What to do in an electricity or gas emergency.
If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak at your property, then call the National Gas Emergency Helpline immediately on:
What to do when you suspect a gas leak:
Open windows and doors.
Turn off your gas supply at the meter (unless it’s in the cellar or basement).
Turn all gas appliances off.
Don't use light switches, doorbells or any electrical switches.
Don't smoke, light matches or use cigarette lighters.
Put out any naked flames, such as candles.
How to turn off the gas supply:
You'll need to use the handle that is attached to the Emergency Control Valve (ECV). You'll normally find this next to the meter.
When the ECV is on it'll be in line with the pipe and valve.
Turn the ECV handle a quarter turn to the level is at 90 degrees to the ECV's body.
If the ECV is stuck or too difficult to move then you should evacuate.
Carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that has no smell or taste. It’s extra dangerous because breathing it in could kill you.
We don’t want that to happen, so we’ll help you watch for its signs.
Incorrectly installed, badly maintained or poorly ventilated household appliances that use gas, oil, coal or wood are the most common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Since 2015, if you live in a rental property in England, it's a legal requirement for your landlord to install a smoke alarm on every floor of the premises and a carbon monoxide detector in rooms containing solid fuel appliances.
Don’t take any chances, if you’re worried about carbon monoxide leaking from a gas appliance, call:
How to tell if you've got a carbon monoxide leak.
The first thing to do is make sure that you have a carbon monoxide detector fitted with an audible alert. There are also tell-tale signs that you can look for:
The pilot light keeps going out.
Yellow or brown stains on or near an appliance.
A yellow flame instead of a blue flame (apart from flueless fires).
More condensation than is normal on the inside of your windows.
What do to do if you think you have a carbon monoxide leak.
Turn off the affected appliance and don't use it again until it's been checked by a Gas Safe engineer.
Open all your windows and doors.
Don't smoke, light a match or anything else that could cause a spark.
Talk to your GP if you're feeling unwell. You can ask for a blood or breath test to check for carbon monoxide poisoning.
If someone in your property feels unwell, take them outside and either call 999 or go to your nearest hospital.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be very similar to many common illnesses like flu or food poisoning, so make sure you tell your GP if you think it could be carbon monoxide poisoning.
Common symptoms can include:
Feeling or being sick.
Tiredness or drowsiness.
The longer you breathe in carbon monoxide, the worse your symptoms will get. Severe symptoms can include:
Personality changes or unusual behaviour.
Tachycardia (a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute).
Chest pain caused by angina or a heart attack.
Seizures or muscle spasms.
Loss of consciousness.
Even small amounts of the gas can cause poisoning, and long term exposure to it can result in paralysis and even brain damage.
Be aware that babies, young children, pregnant women and people with heart or breathing problems may be affected by carbon monoxide more quickly than others.