When it comes to gas, safety is a top priority. Keeping up on gas safety checks and knowing what to look out for are crucial for ensuring that your home is safe from unwanted gas leaks. From hiring a professional to checking in regularly yourself, here is everything you need to know about gas safety checks.
What is a gas safety check and who is authorised to do one?
A gas check is a safety procedure in which a Gas Safe certified heating engineer assesses your home’s gas system and appliances to make sure that everything is working properly. A Gas Safe heating engineer will have been through an apprenticeship program and received a Gas Safe ID to prove that they are qualified to perform gas safety checks.
During the check, the Gas Safe engineer will make sure that ventilation passages are functioning correctly and are not blocked, that the safety devices in your gas system are working efficiently, that the system’s pressure is accurate, that all of the fittings are secured and without leaks, and that the gas leaving the home is clean and not harmful.
How often do you need to get a gas safety check?
Gas safety checks should be performed annually by a certified professional. If you’re renting your home, be sure to understand the agreement of your lease with respect to who is responsible for carrying out these annual checks.
According to the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations of 1998, landlords are required to obtain a gas safety certificate (CP12) every twelve months to ensure that their properties are gas safe. Some commercial properties, however, hold the tenant responsible for arranging annual gas safety checks after the first certificate expires.
If you’re a tenant, understand the responsibilities of your landlord and the details of your lease. If you bring any appliances into your home, for example, your landlord is legally responsible for checking the gas pipes leading into those appliances, but not the appliances themselves. Try to be present when a Gas Safe heating engineer does a safety check in your home so you can ask questions and know if anything doesn’t get looked at during the safety check.
Why is it so important to perform gas safety checks every year?
Carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas that can be fatal. It is produced when gas or Liquid Petroleum Gas are not completely burned off, like in the case of a gas leak. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause brain damage or even death, so being cautious about gas leaks is one way to avoid these potential dangers.
Other dangers include explosions and harmful emissions into the air, all of which can be avoided by ensuring that gas appliances are functioning properly and are correctly fitted.
What else can you do to be extra cautious about gas in your home or commercial space?
Throughout the year, you can protect your home from gas leaks by knowing what to look for. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. If you suspect there is carbon monoxide in your home, get fresh air immediately by opening doors and windows, turn off your gas appliances and leave the home. See a doctor right away, and call a professional Gas Safe heating engineer to inspect your home before returning.
Your home can also show signs of a carbon monoxide leak, including lazy yellow or orange flames on your cooker (rather than crisp and blue ones), dark staining on appliances, frequently blown out pilot lights, and increased condensation inside windows. The best detection method you can invest in – in conjunction with annual gas safety checks – is a carbon monoxide detector. This inexpensive device will alarm you if there is carbon monoxide in your home. Make sure it’s marked EN 50291 and is marked by a European approval standard.
By staying up-to-date on gas safety checks, repairing broken appliances and regularly servicing boilers, you can feel more confident that your home is safe from harmful gas leaks. Pay attention to warning signs and symptoms of dangerous leaks, and be sure that you are working with a Gas Safe engineer and asking him or her the questions you have about your home and appliances.
About the author: Dave Holliday is the owner of Watertite Plumbing in Bristol. Dave has helped many homeowners and landlords with their plumbing, boiler and gas safety checks. You can connect with Dave on Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn or call Watertite Plumbing and Heating on 01179 093 967.
Ah, summer! Vacation time! Sounds wonderful, right? But add a baby or toddler to the equation, and you’ll find yourself needing a vacation from your vacation! How can you minimize the vacation stress? Is it even possible to navigate a family vacation minus meltdowns? Try these tested strategies for keeping the fun in your vacation while keeping the drama out.
- Plan Extra Time. Remember it’s not a race to get to your destination as quickly as possible. Make the car trip as enjoyable as possible by planning extra stops and lots of buffer room into your schedule. Stop and let baby stretch when he’s getting cranky. Make sure she has her blankie Being strapped in a car seat for hours on end isn’t fun for anyone!
- Pack Snacks and Surprises. When my daughter was younger, I made a special trip to the dollar store just to purchase surprise toys for the trip. Magnet dolls, army men, new coloring books, and new games can go a long way to keeping the element of fun in your trip! For babies and toddlers, extra snacks and drinks help them stay occupied and keep away the crankiness, too.
- Focus on Family. Don’t try to fit in adult activities and entertainment with a baby or young children in tow. You’ll be frustrated and so will baby. Find zoos, waterparks, kiddie rides or beaches that allow you to hang out or move at your own pace. Bring along extra baby supplies you will need, like burp cloths, bibs and security blankets. Long lines and rushing from one show to the next will only create frazzled kids and parents all around. Save those for an outing without baby or for when the kids are older.
- Create Adult Time. When we went on vacation with my family recently, we made sure that each parent got a night out by rotating who would stay at the beach house with the kids. This way we adults got time to ourselves and time together without the kids, too. And the kids were not kept out late or made to sit at restaurants beyond their capacity to be still. Everyone wins!
- Stick to Schedules. Everyone knows that vacations are the time to go with the flow and throw out bedtimes and naptimes, right? Wrong! While flexibility is great, kids who stay up late every night after being on the go and in the water all day turn into meltdown monsters! Young children and babies especially need a certain amount of sleep to maintain emotional equilibrium and to stay healthy. Have you ever wondered why we all tend to get sick on or right after vacation? Lack of sleep may be a big factor! So plan fun-filled activities during the day and come back early enough at night to allow the kids to wind down, cuddle with you and their baby blanket and get to bed at a decent time each night. If you have a sitter or are vacationing with another family, you can always rotate nights out as adults (see #4). Also, plan a down-time in the afternoon for at least one nap for the littlest ones. Snuggling with their favorite blanket will also give them a sense of security in a strange place. Everybody will benefit from the opportunity to recharge before going out to play again.
Vacations can be fun, not frenzied. They can bring pleasant memories, not meltdowns. All it takes is a little planning and preparation. Remember that these years with babies and young children will soon be past. We adults will have time to ourselves once again. Until then, let’s maximize the fun for our kids and minimize the frustration on vacations!
There has been plenty of research that shows that when we eat and drink, the prolonged exposure to the acids in the things that we consume softens the enamel of our teeth. Without the proper care and attention, over time, your teeth will start to deteriorate and rot away. But, by taking care of your teeth properly, you can keep them looking pearly white and in excellent condition for many years to come. It is very easy to do, and will only take a few minutes each day. Not much of a price for a great smile!
Visit your Dentist
The first step in taking excellent care of your teeth is to visit a dentist, at least, every six months. If you suffer from any condition, you may need to see your dentist more regularly, but regular check-ups as well as a visit to the hygienist will help to keep your smile beaming. Visiting a dentist in Brisbane, if you happen to live near the area, for a regular check-up is a lot cheaper than not going and having to get expensive work done later down the line.
Watch what you Eat
As we are assaulting our teeth every time we eat, you will want to limit the number of times that you eat meals or snacks each day. Stay away from sugary foods and drinks, and when you have finished, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. Doing this will help to prevent tooth decay as well as softening of the enamel. Try and eat healthy snacks and always make sure your mouth is clean after eating. You will also want to stay away from foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.
Brush your Teeth Properly
It is recommended that you brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes each time, and as often as every meal, or at least twice a day. The more that you brush your teeth, the cleaner and whiter they will be. Many adults probably spend half that amount of time brushing their teeth, as well as not using the correct technique to clean.
First, you will want to start by brushing the outer surface of your upper teeth; and when finished, move to the outer surface of your lower teeth. The next step is to brush the inner surface of the upper teeth, followed by the inner surface of the lower teeth. Next, you will want to brush the chewing surface of your teeth, starting at the top and then moving to the bottom. For fresh breath, you will also want to brush your cheeks and your tongue. Brushing your gums lightly is also a good way to help prevent Gingivitis.
Floss your Teeth Daily
As well as brushing your teeth often, it is also recommended that you floss your teeth at least once a day. The best time of day to floss would be just before you go to bed, as it will prevent the food particles being in your mouth overnight. That way, when you brush your teeth in the morning, your mouth will be fresh and clean for the rest of the day.
With a little under 10 minutes a day, you can make sure that you have a fantastic smile for the rest of your life. Do you have other tips? Share it in the comments.
If you’re thinking about getting a second or even a third pet soon, you may already be weighing up the pros and cons. Having more than one child is a perfectly normal thing to consider. So is having more than one pet any different? There are lots of reasons for and against growing your family this way. Here are some of my thoughts:
Having a second pet means your first pet has a playmate and companion. Let’s face it, we can’t be at home to keep them company all day every day. It could also take the pressure off you having to keep your pet entertained! They will find games to play with each other, and will often enjoy sleeping together all cuddled up. How cute!
Flickr provided the pic
Another pet in the house can also offer you a little more security. There’s another pair of ears ready to listen out for potential intruders or dangers in the home. Two pets together can also keep each other a little more active so they may be less likely to become overweight. Install a pet cam and you may be able to enjoy hours of footage to entertain you as they play together too.
If you have a dog that is prone to bark when you are out, a second dog may help keep them calmer in your absence. And two cats together can offer each other the affection and grooming they so desperately need. If you have two kids, each of them can take care of one of the pets, offering greater opportunities for learning and responsibility.
A second pet doubles the cost of everything. You will need extra food, extra toys, and a second veterinary plan. You’ll need additional flea treatment for cats and dogs. There will be double the vaccinations and twice the treats needed. While you may only be walking them as often as you did before, you will need twice as much attention to where they’re running off to!
There is a chance they just won’t get on with each other. After all, we don’t like everybody we have to spend time with! If they’re not good friends, your home life can become quite unpleasant. You may find they have spats or fights with each other. This could result in breakages of your home items, or even injuries between the pets.
Flickr provided the pic
When you take on another pet, you’ll need to buy new collars, leads, food bowls and beds. Children, of course, can have the hand-me-downs from their older sibling! It’s easy to misjudge how much space you’ll need in the home for another pet too. You may need to make your home bigger as it grows! Perhaps the biggest problem you’ll face at first is getting to know your new pet. Everyone needs time to get used to each other, so it may be a difficult transition.
We all love our pets, and who doesn’t love a cuddle with someone furry? But getting a second pet shouldn’t be a decision you make on a whim. There is a lot to consider. Enjoy your new pet!