Gas / Oil Safety
Keeping you Safe at Home*
What to do if you smell gas at home
- Ensure gas appliances haven’t been left on and unlit
- Don’t smoke, vape, or use a naked flame
- Don’t unplug or switch anything electrical on or off
- Open windows and doors to let the gas disperse
- Turn off the gas at the meter
- Call the Gas Networks Ireland 24-hour Emergency Line on 1800 20 50 50 no matter who your gas supplier is
- If you can’t get through, dial 999 / 112
- Don’t use a phone in the immediate area of the leak, use a neighbour’s or call from outside.
On the street
If you smell gas on the street, call 1800 20 50 50 immediately.
Don’t assume someone else will. In the interests of public safety, all emergency calls are recorded.
Don’t use a phone in the immediate area of the leak, use a neighbour’s or call from outside. www.gasnetworks.ie
Tampering with a gas meter is illegal and a serious public safety concern. It doesn’t just put you at risk, but it also puts your family, neighbours and the general public at risk.
Gas Networks Ireland regularly attends to reported gas leaks caused by illegal meter tampering. Tampering with a gas meter is:
- Serious safety risk to you, your family, neighbours and the general public, with a risk of a gas explosion, fire, injury or even death
- Illegal – if you tamper with your own or other people’s gas meters you will be guilty of a criminal offence and so liable for prosecution. It is also illegal to ask, pay or allow someone else to tamper with your meter
- Costly – you will have to pay for the gas used and the replacement of the damaged gas meter.
Gas Networks Ireland and the gas suppliers are very aware of the financial difficulties that some gas customers can experience but tampering with a gas meter is not the solution.
The consequences could be costly or even fatal. Public safety is the main priority for Gas Networks Ireland. By law, only Gas Networks Ireland representatives and Registered Gas Installers are authorised to work on natural gas meters and gas pipe work.
What should I do if I suspect meter tampering is taking place? You can confidentially report any suspected cases of meter tampering to Gas Networks Ireland on 1800 464 464 or at https://www.gasnetworks.ie/home/gas-meter/report-meter-tampering/
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and poisonous gas. It can be produced by any appliance which burns any fuel such as oil, turf, coal, gas or wood. If a person is exposed to carbon monoxide over time, it can cause illness or even death.
If there is a lack of air for combustion, the appliance is faulty, installed incorrectly, poorly maintained or used incorrectly, carbon monoxide (CO) can be produced.
Know the danger signs
- Watch out for any of the warning signs that your appliance is not functioning properly: Staining, sooting or discolouration around the appliance
- Condensation on walls/windows
- A strange smell when the appliance is on
- A yellow or orange flame where normally blue for a gas appliance
- Flu-like symptoms such as drowsiness or headaches.
Recognising signs of carbon monoxide poisoning
- Unexplained headaches, chest pains or muscular weakness
- Sickness, diarrhoea or stomach pains
- Sudden dizziness when standing up
- General lethargy.
Other signs include:
- Symptoms occur when a particular appliance is on
- Others on the property suffering similar symptoms
- Symptoms improve when you are away from the property.
If you or someone else on the premises is experiencing some of the described symptoms and you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning then:
- Visit a doctor immediately and ask them to check for carbon monoxide poisoning
- Stop using all fuel-burning appliances immediately and don’t use them again until they have been inspected by a qualified service agent for the fuel type (for gas appliances this is Registered Gas Installer or a competent person)
- If you find someone ill or unconscious and suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area immediately by opening all doors and windows and calling the emergency services.
- Ensure your gas appliances are installed and serviced annually by a Registered Gas Installer. For other fuel, types use a Registered Oil Technician or qualified service agent
- All chimneys and flues should be kept clear. Have your chimney(s) swept regularly. Crow Guards should be fitted to all chimneys for open fires and all chimneys for gas fires fitted prior to 1996
- Ensure rooms are properly ventilated and never block vents. Use appliances only for the PURPOSE for which they were designed, e.g. do not use a cooker to heat a room. Never close the door of a gas grill whilst the grill is lit
- Never use barbeques indoors or under cover
- Appliances, where oil burners were replaced with gas burners, should be inspected annually by a Registered Gas Installer
- Flueless gas water heaters and open flue-type water heaters located in bathrooms are considered unsafe as they consume the air within the room and could produce carbon monoxide. If you think you may have an unsafe gas water heater, contact Gas Networks Ireland now on 1800 89 89 89.
Carbon monoxide alarms
Use carbon monoxide alarms but remember these are no substitute for regular inspection and maintenance of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys.
Make sure the alarm:
- Complies with European Standard EN 50291
- Carries the CE mark and an independent certification mark, such as a Kitemark
- Has an ‘end of life’ indicator.
More than one alarm may be required to give full coverage. Alarms should be installed as per manufacturers’ instructions. Alternatively get a qualified installer to fit them for you.
For further information on carbon monoxide, please call 1800 89 89 89 or visit www.carbonmonoxide.ie
Going on holiday?
If you go on holiday, make sure your appliances are turned off. However, in very cold weather, your central heating boiler can be left operating at a low setting to prevent water pipes from freezing.
Have you got a meter box key? It is important that you have a meter box key in an accessible place so you can open your meter box to turn on or off your gas supply. To obtain a meter box key, please call Gas Networks Ireland on 1800 464 464 or visit www.gasnetworks.ie
Your gas meter
- Make sure you can access your gas meter in the event of an emergency
- Prune any overgrown trees or bushes that may restrict access
- Do not store waste materials or wheelie bins close to your gas meter.
Isolation Valves in Apartment Buildings
If you live in an apartment building there may be two ways to isolate the gas supply to your property in the event of an emergency.
- The first will be at the gas meter itself. However, the gas meter may be located in a basement or other area you do not have easy access to
- If this is the case, there should also be an isolation valve inside your property (i.e. your apartment) where the gas supply pipework enters it
- You can use this valve to isolate the supply. Make sure you know where your meter and isolation valve is located.
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