We’re supporting CO Awareness Week (18-24 November 2019) by reminding people of the four steps they can take to stay gas safe at home.

As the winter months approach and the temperatures plummet, many people will switch on their central heating or gas fires for the first time in months. without stopping to consider the potentially fatal consequences of an unchecked appliance.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning, known as the ‘Silent Killer’. Signs to look out for include:

  • Gas appliances burning with a lazy yellow or orange flame instead of crisp and blue
  • Increased condensation inside windows
  • Pilot lights blowing out frequently
  • Soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances

CO is emitted by faulty appliances powered by any fuel that burns – gas, coal, oil, petrol and wood. The symptoms from inhaling it include headache, dizziness, vomiting and shortness of breath. Sometimes people have ‘flu-like’ symptoms, but without the high temperature.

In the UK alone each year around 40 people die and over 4000 are injured as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wales & West Utilities is reminding people of the four steps they can take to stay gas safe at home.

  • Take this opportunity to get prepared. CO Alarms are important but there is no substitute for getting your gas appliances serviced by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer.
  • Always use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to fit, fix and service your gas appliances. It’s the law.
  • The Priority Service Register helps us look after those who need it most. Sign up if you’re eligible.
  • Know your numbers: If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of CO, call us on 0800 111 999 at any time of day or night.

With more households likely to turn their heating on during the next few weeks, we are reminding people to get ready for winter by making sure their gas appliances are fitted and working correctly, and of the importance of having an audible CO alarm.

We are also urging people to save the National Gas Emergency Number 0800 111 999 in your phone and call it immediately if you smell gas or suspect the presence of CO

Remember if you smell gas or are worried about gas safety, you can call 0800 111 999 at any time, day or night, 365 days a year.

Now’s the time to get ready for winter – it may save your life.

Wales & West Utilities Head of Emergency & Metering Services, Clive Book

CO Awareness Week is an annual safety week led by Energy UK raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide, and aims to ensure that we all know how to protect ourselves from the ‘silent killer’.

Wales & West Utilities has a team of more than 1000 trained and experienced engineers to help serve the 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales that rely on its gas emergency and pipeline services. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.

Our team is also working on a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being upgraded to new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.