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Silence Kills

Keeping you safe from Carbon Monoxide

There are still multiple deaths every year as a result of CO poisoning. With much of the risk stemming from faulty gas appliances, there is a need for home owners using these appliances to be aware of the dangers, and they are often fatal dangers.

CO is ODOURLESS and COLOURLESS and known to be the silent killer, claiming lives and inflicting irreversible damage such as brain damage and strokes on hundreds more. According to the latest awareness campaign in the UK, carbon monoxide poisoning causes around 50 deaths each year in the UK.

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Testing

All properties in the UK with rooms fitted with a solid fuel burning appliance should have a CO alarm in the room. Only in the past couple of years has it been a legal requirement for private LandLords in England to fit a working CO alarm in all rooms where there is a solid-fuel burning appliance or face a fine of up to £5000, if not fitted.

CO poses a serious risk to anyone who has a fuel burning appliance in their property and the dangers are ever present away from home as well.

Tragic stories of CO poisoning act as a reminder of the need to continue for us to raise awareness of this deadly gas. Therefore, if you are going to stay, babysit, babysit a property, you should always carry a CO alarm with you.

How to stay safe from CO

  • GET an annual gas safety check and make sure that gas, oil and solid fuel-burning appliances are serviced every year. WHEN were YOUR APPLIANCES LAST CHECKED AND TESTED, IF EVER?
  • Fit an audible alarm in the same room as every gas, oil or solid-fuel burning appliance.
  • Make sure the alarm conforms to BS EN 50291 and carries the British Standards Kite mark, or the equivalent European approval.
  • Never bring a barbecue or outdoor heater into an enclosed space.

Do you know the warning signs?

The following signs may indicate that a gas appliance is not working properly and that it could be giving of carbon monoxide:

  • Yellow or orange rather than BLUE flames. The flame may appear ‘floppy’.
  • Dark staining on or around the appliance.
  • Pilot light that goes out frequently.
  • Increased condensation inside windows.

Don't forget that you cannot smell or see carbon monoxide.

Landlords’ Gas Checks

A Guide to Landlords’ Gas Checks

A gas safety check must be carried out at least every 12 months on all relevant gas appliances and relevant chimney/flues owned by a landlord and provided for tenant use. For new gas appliances, and annual check must be carried out within 12 months of installation.

When tenants leave a property, landlords must ensure that gas appliances and fittings are safe before re-letting. This is important as a tenant may have damaged or removed appliances and left uncapped, open-ended gas pipes. Before the property is re-let. Landlords must provide the new tenants with a current gas safety record.

Plumber working in West sussex

The Gas Safe Register has found that a third (34%) of UK homes do not have, or don’t know if they have a working carbon monoxide alarm.


Hire a Professional

Just as there are benefits of hiring a lawyer rather than representing yourself in court or going to a doctor to diagnose an ailment, you will likely benefit from hiring a professional. Be it an architect, a kitchen designer and installer, an interior designer or other trained – licensed or registered craftsman. A professional can help you in countless ways including:-

Helping you to get to know yourself and what you want
Guiding you through the best solutions for your particular issues
Asking you things you would never have thought about as you get too close to your project

Make sure to hire the right professional for you. Doing your homework to find that person will be well worth the time. A professional who will listen to you and you can work with will save you time, money and grief throughout the project.

Unvented Hot Water Storage Cylinders

This news page aims to identify an agreed "best practice" approach to Hot Water Cylinder servicing, whilst noting the important role played by the manufacturers' instructions.
The manufacturers' instructions are the indespensable reference document whenever an unvented water cylinder service is undertaken and you are advised to retain these in a safe place.  It will be helpful to let your service engineer or service provider know, in advance of the appointment, your hot water cylinder make and model, if it is known.

  Unvented Hot Water Storage Cylinder Servicing Guide
Service checks (guide only)        * The service engineer should be Domestic Hot Water Systems G3 qualified and competent person.

The service engineer should:

  1. Have the manufacturer's instructions for your cylinder available. If these are not to hand the manufacturer's website should be consulted where downloadable copies can be accessed.
  2. Discuss with you whether you know of any existing issues with the system and/or whether it has been performing satisfactorily recently e.g.  Has the water been hot enough, have you noticed any leaks, has there been any drips or flow of water noticeable at the Tundish, is the flow sufficient?
  3. Visually check the cylinder for any obvious defects.  Make suitable checks to assess whether or not the appliance has been installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and any relevant regulations.
  4. Identify the type of expansion system used - this will be either an internal expansion volume or external expansion vessel.  Check that the expansion vessel system is installed according to manufacturer's instructions.  Generic advice is given below.  In all cases, where the manufacturer's instructions conflict with the recommendations below, manufacturer's instructions should take precedence.
    • For a seperate expansion system, close the mains supply, open a hot water tap at the same level or above the cylinder to depressurise the cylinder.  Check the pressure of the expansion vessel.  Recharge to the labelled pressure of the expansion vessel.  Recharge to the labelled pressure of the vessel.  Close the hot water tap, and open the cold water mains supply.
    • For a bubble top/air gap system.  Partially drain the cylinder according to manufacrurer's instructions and refill.
    • For alternative sysytems, follow the manufacturer's instructutions should take precedence.
  5. Clean the line strainer.  Check the condition of any seals and replace where necessary.
  6. Check the T&PR (Temperature & Pressure Relief valve) and Expansion Valves are operating correctly.  Water should be run through each valve for aproximately 30 seconds to ensure that any loose scale build up, or debris is flushed through before re-sealing.
  7.  Whilst checking the safety valve operation above, check that the tundish drains and discharges correctly and there are no blockages.
  8. Check that any interlocks with external controls (such as your heating programmer) are operating correctly.  Note: It may be necessary to over-ride the programmed time settings to do this.and the service engineer should return the system to its original settings on             completion of these checks.
  9. With the unit hot, check the outlet temperature at the outlet closest to the cylinder to determine the correct functioning of the thermostat. Note: thermostat controls will have an operational tolerance and switching differential so the temperature recorded may vary from the "set" temperature by a few degrees.  Most storage cylinders recommend storing hot water at a temperature of approximately 60 degrees centergade.  When checking the outlet temperature ensure the outlet used is not fed via a thermostatic blending valve such as a mixer shower or some baths, which will reduce the hot water temperature at the outlet to below the storage temperature.
  10. Carry out a visual check of any electrical wiring associated with the cylinder, immersion heater and its controls. 
  11. If the system has an anode this will be checked in accordance with the servicing requirements in the manufacturer's instructions.
  12. Check the condition of the electrical housing(s). If broken, or cannot be securely closed, a replacement is strongly recommended.
  13. Check the condition of flexible hoses where used.
  14. Complete the Commissioning Certificate/Service Record, and provide any additional work documentation either routinely or if you the customer request this.
Following completion of the necessary service checks and actions the Service Engineer should:
  • Explain to you what procedures have been carried out.
  • Should further work be required, they should explain to you what this is, why it is required to be done, and provide a quotation if the work is to be covered by the manufacturer's wqrranty or and existing service contract.
  • Demonstrate that the cylinder and water heating system have been left in a working condition by drawing off some hot water and checking that the thermostatic controls switch on to reheat the water in the cylinder, whether by a remote heat source (such as a boiler) or an electric immersion heater.
  • Advise that the continued servicing of your cylinder every 12 months is recommended, and that in most instances it will be a condition of the manufacturer's warranty that an UNVENTED cylinder is appropriately serviced on a regular basis as advised by the manufacturer, by a competent and registered engineer.
  • Ask you to counter sign the Service Record sheet or documentation to show that you are satisfied with the work carried out. Ensure you receive the original.
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