Gas leaks or carbon monoxide-containing fumes escaping from gas appliances can be extremely dangerous. In addition to the risk of potentially serious injuries by explosions or fire, gas containing carbon monoxide (CO) may also seriously affect your health and could cause brain damage and paralysis. High doses of carbon monoxide can be fatal. Knowing what to do if you smell gas is therefore vital.
What to do if you smell gas
It is normal to be apprehensive about what to do if you smell gas. If at any time you should smell gas, are worried that CO-containing fumes may be escaping from an appliance or believe that there may be a gas leak, you should:
- Immediately call the Gas Emergency Line on 0800 111 999
- Ventilate your property by opening all windows and doors
- Extinguish any naked flames, such as pilot lights, for example
Make sure not to:
- Turn electrical switches on or off
- Strike matches
- Do anything that could cause sparks or ignition
Know the warning signs
Should you or a member of your family experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical assistance as quickly as possible, as they may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Vomiting, visual problems or tiredness
- Stomach pains, chest pains or nausea
- Loss of consciousness, headaches or erratic behaviour
- Drowsiness, dizziness or breathlessness
Rapid detection and treatment of CO poisoning is imperative, as it could otherwise lead to brain damage, paralysis and even death.
While knowing what to do if you smell gas is important, preventing gas-related accidents in the first place is of even higher importance.
While you are responsible for ensuring your gas appliances are maintained in safe working order by qualified professionals in your own home, living in a rented property means this is the responsibility of your landlord.
Duty-bound by law to protect your health and safety by taking all necessary steps to prevent accidents including explosions and fires, slips, trips and falls, and so on, your landlord must make sure the property is kept in a safe condition. This includes ensuring gas appliances are regularly safety tested, maintained and repaired only by qualified, registered engineers.
Your right to claim
Should your landlord neglect this responsibility and you are subsequently made ill by CO poisoning or injured by a gas explosion, slip, trip or fall or other accident your landlord should and could have prevented, you could be eligible to claim for compensation.
Discover more about when and how to make a personal injury claim by talking to Accident Advice Helpline advisors.
Our freephone advice lines on 0800 689 0500, and 0333 500 0993 for mobiles, are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. They are obligation-free and completely confidential.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice