Gas safety

Gas safety for council tenants

What to do if you smell gas or spot a carbon monoxide leak

Faulty gas appliances can be dangerous so it’s important you have them checked regularly and that you know how to spot a fault

We check the safety of gas appliances in your home every year, between 10 and 12 months from the previous visit. A Bristol City Council Gas Safe registered engineer will carry out the work in your home.

If you smell gas

If you smell gas in your home, you need to:

  • turn off the gas using the emergency control valve which is usually next to the gas meter
  • if the meter is fitted in a cellar or basement and you smell gas, don’t enter, and evacuate the building
  • turn off gas appliances
  • extinguish all naked flames, including any smoking materials
  • open all windows and doors
  • don’t operate any electrical appliances  or switches by turning them on or off, including door bells and mobile phones
  • call the National Gas Emergency Service on Freephone 0800 111 999 and they’ll talk you through safety advice and send an engineer free of charge to help
  • open the door manually when the gas engineer arrives, and don’t use the intercom system
  • don’t attempt to try and repair any gas appliances or pipework yourself

Carbon monoxide

Unsafe gas appliances can produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide. It can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage.

Carbon monoxide can be produced when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

Oil, petrol, coal and wood can also produce carbon monoxide.

Spotting a carbon monoxide leak

Any of the following could be a sign of carbon monoxide in your home:

  • flames of a lazy yellow or orange colour on your gas hob, instead of a crisp blue
  • dark staining on or around gas appliances
  • a pilot light that frequently blows out
  • increased condensation inside windows

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Faulty appliances in your home can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.  Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • headaches or dizziness
  • breathlessness
  • nausea
  • loss of consciousness
  • tiredness
  • pains in the chest or stomach
  • erratic behaviour
  • visual problems

If you think you’ve been poisoned by carbon monoxide you should:

  • open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and get fresh air immediately
  • see your doctor straight away or go to hospital: let them know that you think you’ve been poisoned by carbon monoxide and they can do a blood or breath test to check
  • if you think there’s an immediate danger, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999
  • call us on 0117 922 2200 and we’ll send a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there’s a problem

Find out more about carbon monoxide, how to spot it, and what to do if you've been poisoned on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Fitting a new gas appliance

If you want to fit a new gas appliance into your home you’ll need to get permission from us first. If we’ve given you permission, you’ll need to agree to the following:

  • it must be installed by a Gas Safety registered engineer, details are on the Gas Safe Register website
  • all appliances must be installed using the manufacturer’s instructions  and the current Gas Safety and Use Regulations
  • you need to make sure that you operate appliances safely using the manufacturer’s instructions
  • don’t block any ventilation
  • the appliance must be inspected as part of our gas servicing programme