Gas safety for vulnerable people

Do you need help to stay Gas Safe? Advice to help vulnerable people such as the blind is available.

ID Card

If you are blind you might find the following useful:

  • All Gas Safe registered engineers carry an ID card to show you they are Gas Safe registered when they turn up at your door.
  • Braille does not confirm an engineer's identity and is not included on the Gas Safe Register ID card. However the engineer's licence number is displayed using raised numbers across the middle of the card to make it easier for customers who have restricted vision to check an engineer is registered
  • Use the 'Find a registered gas business' service and 'Check a gas engineer' service at www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Agree with the Gas Safe registered business a password for their engineer to quote when they arrive on your doorstep.
  • You could arrange to have a trusted friend or family member present when the gas engineer calls.

Gas safety advice for vulnerable people

Are you entitled to a free gas safety check?

You could be entitled to a free gas safety check. Gas suppliers have a duty to provide free gas safety checks to some vulnerable people.

£134 million worth of potentially life-saving gas safety checks offered free by the energy suppliers go unclaimed every year, as a staggering number of people are killed by the effects of cold every winter, according to research carried out for Gas Safe Register, which found that 88% of elderly homeowners have never claimed a free gas safety check.

A free gas safety check may apply to home owners on means tested benefits who:

  • Are elderly, disabled or chronically sick and either live alone or with others who are elderly, disabled, chronically sick or under 18

  • Are living with others where at least one child is under five years old
  • Have not had a gas safety check carried out at the premises in the last 12 months
  • Do not occupy premises where a landlord is responsible for arranging a check under the Health and Safety at Work Act

What are the dangers of unsafe gas work?

Checking a Gas Safe Register card

In the right hands gas is safe, but badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas. It has no taste, colour or smell and it can make you feel seriously ill.

If you are suffering from headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse or loss of consciousness and you don’t know why, it might be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning and you should see a doctor immediately.

Install a carbon monoxide alarm

Ask a friend, relative or care visitor to help you by installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home.

For people with hearing difficulties, there are a number of specialist carbon monoxide alarms on the market. For advice on which alarm is right for your needs, contact the Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM) on 0800 1694 457.

Ask for help to spot signs of danger in your home

Ask a friend, relative or care visitor to look at the flame on all your gas appliances, which should always be crisp blue. A lazy, yellow flame indicates that carbon monoxide could be produced.

Only use your gas appliances as intended

It is dangerous to use your gas cooker as a form of heating. Do not block air vents and chimneys to stop draughts – they might be essential for your gas appliances to work safely.

Gas emergencies

Although carbon monoxide is odourless, you may sometimes smell gas which may indicate a gas leak. In this case call the emergency 24 hour helpline:

  • Great Britain: 0800 111 999
  • Guernsey: 01481 749000
  • Isle of Man: 0808 1624 444
  • Northern Ireland: 0800 002 001

Further information about Gas Safety, Carbon Monoxide and how to find a registered gas engineer can be found at the following websites: