How to stay safe and snug this winter

Monday, 9th December 2019

Our Heating Compliance Manager, David Brown, shares some handy hints to keep you and your home safe and warm over winter

Don’t miss your boiler’s annual health check
We all want and expect our heating systems to whir into action during the cold winter months so it’s important they’re properly serviced.

The good news is that as a Karbon customer, you’re entitled to an annual service for your gas boilers and other heating appliances. As your landlord, we have a duty to make sure your appliances and connected pipework are safe.

Our engineers carry out services throughout the year. So, if you’ve not already had your service, look out for an appointment letter from the heating compliance team. You’re welcome to change this appointment if it’s not convenient, but it’s crucial we carry out our inspection to keep you, your family and visitors safe. Normally our appointments take just 30 to 60 minutes.

Please let us know if you're not going to be in for your appointment as your appointment could have been given to another customer.

Follow the golden rules of gas safety

1. Never put clothes on or over your heating appliance
2. Never block or obstruct fixed ventilation grills or air bricks
3. Never paint the boiler or gas fire fronts
4. Know where your Valve is (handle next to the gas metre) so you can switch it off if you smell gas.

In your home, look out for:

• Yellow or orange flames that would normally burn blue
• Soot or stains around appliances
• Pilot lights which frequently go out

Be carbon monoxide smart
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas produced when a gas appliance or boiler has not been installed correctly or maintained, or when a flue or chimney is blocked.

It’s sometimes called the silent killer, because you can’t see, taste or smell it, but it can kill within hours.

Remember to look out for these main symptoms: headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness.

These symptoms are similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.

Useful contacts
• Smell gas or you think you have a gas leak? Call the Emergency Services Provider, SGN on 0800 111 999.
• Think there’s a risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning? Do the above and see your doctor immediately or go to hospital.
• Gas appliances not working properly? Turn them off then call our usual number 0808 164 0111 to report the problem.

Test alarms to check they're working
Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly. Ask us for advice if you don’t have devices in your home.

Invest in a fireguard
Lots of us who have fires will be reaching for the switch on our gas or electric fire over these chilly months. Make sure everyone keeps a safe distance by investing in a fireguard. When buying, make sure you choose a model that conforms to the latest safety standard, BS 8423:2010 +A1:2016.

Check bath water temperature
There’s nothing nicer than sinking into a warm bath in the depths of winter but make sure the water's not too hot. Young children and older people are at the greatest risk of scalding because their skin is thinner, so always double check the temperature.

Locate your stop tap
Make sure you know where your mains stop tap is and check it’s easy to turn. If water pipes freeze they can burst so you need to be able to turn your water off.

Remember, we’re always on hand to help with safety and heating and maintenance advice.