How to Prevent and Deal with Gas Leaks in Your Home
What Causes a Gas Leak?
Gas leaks can be caused by faulty, badly maintained, or improperly installed appliances such as boilers and cookers. When these appliances are defective, gas can escape from the gas hose that leads into your appliance, or from the seal surrounding it. Older appliances are more likely to be problematic, so it’s important to keep on top of services and get any second-hand appliances checked out when moving into a new home.
Why is a Gas Leak Dangerous?
A gas leak can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, fires or even explosions if problems are left unfixed.
How Can You Detect a Gas Leak?
The biggest sign of a gas leak is if you can smell gas in your home. If you feel dizzy or unwell and your symptoms disappear when you go outside, this could be a sign of a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning. Other signs include:
- Your boiler’s pilot light keeps blowing out.
- The pilot light or gas rings on your cooker are orange or yellow, rather than blue.
- There is soot or a scorched area on the outside of your appliances.
- There is more condensation than usual on your windows
What Should You Do in the Event of a Gas Leak?
If you think there is a gas leak in your home, you should:
- Turn off the gas supply at your gas meter (if you’re not sure how to do this or where the valve is located, it’s a good idea to find out now in case you need to know in the future)
- Open all the windows and doors to circulate air around the house
- Avoid using any electrical devices (including mobile phones), smoking, using matches or burning candles as this could ignite the leaked gas
- Call the national gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 (by either using your mobile outside or using a neighbour’s phone) and wait for help to arrive
The National Gas Emergency Service will make your property safe, but they will not repair the appliance that led to the gas leak – you will need to arrange for this to be fixed separately.
How Can You Prevent Gas Leaks?
Prevention is far easier than cure, so to ensure you do not have to deal with a gas leak in your home, take the following steps:
- Check your appliances regularly for wear and tear
- Book your appliances in for regular servicing
- Make sure your appliances are installed and serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer
- Keep a carbon monoxide alarm in your home (installed in an open space such as a hallway) and change the batteries regularly
If you suspect you have a gas leak in your home, it’s important that you take action immediately. Gas leaks can be prevented by ensuring your boiler and other gas appliances are serviced by Gas Safe Registered engineers – such as the team at IMH Gas and Plumbing. If your boiler is due a service or you’re concerned about any of your appliances being faulty, contact us online or call us on 0203 488 1053.