With a significant number of households and businesses using gas for heating and other appliances, a gas leak is not uncommon. This blog will look at how to prevent a gas leak and what you should do in the case of an emergency.
What to do if you suspect a gas leak?
- Open all doors and windows to ventilate the property
- Ensure any ventilation bricks and grilles are not covered or blocked
- Turn the gas off at the mains tap.
- Extinguish any naked flames
- Leave the property and evacuate other people from the property too
- Call National Gas Emergency Service number on 0800 111 999 and follow the advice given by the adviser – calls are free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
- Turn any power or light switches on or off
- Smoke or ignite any form of flame in the property
- Use any appliance that could cause a spark i.e. electrical switches
Faulty or broken gas meter
The source of a leak could be gas appliances, piping or even a gas meter. Signs of a faulty or broken gas meter include:
- You have received a much higher bill than normal
- The meter has an error message
- Or the meter screen is blank and isn’t showing a message
Considerations and measures to prevent a gas leak
You can take several preventative measures to avoid a gas leak and ensure you are gas safe. If overlooked, you could open yourself up to the risk of an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning. The NHS report that there are around 60 deaths in England and Wales each year from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, the importance of safeguarding your workforce and customers, therefore, cannot be overstated.
The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 states that “It’s the duty of every employer or self-employed person to ensure that any gas appliance, installation pipework or flue installed at any place of work under their control is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk or injury to any person.”
Considering this to minimising the risk of a gas leak is to get your appliances services and tested regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer; ensure that it is an engineer qualified to work on commercial gas appliances, you can find qualified engineers local to you using the search tool provided by the Gas Safety Register.
In the UK, landlords and owners of commercial properties are required by law to have their gas appliances inspected every 12 months to ensure they are in a safe working condition. Several tests are carried out as part of the inspection including a visual inspection, pressure testing, functionality, and operational tests. Leaks can be identified through some of these tests.
Additional safeguarding measures can include installing a carbon monoxide detector to avoid accidental gas poisoning. Residential landlords and certain other properties are required to install these as part of building regulations, more information can be found on this here.