Looking after your home

"I want to know what help is available to me to manage my home."

Gas safety

Unsafe gas appliances can leak gas, which can cause fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning, all of which are extremely dangerous and can kill instantly. Take time to learn the warning signs you need to look out for to keep yourself and those around you safe from gas disasters.

Report a leak straightaway

If you smell gas, leave the house and call the gas emergency number from a mobile phone. Do not use a phone inside the house. The number is free to call and the line is monitored 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call the gas emergency number 0800 111 999

Top gas safety tips

Get your gas boiler checked every year by a gas safety registered engineer.
Don’t tamper with your gas appliance. If your appliance is broken, make sure you get it fixed by a gas safety engineer rather than try to fix it yourself.
Only use your gas appliance for the purpose it is intended. For example, never use a gas cooker to heat a room, or cook food over your gas fire.
Make sure you clean your appliances regularly (excluding the boiler) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is to prevent the build-up of dirt and blocked vents.
Check your appliances once a month for indicators that they could be unsafe, such as loose pipes.
Be aware of the warning signs of an unsafe gas appliance.
Have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, and check it once a month to make sure it is working.

Gas leaks

Gas is an odourless substance but gas suppliers add a potent smell to it, similar to rotten eggs, to help you detect when there is a leak. This is often the first sign that you notice, however you may also experience:

  • a hissing or whistling sound
  • bubbles, dust, or a ‘cloud’ in standing water
  • visible damage to a gas line connection
  • house plants that die suddenly
  • symptoms that indicate carbon monoxide poisoning.

What to do if you think you have a gas leak


Open doors and windows to allow fresh air in.
Turn off the gas at the mains tap. This is usually near the meter.
Make sure everyone exits your property.
Call the gas emergency number. Wait until you are outside the property and use your mobile phone.
Follow the advice given by the emergency adviser.
Wait outside the property for a gas engineer to arrive.
If you are feeling unwell, visit your GP or hospital immediately. Tell them you may have been exposed to a gas leak or carbon monoxide poisoning.


Smoke, light a match or use any other naked flame.
Turn any light switches or other electrical switches on or off.
Use a doorbell, phone (landline or mobile) or any other electrical device that could cause a spark.

Warning signs of an unsafe appliance

It’s important to do a monthly check of all your gas appliances to make sure they are working correctly.

Check for:

  • yellow flames (instead of a crisp, clean blue flame), include pilot lights
  • black marks or stains on or around your gas appliance
  • excessive condensation.

If you notice any of these, contact an emergency Gas Safe engineer immediately.

More information about checking your gas appliance is available on the Gas Safe Register website.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of any carbon fuel, such as:

  • natural gas
  • liquified petroleum gas (LPG)
  • coal
  • wood
  • petrol
  • oil.

It can build up if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked. It can also happen when a gas appliance has:

  • not been fitted correctly
  • been badly repaired
  • not been maintained or is poorly maintained.

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

You can’t see, taste or smell carbon monoxide, and as some symptoms mimic the effects of viruses and even a bad hangover it’s easy to overlook it.

Make sure you know the physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning so you seek help quickly. These are:

  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • breathlessness
  • collapse
  • loss of consciousness.

Other signs that could indicated carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  • you have the symptoms above while you are in the house, but they disappear when you leave.
  • others in your household, including pets, are experiencing similar symptoms at the same time as you.

Gas Safe engineers

When dealing with a substance as dangerous as gas, it is important that you make sure the professionals fitting, maintaining, or servicing your appliances are experienced and qualified to do so. This will avoid problems going unnoticed or appliances being installed incorrectly.

All reputable and competent gas engineers are listed on the Gas Safe register and carry a Gas Safe identification card. If someone is working with gas appliances and is not registered with Gas Safe, they are breaking the law.

When you hire an engineer from the Gas Safe Register you can do so with confidence that they:

  • can legally and safely work with gas appliances
  • are qualified and experienced
  • are regularly inspected to ensure high standards of work
  • will provide a full and thorough service.

You can find a Gas Safe registered engineer on the Gas Safe Register website.

Gas safety checks

It is recommended that all gas appliances within your home are checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.


If you are a homeowner, you are not required by law to have an annual gas safety check. However by having your gas appliances inspected regularly, you can have peace of mind knowing that they are not a safety hazard to you or your family.

Gas safety checks should only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer and you’ll need to pay them for this service. However you may qualify for a free gas safety check from your energy supplier.

Council and private tenants

If you rent your property, then your landlord has specific duties for gas safety within your home. This includes a yearly safety check on your home. Find out more about landlords and gas safety on the East Riding of Yorkshire website.

What happens during a gas safety check

A gas safety check is designed to inspect any gas appliances in a property to make sure that they are working safely and efficiently. This includes boilers, cookers and fires.

A typical check will make sure:

  • the installation is safe and suitable for the location
  • an appliance is operating at the correct pressure
  • there is an adequate air supply to the appliance and that it is burning gas correctly
  • that flues and chimneys are clear and fumes and gases from the appliance are vented safely outside
  • all safety devices on an appliance are working correctly.

Free safety checks for homeowners

If you own your own home you may qualify for a free gas safety check from your energy supplier.

You must:

  • receive a means-tested benefit
  • have not had a gas safety check in your home in the last 12 months

and fit at least 1 of the following criteria. You:

  • live with at least 1 person who is aged 4 years or under
  • have reached state pension age, have a disability or you are chronically ill AND you live alone
  • have reached state pension age, have a disability or you are chronically ill AND you live with others who either:
    • have reached state pension age
    • have a disability
    • are chronically ill
    • are aged 17 or under.

Means-tested benefits

Here are the means-tested benefits that qualify towards a free safety check:

  • income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • income support
  • pension credit (guaranteed)
  • tax credits (child tax credit and working tax credit)
  • housing benefit
  • council tax support
  • universal credit.

How to request a free safety check

As this service is offered by your energy supplier, you need to contact them direct. You will find contact details for them on a recent energy bill or by visiting their website.

If you do not know who your energy supplier is, you can find information on how to locate your gas or electricity supplier on the Ofgem website.