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Gas & Fire Safety

By law we must ensure that all of our homes that have a gas supply have an annual gas safety check. This is to make sure that all fitted gas appliances are safe to use, we will also carry out a check of your gas cooker and fire whilst we are there to make sure these are safe to use.  All safety checks are free of charge.

Your annual gas safety check

At least 2 weeks before we carry out the annual gas safety check we will contact you with an appointment. If this appointment is inconvenient, please contact us immediately. As this is a legal requirement, it is vital that we gain access to your home. We can do so during evenings or weekends if you are at work during the day.

Failing to allow us access

Despite the importance of gas safety checks, a small number of our tenants do not allow our gas engineers access to their home.

Failure to allow access for the annual gas safety check to be completed is a breach of your tenancy agreement and could lead to legal action and ultimately eviction.

Appointment reminders

If we have your mobile telephone number we will send you a text message to remind you that we are coming to carry out the gas safety check. 

Gas Safe Register

Gas Safe Register is the new Governing body responsible for ensuring that all our gas engineers are qualified and competent to work in your home.

The Gas Safe Register scheme came into effect on 1 April 2009 and is administered by the Health and Safety Executive. By law anyone who works with gas has to be registered with the Gas Safe Register and should carry photographic registration cards as proof of this.

Always remember to check the engineer’s registration card before allowing them to carry out work on your gas appliances. All our gas engineers are registered with the Gas Safe Register.

For more information on the Gas Safe Register visit their website at gassaferegister.co.uk.

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors

Most of our homes are fitted with smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. In the event of a fire or the occurrence of carbon monoxide, these devices will give you and your family precious seconds to escape serious injury or even death.

We will check that these detectors are in good working order during the annual gas safety check, however, you should ensure that you test them on a weekly basis by pressing the ‘test’ button. If you are elderly or disabled, ask a relative, friend or neighbour to do it for you.

Under no circumstances should you disconnect or remove batteries from smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

What to do if you smell gas

Turn off your gas supply immediately. Find the lever next to your meter and move it one quarter of the way round, either right or left, until the gas stops.

Once the gas has been turned off, open the windows and doors to let in plenty of fresh air.

Do not turn any electrical switches on or off, light matches or lighters, or smoke.

Immediately ring the National Gas Networks Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. They will come to your home and make it safe.

If the engineer from the National Gas Networks Emergency Service tells you something in your home needs to be repaired, contact customer services on 0800 587 4538 and we will arrange for one of our engineers to call.

The dangers of carbon monoxide

Every year, approximately 50 people die in the UK from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly fitted or maintained.

When gas does not burn properly, it produces poisonous carbon monoxide. You can’t see it. You can’t taste it. You can’t even smell it. Carbon monoxide can kill without warning in just a matter of hours. The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include tiredness, drowsiness, headache and pains in the chest and stomach.

You are at risk of this if:

  • Your gas appliances are not working properly
  • Your gas appliances have not been checked for safety or maintained regularly
  • There is not enough fresh air in your room (do not block air bricks or other vents)
  • Your chimney or flue is blocked
  • You have allowed unqualified people to install or maintain your gas appliances

If you believe you may have suffered from any symptoms related to carbon monoxide poisoning visit your GP or the hospital at the earliest opportunity.

Staying safe
  • Never use a gas appliance if you think it is not working properly. Signs to look out for include Yellow or orange flames, soot or stains around the appliance and pilot lights which frequently blow out
  • Never cover an appliance or block the convection air vents
  • Never block or obstruct any fixed ventilation grills or airbricks
  • Never block or cover outside flues
Fire Safety

Fire Safety

Twelve steps to take for fire safety in your home

 

1. Take extra care in the kitchen – accidents while cooking account for over half of fires in homes. Never leave young children alone in the kitchen.

2. Take extra care when cooking with hot oil. Consider buying a deep-fat fryer which is controlled by a thermostat (if you don’t already have one).

3. Never leave lit candles in rooms that nobody is in or in rooms where children are on their own. Make sure candles are in secure holders on a surface that doesn’t burn and are away from any materials that could burn.

4. Make sure cigarettes are stubbed out properly and are disposed of carefully, and never smoke in bed.

5. Get into the habit of closing doors at night. If you want to keep a child’s bedroom door open, close the doors to the lounge and kitchen, it may well help save their life if there is a fire.

6. Don’t overload electrical sockets. Remember: one plug for one socket.

7. Keep matches and lighters where children can’t see or reach them.

8. Take special care when you’re tired or when you've been drinking.

9. Don’t leave the TV or other electrical appliances on standby as this could cause a fire. Always switch it off and unplug when it’s not in use.

10. Keep smoke alarms free from dust and test them once a week.

11. Make a fire action plan so that everyone in your home knows how to escape if there is a fire.

12. Keep the exits from your home clear so that people can escape if there is a fire. Make sure that everyone in your home can easily find the keys for doors and windows.

 

For more information and suggestions go to County Durham & Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s website here