Gas emergencies

Gas Leak :: Loss of Supply :: Carbon Monoxide

Gas Leak

Gas is usually a safe and easy way to heat your house but it can also be potentially dangerous if a leak occurs or an appliance is faulty.

If you smell gas or think that you may have a gas leak somewhere then you should call Transco Gas Emergencies line straight away. Open your windows and doors to let air in, make sure all gas appliances are turned off and turn the gas off at the mains if possible. Do not turn lights on or off and avoid using other electrical switches and appliances as this could trigger an explosion. Do not smoke, light a match or any other naked flame.

Do not try and investigate the problem or attempt to fix a leak or a faulty appliance.

National Grid Gas Emergencies (Formally Transco Gas ) – 0800 111 999 (This is a 24 hour emergency line)

Loss of Gas Supply

Although very rarely, there may be times when National Grid may have to interrupt the supply of gas to your home. They promise to give customers sufficient notice of any interruption, keep interruption to a minimum and make interruption requests on an equitable basis.

Reasons for interruptions can include network capacity constraints, high system demands, testing and other emergency situations. The National Grid has to keep certain standards of performance and these state that they must notify customers of planned interruptions and in the result of an unplanned interruption, such as an emergency, they must restore the supply as soon as is possible. Compensation may be available if they do not meet these standards and payments will be made to you either via your gas supplier or from National Grid directly.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning causes a number of accidental deaths every year when gas appliances are installed incorrectly, badly maintained or poorly ventilated. It is so deadly as you cannot see, smell it or taste it. Being exposed to carbon monoxide can cause brain damage and even death.

All appliances should be safety checked and maintained and it is especially important if you live in rented accommodation that the landlord checks and maintains any gas appliances. This is a legal requirement.

Although carbon monoxide is invisible and difficult to detect, there are ways that you can see whether an appliance (fires, heaters, central heating boilers, water heaters or cookers) may be dangerous.

These include

  • The pilot light continually blowing out
  • An orange or yellow flame rather than a blue one
  • A black, brown or scorched area on an appliance
  • A musty smell or signs of soot
  • More condensation than normal on windows

To keep your house safe and check for the presence of carbon monoxide you can use a carbon monoxide detector. These detectors sense if there is any carbon monoxide in the air and change colour or set an alarm off to warn you. You can buy detectors in hardware or DIY stores and you should make sure that it meets the correct standard before purchasing it. The label should display BS 7860 in Britain, showing it is officially approved by the CO Alarm Standards. You should test your detector every month and replace batteries when necessary. Detectors don’t last forever so you replace them as recommended by the manufacturer.

Don’t ever ignore the detector and if you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home then you should evacuate everyone immediately.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, stomach pains, chest pains and erratic behaviour. A faulty gas appliance can cause these symptoms and you should be wary if the symptoms worsen when a gas appliance is in use and if the symptoms lessen when away from the house but then return again when you are back in the property.