  Failure to get your boiler serviced may result in your gas supply being disconnected or Helm taking legal action to seek possession of your home.


If you have recently received correspondence from Helm asking you to get in touch to arrange access to get your boiler serviced or are unsure if your boiler has been serviced in the last 12 months please contact the Property Services Department on 028 9032 0485.




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