Gas safety is important all year round, but it’s not always a household’s first priority. With this week being Gas Safety Week – coordinated by Gas Safe Register – we wanted to provide some information and top tips to our customers for staying safe at home.
Whether it’s heating your home or running a warm bath, we all use gas every day. While tucked away in the garage or hallway cupboard, your boiler can be easily overlooked, but it’s an integral part of the home that, if neglected, can cause serious problems.
Boiler emergencies, like leaking water or gas, can pose a huge risk to not only your home, but also your health. For example, in some cases, faulty boilers can emit carbon monoxide, with effects that range from mild symptoms to severe illness and even death.
What is carbon monoxide?
In order to generate heat for your home, your boiler will need to burn fuel, and in most boilers, the action of burning fuel will emit two things as a result: carbon dioxide and water.
When your boiler is not burning fuel correctly – for example, if there’s not enough oxygen – it can emit carbon monoxide as a waste gas instead. Often, these waste gases can be carried out of your home via a flue, but in some cases the gas might be released into your home.
Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas that can be very difficult to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. It’s different to carbon dioxide, because it contains one atom of oxygen instead of two. It’s this difference that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning if you breathe a lot of it in.
What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
When you breathe in carbon monoxide, it enters your bloodstream via the lungs. When it enters the bloodstream, it prevents your red blood cells from carrying oxygen around your body.
This can cause mild symptoms such as a headache and dizziness, and in higher doses it can cause neurological symptoms as well as loss of vision. In high enough doses, or in certain cases of prolonged exposure to the gas, it can cause loss of consciousness or death.
Our top tips for staying safe
At Butco, we’re passionate about keeping our customers safe, so as part of Gas Safety Awareness Week, we’ve created a list of 3 simple tips you can take on board to keep your home and your family safe.
- Know the risks
To stay safe, it’s important to know the risks of a faulty boiler. If you don’t get your boiler serviced regularly, or if you ignore issues when they happen, you can increase the risk of a gas leak or carbon monoxide exposure in your home.
At Butco, we’re proud providers of local boiler repair and cover, with our 24/7 boiler care and customer support. If you’re looking for reliable, friendly engineers with the expertise to get your boiler repaired or serviced quickly, contact us today to find out how we can help you.
2. Check your appliances
You can also perform checks on your appliances in order to ascertain whether there may be a problem.
If your gas appliances or boiler are burning with a yellow flame instead of a blue one, it could be a sign that your boiler could be emitting carbon monoxide. It’s also important to understand when your boiler might need a service or an upgrade, which can prevent problems that could pose a risk to your safety.
3. Understand the warning signs
While carbon monoxide is odourless, tasteless and colourless, there are still warning signs you can watch out for. For example, if you see black marks near your boiler, it could be a sign that your flue is leaking into your home.
The pilot light on your boiler is also a clear indicator, as a yellow flame could be a sign that your boiler is leaking carbon monoxide. Another sign of a carbon monoxide leak is increased condensation in the room where your boiler is. This could be a sign that there isn’t enough ventilation, which can cause a leak of carbon monoxide into your home.
The best way to monitor carbon monoxide levels in your home is to install a carbon monoxide detector, which can tell you if there are increased levels in the air.
How can Butco help?
We’re a dedicated team of engineers that prioritise the safety of our customers.
At every service, we ensure that your boiler is operating safely and efficiently, and our central heating boiler service plans include a free annual boiler service and safety check, with a 24 hour callout service.
Find out more by calling our team on 0121 355 1121 today.