The Reason I Will Always Be Gas Safety Vigilant – Win a Family Day Out.

Littlest as a newborn baby

Ahead of this year’s Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register is reminding families of best practice when it comes to ensuring gas appliances are safe and so I wanted to share my story of carbon monoxide poisoning with you.

When Littlest was two weeks old, our boiler broke. That was enough to provoke a fair amount of anxiety all by itself. The last thing you want when you are in the post-birth haze, with a tiny baby and a two-year-old, is no hot water and no heating when it is freezing outside. We did not have any boiler maintenance and had not looked once at it since we moved in 18 months before – it had always just worked. Why would we? Gas safety was the last thing on my mind with two babies in the space of two years.

We had to call an emergency engineer and figure out how to open the loft. The first thing the engineer said to me after looking at the boiler for ten minutes was “Do you have a carbon monoxide alarm?” Rather sheepishly, I replied no, we didn’t. His answer filled me with dread.

“Buy one. Now.”

It turns out that our boiler had been in a bad way for some time. It had been leaking into the ceiling and due to a high wardrobe with things piled on top, we had not seen the water damage. When I removed the packages on top, there was a huge brown stain where the boiler had been leaking for months, if not years.

The engineer was amazed that the boiler had worked up until that point. He said that it had likely been leaking carbon monoxide (CO) for some time. The only reason we had not felt its affects was because it was in the loft.

I was struggling with a new-born with severe colic and a toddler just about to be diagnosed with autism. I was surviving on very little sleep and had been breastfeeding and pumping every other hour, day and night. Mentally and physically exhausted, I was faced with the realisation that I might have been poisoning my babies, due to my own negligence – it was too much.

I broke down.

After a kind word from the engineer and a hot cup of tea, eventually, I regained my composure. I immediately ordered two CO alarms and started requesting quotes for a new boiler. The old one had been patched up to give us hot water but the engineer warned that it would need replacing “as soon as physically possible” and I was not going to take any chances again.

Shortly after, we had a brand new, fully-functioning boiler with a ten-year guarantee.

Needless to say, it has regular maintenance and gas safety checks.

In celebration of Gas Safety Week, which this year is focusing on family safety, you could win an amazing day out with Gas Safe Register. Simply scroll to the Rafflecopter below to learn how to enter.

Gas Safety Week

Gas Safety - flame on gas hob

Did you know that nearly half (46%) of the nation’s homes currently don’t have a CO alarm? This could leave more than 12 million households across the UK at risk from CO poisoning.

When it comes to staying safe at home, three-quarters of people agree that they worry about safety, and spend time ensuring that their home is as safe as it can be. However, British families are more likely to fit a smoke alarm (83%), double glazing (76%) or window locks (70%) than have a CO alarm (54%). CO poisoning is known as the ‘silent killer’ as you cannot see, taste or smell it. A CO alarm can alert you to the presence of CO. As CO is odourless and colourless, this is essential.

Ensuring Your Family Stays Gas Safe

During Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register are keen to make sure that you know these three tips to ensure that your gas appliances are safe:

  1. Check appliances annually – an annual gas safety check reminder service can be found via www.StayGasSafe.co.uk. Currently only 54% of people get annual gas checks.
  2. Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – although carbon monoxide (CO) has no smell, taste or colour, symptoms of poisoning include: headaches; dizziness; nausea; breathlessness; collapse and loss of consciousness – all of which can be mistaken for something else.
  3. Only employ a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer – you can find a local registered engineer to carry out gas work in your home by calling Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

Gas Safety Week 2017 is taking place from 18 September. You can register your support for the Thunderclap here or search #GSW17 on social media.

This Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register is looking to create a video to raise awareness about CO poisoning and the best ways to look after gas appliances. If your child would like to take part by acting out the symptoms of CO poisoning, or talking about gas safety in general, please email a short landscape video to press@gassaferegister.co.uk by Wednesday 13th September.

To find out about dangers in your area visit www.StayGasSafe.co.uk and to find a Gas Safe registered engineer call 0800 408 5500 or visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

Competition – Win a Family Day out with Gas Safe Register

Keeping our loved-ones safe is highest on everyone’s list of priorities. However, spending quality time with them probably comes a close second. You could be in with a chance to win £100 voucher to spend on a family day out. Simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. Please note, terms and conditions apply. You can read them here.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note, this post is in collaboration with Gas Safe Register.

121 thoughts on “The Reason I Will Always Be Gas Safety Vigilant – Win a Family Day Out.

  1. I have both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms fitted and I have them checked regularly ( they are no use if they aren’t working

  2. I must have done something right, my daughter is 27 this year. I liked to think I helped her become independent, aware of safety online and on the city streets, and how to read a bus timetable.

  3. Well I work for Ambulance Service, I see so much everyday, I think it so important to keep a first aid kit at home! YOu never know when you will need it.

  4. Glad to hear you were all ok and have had the boiler situation sorted. I plan to put some new batteries in our smoke alarms to keep us safe x

  5. We have smoke alarms, Carbon Monoxide alarms and all our appliances are checked yearly. Also, make sure that electric cables are either hidden or are safe from children.

  6. I have smoke alarms, safety gates, safety locks a C02 detector and hope I’m safety conscious, always on the lookout for new tips and tricks and story’s like this one encourage and inspire us to all look again to make sure we’re doing what needs to be done.

  7. We make our home look occupied at all times, we ensure that our driveway and entry points to our home have adequate lighting, we installed motion sensor lights as well as an alarm system and we have a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke alarm.

  8. Wehave co2 monitors and smoke monitors, since being on a fire marshall course my husband is a bit fanatical about gas leaks and fires

  9. We are council tenants and our local council do a full check of our boiler, gas fire and gas supply/meter every year, including a carbon monoxide test. We don’t actually use the gas fire in any event as we have central heating but they still check it anyway.

  10. We have 2 smoke alarms (upstairs & downstairs), a CO2 monitor, and i make sure the front and back doors are always locked , even when we are inside x

  11. We stay safe by ensuring that all smoke and other alarms are checked regularly and try to keep up to date with latest safety warnings such as blind cords etc. I also make sure we have an up to date first aid kit

  12. I’m ashamed to say we don’t have a co2 detector but we do get our boiler serviced regularly. We also check the fire alarms monthly xx

  13. We have CO alarms & a new boiler, but this is as we moved to a new build. I was probably just like you in our old home, must be more vigilant x

  14. I have smoke alarms and CO2 alarms. i also have a tracker on my daughter’s phone to ensure I know where she is. We also have a house alarm.

  15. We have smoke and Co2 alarms, we have taught the children when and how to call for an ambulance and they know how to unlock the door to escape in the event of a fire.

  16. Gosh this struck a chord with me. My son and I had CO2 poisoning in 1998, we were extremely lucky and my DS is a strapping 20 year old now! Im hot on CO2 monitors and smoke alarms, not leaving candles unattended when burning, and not staying far away from the tumble dryer when in use. You really cant be too careful these days

  17. generally keep family safe by knowing where everyone is – for gas safety we have detector and also have practised emergency evacuation with the kids – hoping we’ll never need to evacuate for real but want them to know what to do in an emergency.

  18. smoke alarms fire blanket
    we have talked about how we can get out the house if ever there was a fire
    so everybody knows the safest way to get out

  19. I have acombi co2 and smoke detector in the kitchen (which is whereour boiler is) I had quite severecarbon monoxide poisoning when I was at uni from my accomodation – I livd at the top of a tenament building which was empty except for me as itwas used by peopleworking on th oilrigs in the north sea – the ground floor was a beauty salon and it was burned in an arson attack – I was asleep when it happpened and the fire was caught quickly but because they thought the building was empty they didnt let me know i had to leave – when my flat mate came home i was unconscious and got rushed to hospital – since then i am much more aware of carbon monoxide/1

  20. We have both in our house but i could probably do with some more fire alarms upstairs, we had a new bolier 3 years ago but the one before was ancient

  21. I have a bit of an obsession when it comes to safety. Fire and carbon monoxide alarms are a must in my house. Our boiler needs replacing soon so that’s a next box that needs to be ticked on my list.

  22. When my daughter was born our boiler started leaking, I have a friend who works for British Gas and I got him to take a look as we couldn’t afford to pay someone, he immediately condemned it and we had to move out whilst we had a new one fitted. We now have two carbon monoxide alarms in our house

  23. We have two smoke alarms in our house as well as a carbon monoxide alarm. We also have annual checks. We too had a dodgy boiler in the past so can’t be too careful.

  24. We have c02 detectors in the hall by our boiler, my grandaughters have them in the hall and their bedroom and livingroom. Its so good we have stuff like this now thinking of years ago how many people prob lost children to something awful like this and no idea. Thats why l love the internet you can get so much iformation now and blogs of other moms are amazing because its always nice to know you doing things somewere near right, even as a gran now l like to keep up on whats going on and so grateful for all the information thats out there!.

  25. Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarms which we have tested regularly… Can’t be too over cautious with two young children xx

  26. When I was 13 I lost my uncle and aunt due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ever since I’ve been paranoid about C02 and we’ve got an alarm in the house. It went off in the middle of the night a few years ago when the kids were very young and I knew we just had to get out of the house quickly as it affects children straight away. My husband suggested that we switched the boiler off and opened all the windows and we’d be ok, but I said that there was no way the kids or me were staying it was too much of a risk. We woke the kids up, got them in the car and phoned my mum in law and asked if we could stay over. Luckily when the plumber came to check the boiler the following morning he found that it was perfectly safe. It turned out to be a fault on the alarm. But it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’d never be without a CO2 alarm. They don’t cost much but they can save lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.