Here we provide a range of gas safety advice and information provided by our partners in the Home Safety Scotland Forum.
SGN: Staying Safe During the Winter Months
Taking care of yourself and loved ones during the winter months
At SGN we’re dedicated to keeping our customers safe and warm all year round, whatever the weather.
With most of our network buried underground, our pipes are well protected against harsh winter weather. However, we’ve still made extra preparations to keep our gas network up and running during adverse winter weather.
We know cold and unpredictable winter weather can be particularly challenging for our customers. Our tips and advice will help you stay safe and warm this winter.
How you can keep safe and warm this winter
- Keep an eye on the forecast and watch out for weather warnings from the Met Office.
- If cold weather comes, follow NHS advice to wear layers to keep warm and regularly have hot drinks. Try to check on your neighbours, especially if they could be particularly vulnerable in cold weather.
- Save the free emergency numbers to your phone – call 0800 111 999 in a gas emergency or call 105 in a power cut.
- Find out about the Priority Services Register. This is a free service that helps us identify customers who need priority support and will make sure you receive extra help if you’re without your gas supply.
- Make sure you get your gas boiler and appliances serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Fit a carbon monoxide alarm – regularly test it and check its expiry date. If the alarm comes to the end of its useable life, you’ll need to replace it.
What to do if your boiler stops working in cold weather
If your boiler has stopped working in the cold, check if your boiler’s condensate pipe has frozen. Cold weather can freeze the condensate pipe, which is the external pipe that takes condensation from your boiler to your drain outside. If you think your condensate pipe has frozen, try pouring some warm (but not boiling) water over it to thaw it out.
If your boiler still doesn’t fire up after trying to thaw the condensate pipe, contact your gas supplier if you have home or boiler care cover. Alternatively, you can contact a Gas Safe Registered engineer for assistance. You can find an engineer near you on the Gas Safe Register website. The National Gas Emergency Service won’t be able to help with boiler or appliance issues.
Here are a few simple ideas to keep your heating costs down and help you stay healthy during the winter months:
- Wear warm clothes in layers
- Turn radiators off in unused rooms and close internal doors to keep the heat in
- Think about installing thermostatic valves on radiators in rooms you use the most
- Moving furniture away from radiators allows heat to circulate better
- Closing your curtains keeps the heat in and draughts out
- Ask about any benefits or grants you might be entitled to such as winter fuel payments and insulation costs
- Have a hot drink regularly and have a flask handy if you find moving about difficult. Eat small amounts regularly throughout the day
- Keep a list of useful/emergency contacts and local organisations which support people like you by your phone
- Keep torches, a battery-powered radio and spare batteries where they’re easy to find in the dark in case of power cuts
SGN Carbon Monoxide Safety Advice
At SGN, our top priority is to keep everyone safe and warm in their homes all year round – making sure you know how to stay gas safe, and are aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, are some of the ways we can do that.
It’s really important to make sure your gas appliances are checked every year by a gas safe registered engineer. This ensures everything is running safely and efficiently. If you do ever smell gas, whether that’s indoors or outdoors, call the national gas emergency service immediately on 0800 111 999.
CO is a highly poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels (including gas, oil, wood, petrol and coal). It can’t be seen, heard, smelt, or tasted – which is why it’s known as the ‘Silent Killer’. CO poisoning symptoms are fairly similar to flu, so make sure you know what to look out for. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
Read this article in full here.
SGN: Gas Safety & Alzheimers
SGN has a long history of supporting people with dementia. Over the years, we’ve worked with Alzheimer Scotland and the Alzheimer’s Society to encourage our people to become Dementia Friends, learning about the condition in an effort to make sure they’re aware of the symptoms when working with our customers.
We’re also very proud of our locking cooker valve, a free and simple safety device that can help people with dementia retain their independence at home and provides reassurance to friends, family and carers.
When the valve is locked, the gas supply to the cooker is stopped, eliminating the risk of the cooker being unintentionally turned on or left on. It gives peace of mind to carers or relatives that the cooker can’t be used when they leave the house or the room. The carer or relative can then easily turn the valve on using the key when the cooker is required, enabling the household to continue to use their gas cooker safely.
This year, we’ve teamed up with The Guardian to publish an advert in one of their supplements on World Alzheimer’s Day.
‘Understanding Dementia’, launched on Tuesday 21 September, aims to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by providing a platform to showcase the developments in treatments and the importance of funding research, reaching key dementia audiences, friends and families, and care home managers. The goal is to work towards a cure and provide support and care for those affected, while also showcasing the support, care and products readily available.
With an audience of around half a million readers and a prime spot of the back page of the supplement, it gives us an excellent opportunity to showcase this amazing free safety device. It also includes information about the Priority Services Register as well as carbon monoxide safety.
If you know someone who could benefit from having a locking cooker valve fitted, visit www.sgn.co.uk/LCV to find out more and to make a referral.