Keeping Yourself Gas Safe this Summer

Maintaining gas safety is equally crucial during the summer months as it is in winter. While gas central heating may be deactivated during summer, your boiler continues to serve hot water needs, and you may also rely on a gas cooker for cooking purposes. Additionally, it’s important to consider gas-powered barbecues, which are commonly used and enjoyed by a significant portion of the population. Over 40% of individuals own a gas barbecue, with around 30% utilising it on a weekly basis for convenient outdoor meals.

When it comes to gas safety there’s no off-season, neglected appliances and boilers can pose a severe risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, potentially leading to fatal consequences. Here is everything you need to know about key challenges throughout the summer.

BBQ safety

During the summer, we often enjoy outdoor activities and extended evenings. Whether rain or shine, BBQs become the highlight, typically causing minimal concerns aside from the weather or ensuring thorough cooking. However, it’s crucial to recognise that Gas safety extends beyond homes and industrial settings, as BBQs require special attention to ensure their safety.

While carbon monoxide‘s health risks are widely acknowledged, its association with BBQs often goes unnoticed. In unfavourable weather conditions, we might opt to barbecue in areas like garages, doorways, tents, or canopies. Some may even bring BBQs inside tents after use. These practices can be extremely dangerous, as carbon monoxide accumulates in such enclosed spaces. It’s essential to emphasise that the cooking area should be positioned far from buildings, well-ventilated with fresh air, to mitigate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Familiarising oneself with the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning is vital, including headaches, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, collapse, or loss of consciousness.

Additionally, the storage of propane or butane gas canisters in garages, sheds, and even homes presents another potential hazard. Without realising it, the combination of an enclosed space, a gas leak, and a spark from an electrical device can result in a potentially deadly explosion.

Gas safety on holiday

When you’re on holiday, gas safety might not be your top concern, but it remains essential for your well-being. Gas safety is equally crucial during your holiday as it is at home, as you may have limited knowledge or control over the condition of gas appliances in your accommodation. While gas safety is generally similar in caravans and boats, camping in tents presents unique considerations.

Gas camping stoves, heaters (such as table and patio heaters), and even solid fuel BBQs can emit carbon monoxide (CO), posing a potential risk of poisoning. Therefore, bringing these items into an enclosed space, like a tent or caravan, can endanger anyone nearby. Additionally, it’s important to recognise that gas safety regulations may vary in different countries. While it may not be feasible to be familiar with all local regulations, you can prioritise safety by following simple guidelines.

Tips for gas safety on holiday

  • Inquire about the servicing and safety checks of gas appliances in your accommodation.
  • Bring along an audible carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Note that the appliances in your holiday accommodation may differ from those at home. If instructions are unavailable, seek assistance from your holiday representative or accommodation owner.
    • Recognise signs of unsafe gas appliances:
      • Black marks or stains around the appliance.
      • Lazy orange or yellow flames instead of blue.
      • Excessive condensation in your accommodation.
    • Never use gas cookers, stoves, or BBQs for heating purposes, and ensure proper ventilation when using them.

The importance of being Gas Safe registered 

In 2009, the Gas Safe Register replaced Corgi as the mark of approval for all plumbers and heating engineers who work with gas appliances. Now, in order to work with gas appliances and installations in the UK, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, you must be on the Gas Safety Register – if you’re not, you may face prosecution.  

However, there are additional benefits to being Gas Safe registered, and in this blog post we’ll take a look at them. 

What’s the purpose of the Gas Safe Register? 

The Gas Safety Register was introduced to protect the public from rogue gas engineers and plumbers, because millions of lives are put at risk by faulty gas work every year and illegal work costs millions of pounds annually to fix. Gas Safe makes sure that everyone on its register is competent to carry out the type(s) of gas work they’re registered for, and their registration is updated every year. If a Gas Safe-registered contractor breaches the terms of their registration, Gas Safe can investigate them and may revoke their registration.  

This gives members of the public a lot of reassurance, because they know they can check with an independent organisation and make sure that their gas contractor is qualified and legitimate. Customers can quickly and easily check an engineer’s registration with Gas Safe, and many use the Gas Safe website as a first port of call when looking for a heating engineer or plumber to work with gas. 

What is more, Gas Safe has the power to investigate anyone, either registered or unregistered, who is suspected of working with gas illegally. 

How does being on the Gas Safe Register help my business? 

Perhaps the most obvious benefit to being Gas Safe registered is the seal of approval from a recognised authority. If you’re registered you can use the Gas Safe mark on your vehicle, clothing, adverts and paperwork, and your contact details will be on the Gas Safe website that so many people use to find suppliers.  

There are also practical benefits. Gas Safe is a network of gas experts and registration gives you immediate access to a host of resources and expertise. These include the latest technical bulletins, industry standard updates and safety alerts. When you are registered, Gas Safe will provide contact details for your local Gas Safe inspector, whom you can contact for advice – they’ll even send you a monthly magazine! 

Sounds great! How do I sign up?  

There are several routes to registration: you find all the details on the Gas Safe website (click here to view it).