The Complete Guide to Gas Safety in the Kitchen for New Homeowners

Gas safety must be one of the top most priority when you are moving to a new home. It ensures that you do not put your family, your property, or even your new neighbors at risk. According to the latest reports by the Gas Safe Register, one in five homes in the UK have unsafe gas appliances. These include boilers, cookers, or even the basic gas appliances such as the stove.

Many homeowners are unaware of the fact that any unchecked gas appliances are a source of carbon monoxide poisoning or gas leaks. In extreme situations, it can even cause explosions and fires, putting the entire neighborhood in danger. But worry not, we have compiled a complete guide to kitchen gas safety for new homeowners.

What to Do Before You Move In

Gas safety begins right from the moment you move into a new home. Here are a few things to make sure of:

  • The first and most important step is to ask the landlord or the current homeowner for the gas safety record. It is a document that is most commonly known as the gas safety certificate. Gas safety certs for the property help you understand the history of the gas appliances on the property you are moving into. These certificates must be carried out by a gas-safe registered engineer annually.
  • If the current owners do not provide a gas safety certificate or it’s been more than a year since the last check, then contact the Gas safe register for further assistance. You can also look for a local gas safe registered engineer who can perform the annual check for you before you move in.
  • Remember that only a registered gas-safe engineer is legally allowed to carry out gas works on your property. You must never rely on the word of the current homeowner to determine the condition of any gas appliance.

After You Move In

Once you have ensured that your new home is gas-safe, you must prepare to settle into your new house. However, there are a few safety steps for your kitchen that you must take when settling in to avoid any mishaps from occurring.

●      Be Aware of Gas Leaks

Gas leaks are the biggest concern for any new homeowner working in the kitchen. But are you even aware of how to detect a gas leak? Smelling rotten eggs is the most common telltale sign of a gas leak. Other signs of a gas leak may include a whistling or hissing sound near a gas appliance. Some homeowners may even notice higher gas bills.

If you notice any or all of these signs, then the chances are that there is a gas leak in your house. The majority of these gas leaks are present in the kitchen since that is where most of the gas appliances are. In such cases, you must vacate the premises as soon as possible with your family. The next step is to contact your area’s emergency services so that they can identify the source and take countermeasures to stop the leakage.

●      Installing Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Many households need carbon monoxide detectors in their kitchens. If you are wondering what carbon monoxide is, it is an odorless and colorless gas produced by defective gas appliances. If any gas appliance does not work properly, then there is a high chance that they are releasing carbon monoxide.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector right after you move in will help you detect any leakages or malfunctions. These detectors will help you prevent a big disaster from happening. Although a small investment, these carbon monoxide detectors can make a big difference in your kitchen safety in the long run. However, it is important to note that carbon monoxide detectors do not detect natural gas leaks.

●      Maintaining Your Natural Gas Appliances in the Kitchen

Like other appliances in any household, kitchen gas appliances require regular checks and inspections to ensure they are working properly. It also includes checking for any leaks, damages, or malfunctions.

Appliances that use gas to function have a nameplate that particularly specifies that they work on gas. You must list all such equipment in your kitchen and get them inspected every year for proper working. Moreover, you can also hire a gas safety engineer to perform these checks annually.

●      You Must Know How to Switch off the Gas Valve

As a new homeowner, you must know how to switch off the gas valve in case you detect a gas leak. Knowing the location of the main gas valve is important for such situations. You can ask the current homeowner about its location. Alternatively, you can find it yourself, as most of these valves are located near the gas meters. If you are not sure about its location, then you can also contact your area’s natural gas company to assist you.

Knowing how to turn off the gas supply in emergency cases is always a good idea. It is on if the valve handle is parallel to the gas line. You must turn the handle perpendicular to the gas line to turn the switch off. On certain occasions, the gas valve will have markings of ‘on’ and ‘off’ that can make things easier for you. You can also switch off the main gas supply during maintenance or when leaving your home empty for a long duration.

●      Keep Your Chimneys and Smoke Exhaust Free from Obstruction

If your stove or oven has a chimney or an exhaust, keep them free from buildup or debris. A dirty and blocked chimney can lead to improper ventilation and accumulation of gases in your kitchen.

●      Keep Flammable Material Away from Your Stoves

Flammable materials such as cleaning products, paper towels, and curtains must be kept away from stoves or fires. Such material can easily catch fire in case of a malfunctioning gas appliance. Always store such materials or products in a cool or dry place away from fire.

●      Ensure Good Ventilation in the Kitchen

Any area of the house, especially the kitchen that has gas appliances must be properly ventilated. It ensures that all the harmful gases are released outside and the room where you cook is safe for you and your family. Regular inspection of vents must also be carried out to ensure that there is no obstruction to ventilation.

●      Do Not Use Your Oven or Stovetop for Heating

Your natural gas ovens and stove tops are meant for cooking and baking. Never attempt to use them as an alternative to the heater. It is a critical safety hazard that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation. Always use gas appliances for their true purpose. Mishandling and misuse of such appliances are never recommended in any case.

●      Keep Your Stove Tops Clean

Spilled grease and food on the stove tops can accumulate and catch fire easily. Therefore, you must make a habit of cleaning these appliances regularly as per instructions in the appliance manual. These simple steps will help you to stay safe and avoid any unwanted hazards in the kitchen.

Conclusion

We understand that moving to a new home can be overwhelming for many, However, it is important to familiarize yourself with these safety measures. These precautionary steps can help you enjoy natural gas’s advantages without worrying about the safety hazards. If you have any concerns about the gas supply in your premises, you can always contact the gas-safe register or get in touch with a gas-safe registered engineer in your area.

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