Gas safety issues sadly lead to numerous avoidable tragedies every year. These days, the majority of homes in the UK contain at least one gas appliance, whether it’s a gas heater/fire, a cooker, or boiler. While gas is a very useful fuel, it’s also quite volatile, making safety considerations around its utilisation crucial in our homes.

Maintenance of gas appliances is vital to you and your family’s safety. In simple words, if you fail to take good care of your boiler or any other gas appliance, you risk them evolving into a significant threat to the health and safety of you and your family. It’s recommended that a certified engineer be hired to service the boilers once a year. Surprisingly, almost 66.6% of the UK’s boilers haven’t been serviced in the last year.

The role of carbon monoxide

If you don’t stay on top of maintaining your boiler, and other gas appliances, what exactly could go wrong? The biggest risk is death by carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is referred to as the “silent killer” because it doesn’t have any smell or taste, yet it’s poisonous, deadly.

Any fuel that burns, be it coal, wood, gas, or anything else, releases carbon dioxide as a by-product of the burning process. However, in certain conditions where the fuel cannot burn as efficiently as it normally would, it gives off carbon monoxide, instead.

Carbon dioxide is one of the leading gases that make up the air around us (it’s also the leading culprit behind global warming). However, its cousin, carbon monoxide, isn’t harmless by any stretch of the imagination. When released in an enclosed space, for instance, a room in a house, anyone who breathes it in will begin experiencing tiredness, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. This can lead shortly to unconsciousness and even death, if a door and windows aren’t opened to let the gas dissipate fast. In the UK, there are roughly 60 fatalities resulting from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning yearly.

How do I determine if my boiler is emitting carbon monoxide?

Besides regular servicing, installing a detector is the best way to safeguard your family from carbon monoxide poisoning. Choose a carbon monoxide alarm that meets industry standards and works on the same principles as a smoke detector.

There are also sure signs to look for, which may signify that your boiler isn’t burning as efficiently as it should do – which is when carbon monoxide emissions begin. Your pilot light changing colour from blue to orange or yellow is the clearest indication. Call a qualified engineer immediately when you spot this. You might also see signs of soot with a coat-like musty smell. To help you get in the habit of having your boiler serviced every year, WeServe 247 provides a great value boiler and heating cover at £11.00 per month. Call us today at 0800 599 9777 for more information.