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Six life-saving lessons highlighted by Gas Safety Week

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Does one of your gas appliances burn with a yellow flame like this one? Then it could be putting your life at risk. Safety Storage Centre highlights the risks posed by gas in the home and the workplace, and highlights the work of Gas Safety Week 2016 to keep everyone safe.

Carbon Monoxide and Gas Safety Week have lots in common – and one vital difference. Neither smells, neither tastes of anything, and it’s impossible to tell either is there unless you’re aware of them.

But the big difference is that whilst Carbon Monoxide could kill you, Gas Safety Week which runs from 19th September to 25th September exists to keep you alive.

It’s the one week of the year that seeks to highlight what should be in our minds the whole year through – that Carbon Monoxide can kill, and will do so without mercy if given half a chance. How deadly is it? Industry knows it as the Silent Killer. That just about sums it up.

So how do you know if you’re suffering from the early stages of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?

The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  1. Weakness
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Dizziness
  5. Dull headache
  6. You find to hard to breathe

They will happen if you breathe in small amounts; breathe in a lot, and the gas will replace oxygen in your bloodstream, and that’s when death could occur.

It’s facts like these that Gas Safety Week was created to highlight, for businesses, home owners and landlords.

Now in its sixth year, Gas Safety Week 2016 was launched in Parliament by Barry Sheerman, MP for Huddersfield. He said the annual campaign had already made some changes for the better, but added that in spite of the progress, there was still some way to go.

He praised charities like the Dominic Rodgers Trust, which goes into schools to educate children about the issues.

Gas Safety Week

Jonathan Samuel is chief executive of Gas Safe Register, the organisation behind the annual campaign. He said his organisation’s role was to get the conversation started, and to encourage people to see the benefits of getting involved.

“It’s about ensuring people understand gas issues, and how to keep themselves safe,” he said.

We’d echo that objective, and offer these six top tips to keep safe from Carbon Monoxide.

Our six top prevention tips

  1. Have gas appliances checked annually. Gas Safe inspectors have found unsafe gas appliances in one in six of the 142,000 homes they visited in a year – so that’s a lot of potential for deaths…
  2. Look out for the flame on any gas burning appliances you may have. The flames should be blue with ‘sharp edges’. A yellow and ‘floppy’ flame is dangerous, and needs the attention of a professional. That’s because one of the reasons for a yellow flame is all of the gas isn’t being burnt. If it isn’t, Carbon Monoxide could be building up. Get an expert in to check.
  3. Don’t have ‘mates’ work on any gas appliances you may have at home or at work. The only people qualified to work on them are on a Gas Safe Register. and will have a card to prove it. Ask to see it.
  4. Get a carbon monoxide detector. The modern equivalent of the coal miners’ canary, carbon monoxide detectors like these, combined with a smoke detector, will tell you when there’s life threatening gas around before the gas has a chance to do you harm
  5. Check the Carbon Monoxide detector’s batteries regularly. If there’s no power, there’s no warning.
  6. Never take a barbeque indoors, including into a tent or caravan. Carbon Monoxide could cook your goose before the burgers are done.

Picture: Fedor Kondratenko | Dreamstime.com

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