If you think you have a problem with your gas, you must take action immediately.

What to do if you suspect a gas leak:

· Call the 24-hour national gas emergency service free on 0800 111 999. Do not use a phone/mobile phone near a gas leak as it might ignite a spark.
· Check if your boiler pilot light has gone out. If any gas appliances have been left on, turn them off.
· Do not turn light switches on or off, use doorbells, mobile phones, or any other electrical switches as they may cause a spark.
· Do not smoke, light matches or use any other kind of naked flame.
· Open doors and windows to clear the gas.
· Turn the main gas tap on the pipe leading into the meter to the ‘OFF’ position. The supply is off when the ridged line on the spindle is across the pipe.

Gas safety check

If you’re a homeowner, have your gas appliances, flues and pipework checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If you rent, your landlord is responsible for carrying out a Gas safety check once a year and should provide you with the gas safety certificate. For more information, download this document from the Health and Safety Executive.

Who can check or fix gas appliances?

Gas Safe Registered engineers are the only people legally allowed to work on gas appliances. All Gas Safe registered engineers carry an ID card as proof of identity. You can check if an engineer is registered on the Gas Safe Register website or by phoning them on 0800 408 5500. (Please note: the Gas Safe Register used to be known as Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI), which was abolished 1st April 2009).

Why are regular gas safety checks important?

Regular maintenance and safety checks can prevent gas leaks and stop carbon monoxide being released. A Gas Safe Registered engineer will check the appliance is well maintained and operating correctly. They’ll check the following when carrying out an examination of any gas appliance:
• the effectiveness of any flue;
• the supply of combustion air;
• its operating pressure or heat input or, where necessary, both; and
• its operation so as to ensure its safe functioning.

If an appliance fails a gas safety check, it will be disconnected and labelled to say that it’s not safe. Do not use this appliance until it has been repaired or serviced by a qualified engineer.

More information from the Health and Safety Executive.

You can keep you gas appliances safe yourself by making sure ventilation bricks or grilles or outside flues are never covered or blocked.

Free annual gas safety checks

The cost of a gas safety check varies depending on where you live and how many appliances in your home need to be checked, so it’s best to get a few quotes and compare.

However, all energy suppliers can provide free gas safety checks on internal gas appliances, to customers in the following circumstances:

· who receive means tested benefits
· where at least one occupant is aged 5 years or under
· who are of pensionable age, disabled or chronically sick, and either live alone or live with others who are all of pensionable age, disabled, chronically sick or under the age of 18.

If you are eligible for a free gas safety check, please request one by emailing gas.safety@goodenergy.co.uk. We will only provide a free gas safety check if one has not been carried out within the past 12 months.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide can be released by faulty gas appliances. It can also be caused by burning solid fuels in spaces without enough ventilation – for example having an open fire with a blocked chimney.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling carbon dioxide, and kills around 30 people a year.

Warning signs of leaking carbon monoxide

As carbon monoxide gas is colourless, odourless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating it is very difficult to detect. Be aware of these warning signs in your home:

· Orange or yellow gas flames
· Increased condensation in the room or near appliances
· Fumes or smoke in the house
· Solid fuel (coal or wood) will be more difficult to light, burn slowly or go out.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

Exposure to carbon monoxide can be dangerous to human health. Symptoms are often mistaken for common flu and include:

· Headaches
· Breathlessness
· Nausea
· Dizziness
· Collapse
· Loss of consciousness
· Tiredness
· Drowsiness
· Vomiting
· Pains in the chest
· Stomach pains
· Erratic behaviour
· Visual problems

What to do if you have a carbon monoxide leak

In the home, carbon monoxide is most often produced by heaters, and cooking equipment – especially if they run on gas. If you think you have a carbon monoxide leak, follow these steps:

· Switch off the faulty appliance
· Switch off your gas supply at the main control valve
· Phone the national Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999
· Open all your doors and windows to ventilate the house
· If you have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, seek urgent medical attention.

How to prevent carbon monoxide leaks

· Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm that is compliant with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as Kitemark. Find out more about making sure you install the correct carbon monoxide alarm.
· Ensure chimneys, flues and air vents are not blocked or covered up.
· Make sure gas appliances are regularly checked and serviced by a Gas Safe Register engineer.

Be-alarmed is the national campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by carbon monoxide. The website has plenty of information on how to stay safe and what to do in an emergency.

Stay energy safe

Tampering with an electricity or gas meter is illegal. It is also extremely dangerous and can be fatal.

Tampering with electricity meters could lead to a short circuit, wiring overheating or even a fire. Wires that seem safe can become ‘live’, putting you at risk of a fatal electric shock.

Tampering with a gas meter could cause a gas leak. Gas leaks can cause headaches and possible loss of conscious. But more seriously it only takes a spark to cause a serious explosion.

Tampering with your meters is known as energy theft, which can lead to a fine or a prison sentence.

How to report energy theft

If you see a suspicious metering setup or suspect energy theft, then we urge you to report it. This can be done anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 0232 777.

For more information on how to spot meter tampering or the impacts it can have, visit the Crimestoppers Energy Safe website at www.stayenergysafe.co.uk.

Read the energy Theft Charter to understand our obligations as an energy supplier to keep customers safe from meter tampering and energy theft.

What to do if you need support with your energy bills

If you’re struggling to pay for your energy, please contact us and we’ll help you find an affordable solution.

There’s also lots of independent support available. Contact Citizens Advice for free and independent advice about your energy. Or get in contact with organisations such as StepChange for support with energy debt.