19 September 2017 BY: CATHERINE LAWRENCE

Here at Alpha we are proud to be joining businesses and organisations from across the industry to support Gas Safety Week. The annual event, now in its seventh year, aims to highlight the issues surrounding gas safety and promote best practice.

As in previous years, Gas Safety Week 2017 is raising awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning including highlighting the stories of people who have been affected by unsafe gas appliances. Gas Safe Register, who organises Gas Safety Week, is also once again promoting the importance of engineers showing their Gas Safe ID card whenever work is carried out. Just as important is reminding customers that they should always ask to see it – a good way to avoid unqualified tradespeople.

To help spread the word about improving gas safety, here is some great advice to share with your customers:

  • All gas appliances should be regularly serviced and safety checked every year.
  • Only a Gas Safe registered engineer should fit, fix and service gas appliances.
  • Make sure the engineer is qualified for the work that needs to be done.
  • Unsafe gas appliances can put residents at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions. Make sure customers know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Remind them of the signs that a gas appliance is not working properly such as lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones and black marks or stains on or around the appliance.
  • Always recommend an audible carbon monoxide alarm be fitted in the home.

In addition to general gas safety advice for homeowners there are specific boiler issues that engineers need to be aware of such as ‘zombie boilers’. These are boilers that keep on going despite being upwards of 20 years old and are a common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. Not only do they sometimes become life threatening but these boilers are often very inefficient, costly to run and produce higher levels of CO2 emissions as well.

Finally, although often overlooked, ensuring that only genuine spares are used for work on gas appliances is also an important factor. It can be tempting to purchase replacement parts for a lower price, especially in such a competitive sector. However, it is important to consider the quality of the spares and unfortunately if the price seems too good to be true it often is. Purchasing only genuine spares and quality materials from a reputable supplier will give you the peace of mind that the work you are completing will remain safe and reliable.

To find out more about Gas Safety Week visit