What to do if you suspect a gas leak at home What to do if you suspect a gas leak at home Find a new boiler If you discover an unexpected smell of gas in your home, it is important to take action quickly to establish whether or not there is a gas leak and make sure that there is no risk to yourself or other occupants.
If it is not burned properly, for example because of a faulty appliance, it can also cause extremely dangerous carbon monoxide CO which you cannot see, taste or smell.
In its natural state, natural gas is odourless. For this reason, a special harmless chemical is added to give it the easily recognisable smell that most people associate with gas. So what should you do in the event of a suspected gas leakage?
Here is some essential advice. What causes gas leaks in the home?
Although gas leaks in the home are relatively rare, there are some common causes that are behind the vast majority of cases. A gas leak within a property can only occur if you use gas for heating, warming your water or cooking. If this is the case, then there is a possibility that there may be a gas leak within your house or flat.
If you do not have any gas appliances, then it is likely that any gas leak is outside the property. In this situation, call the Gas Emergency Service on from a safe distance, inform them of the location where you smelt gas and follow the advice given.
If there is a possibility that the gas leak may originate from within the property, consider the following potential causes: Corroded pipes Corroded pipes can be an early sign of a gas leak and there are visual clues that may appear long before there is enough of a leak to smell it. Look out for any obvious damage to pipes, as well as rust and green discoloration on copper pipes. If you do discover any of these indicators, it is recommended that you seek immediate advice from a Gas Safe previously known as CORGI registered engineer.
Check your pipework once or twice a year for peace of mind.
Badly fitted appliances Another common cause of residential gas leaks is poorly fitted appliances, most commonly gas cookers and boilers. If the appliance was badly fitted in the first place, or has been able to move, then there is a risk that the seal may be damaged, allowing gas to leak. To help avoid this danger, be sure to have all appliances installed by a Gas Safe engineer as required by law, and consider having any second hand appliances inspected prior to purchase.
If you have recently moved into a rented or purchased property, make sure that the documentation is available for the most recent gas safety check and if in doubt make arrangements to have an inspection carried out as soon as possible.
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Faulty appliances Faulty gas appliances in the home are extremely dangerous. As well as gas leaks, they can also cause carbon monoxide if they do not burn the gas properly. There are some simple ways to protect yourself from the danger of faulty appliances: Ensure that all gas appliances including cooker, boiler and fires are serviced once a year by a Gas Safe engineer.
Have appliances regularly serviced by an accredited or trained engineer as recommended in the documentation. Discontinue use and replace appliances immediately if you are advised they are no longer safe for use.
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Ensure you have carbon monoxide detectors fitted in your home and conduct tests at the recommended frequency. Be sure to replace them by the advised date.
There are also some tell-tale signs to be aware of that may indicate something is not right with your gas appliances. The most common signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are: Headaches.