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Dangers of leaving central heating on overnight?

Have you ever tried leaving central heating on overnight? When the weather is cold, we are all tempted to do this as it keeps the temperature steady in the home throughout the night and means you don’t have to worry about waking up feeling cold and needing to get up and turn it on, but is it safe?

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Do I have a claim?

  1. Did the accident happen within the last two years?
  2. Did you suffer an injury as a result?
  3. Is someone else either fully or partly to blame?
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If the answer to all these questions is yes, you may have the right to compensation.

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Does leaving central heating on mean higher bills?

It stands to reason the more you use your central heating, the higher your heating bill will be. Costs have also gone up in recent times. One comparison study found the cost of heating a three-bedroom house with a condensing gas boiler in 2011 was £835, and three years later it had gone up to £1,119. This represents an increase of 34.01% . However, a modern condensing boiler has the potential to be more energy efficient, saving around 13% in gas use.

Safety should always be your primary concern, though. If your boiler is faulty or there is something wrong with your central heating system, it could lead to a variety of issues:

  • Fire
  • Gas explosion
  • Carbon monoxide leakage

If your boiler breaks down and the temperatures are low enough, it could also potentially lead to a frozen or burst pipe. This could lead to water damage if the water supply isn't quickly turned off. If it makes the floor slippery, it might also lead you to slip and fall.

Do you live in a rented property?

If so, the boiler in that property should be maintained regularly and serviced annually. If it develops a fault and your landlord doesn't get it sorted out, they could be held accountable if you were leaving central heating on and an accident resulted. For example, if there was an electrical fault with the boiler that sparked a fire in which you were injured, you could claim for the injuries you received. A case of negligence could be argued in this situation.

There is nothing wrong with leaving central heating on, as we've seen. Of course, you may not know whether your central heating system is safe, and if it hasn't been serviced in ages your landlord won't be adhering to the health and safety regulations and responsibilities they have. Fortunately, most landlords do, but there are potential risks if they don't. That applies to everyone, of course, but if you live in your own property you are the one responsible for getting the annual service completed by a qualified engineer.

Are you at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning by leaving the central heating on?

Around 50 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year. A further 150 or so end up in hospital suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Faulty boilers are just one potential source of carbon monoxide fumes. You might also be affected by faulty gas fires, water heaters and cookers. Poor maintenance can potentially increase the chances of being affected by this gas, which can neither be seen nor smelt. That's the main reason it is so deadly.

Seizures, vertigo and a loss of consciousness are among the symptoms you may experience if you are affected by a carbon monoxide leak. Not only should you seek medical help, you should also make sure your home is checked for the leak before you go back. A qualified Gas Safe engineer should be able to do this and to fix any problems with your heating system if you were leaving central heating on, regardless of whether this was during the night or day. If you suspect you have been affected in this way, make sure you get out of your property as quickly as possible. Don't let anyone else stay there or go inside either, until it has been checked and confirmed to be safe. Ideally, you should have a carbon monoxide alarm to alert you to the presence of this gas in the atmosphere. It could be a life-saver.

Leaving central heating on should be safe

If you rent your property, you now know your landlord has legal duties to follow regarding safety. If you have fallen ill because of carbon monoxide poisoning, or you were injured in a gas explosion or something similar happened that was due to negligence, you should find out more about making a compensation claim. Accident Advice Helpline regularly speak to people from all walks of life who have suffered injuries that were not their fault. Being in this situation can be worrying and emotional, and it can take time to recover. Indeed, in some cases, people are left with injuries or symptoms that never fully heal or go away.

Would you like free initial advice?

If you suspect negligence was the reason for your own accident, injury or illness, speak to a member of our team today. Even if your injuries were minor and you were very lucky if something went wrong with your boiler, it's still worth asking whether compensation might be won on your behalf. Accident Advice Helpline is here to assist you, and you need only call 0800 083 5045 to find out more. Leaving central heating on should be safe, and in most cases, it is. However, as we have seen here, there are situations where things can go wrong, and if they do, they have the potential to lead to some serious and possibly life-threatening situations.

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