Ah, it’s that time of year again, the holiday season where we get together with our families and exchange presents under a nicely decorated tree. It’s Christmas!

Christmas is for sure a time of relaxation and unwinding after a long hard year of working but be wary, you still have to ensure your safety. People can get so caught up in the celebrations they forget to take simple steps to stay safe.

Don’t forget to look after your gas appliances and be mindful of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, the silent but deadly killer. Minimise the risk of fire and check your appliances are in working order.

We want you to have a very merry Christmas but we also want you to be safe. Put your mind at ease by following these three safety tips.

1 . Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness

Perhaps one of the most dangerous factors associated with gas appliances to be aware of is Carbon Monoxide (CO). If left unchecked, old and faulty gas appliances and boilers can produce a silent, odourless and tasteless gas called Carbon Monoxide.

If there isn’t enough ventilation you can be susceptible to CO poisoning too. As you breath in the poisonous gas it replaces the oxygen in your blood stream. Symptoms of CO poisoning are dizziness, headaches, loss of breath, collapsing and loss of consciousness.

CO poisoning can lead to death and long-term health problems so in terms of safety it’s better to get a Registered Gas Installer to check everything is working in order before you start enjoying the holiday season.

If you suspect C0 poisoning turn off all gas appliances, open doors and windows and leave the house immediately. For safety concerns you can call 1850 20 50 50, Gas Networks Ireland’s 24-hour emergency service.

2 . Minimising The Risk Of Fire

Operating gas appliances like cookers and stoves for your Christmas dinners is necessary but can also be dangerous if you’re not fully focused. The problem is with Christmas celebrations, alcohol added into the mix and children running around it’s easy to get distracted.

Some tips to minimise the risk of fire are as follows:

  • Install a smoke detector near your kitchen to detect smoke.
  • For stoves and cookers, light the burner with caution if it is operated by gas. Make sure they are clean and unclogged of food and grease before use.
  • Stay in the kitchen at all times when cooking to keep an eye on things.
  • Never block an air ventilator. They exist to ensure a safe supply of oxygen enters a room.

3 . Check Gas Appliances Do Not Have These Signs

The following signs from Bord Gais Energy may mean your gas appliances are unsafe and they need maintenance. If you suspect your appliances are unsafe call for help.

  • Stains, soot or discolouring around a gas fire or at the top of a gas water heater could mean that the flue or chimney is blocked
  • Appliances that burn slowly, badly (floppy flames), or go out
  • Condensation or dampness on surfaces in the room once the appliance is lit
  • A strange smell when the appliance is on