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Emergencies

What should I do to protect myself from interruptions to my electricity supply?

Whether planned or unplanned, your electricity supply might be interrupted for a number of reasons. Minimise the risk of damage to electrical appliances like computers, televisions, stereos, washing machines, dryers and heat pumps by installing surge protectors, power conditioners, UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply), RCDs (Residual Current Devices) and isolating transformers. Find out the best solution for your home by asking advice from a local electrician or electrical outlet. If there’s an interruption to your electricity supply, or your supply voltage drops, switch off all electrical appliances at the plug socket. This will help to prevent damage if there’s an electricity surge when the supply comes back on. We also recommend that you have insurance that covers you for loss or damage due to electricity supply interruptions or fluctuations.

What should I do to protect myself from interruptions to my gas supply?

If you own the appliance, it’s up to you to maintain it and arrange an annual gas safety check. Be sure to always use a Gas Safe registered engineer from the Gas Safe Register website. If you smell gas or are concerned about gas safety, please call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. If you think you’ve lost the gas supply to your gas appliances, first check that your gas meter is displaying ‘ON’ rather than ‘OFF’. If your meter is displaying ‘ON’ and you’re still not receiving a gas supply to your appliances, please call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

What happens if there is a power cut or meter fault?

Think you have a power cut? If there’s a power cut in your area, simply call 105 for free. You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put you or someone else in danger. It doesn’t matter who you choose to buy your electricity from - anyone can call 105. If there’s a serious, immediate risk you can call the emergency services too.

Think you have a meter fault? First, check if there’s a real emergency, like a live wire, that needs immediate attention. Keep well clear of any live wires and don’t touch any part of your meter. Call your Network Distributor quickly and get the problem resolved straight away. You can find out who your Network Distributor is by going to www.energynetworks.org/info/faqs/who-is-my-network-operator.

You can also find a map of the Network Distributors and their phone numbers at http://www.energynetworks.org/info/faqs/who-is-my-network-operator.html. If your Network Distributor tells you there's not a problem with your supply, there could be a fault internally and you’ll need to call a qualified electrician.

What do I do if I smell gas?

If you think you can smell gas and might have a gas leak, or you’re worried about one of your appliances, call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. You can also call this number if you’re concerned about one of your appliances giving off carbon monoxide (CO), but remember that you can’t see, smell or hear CO.

If you smell gas but you’re not in immediate danger:

  • Call National Grid's Gas Emergency Service Freephone number 0800 111 999 (call from a landline at a different property or from a mobile phone, away from the leak).
  • Open all the doors and windows.
  • Don’t smoke, light a match or any other naked flame.
  • Don’t turn lights on or off and avoid using other electrical switches and appliances as this could trigger an explosion.

If you or your family are in immediate danger, exit the premises immediately and call 0800 111 999.

Why is gas safety important?

Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for the United Kingdom and lists all qualified gas safe engineers. The aim of the register is to improve and maintain gas safety by investigating reports of illegal and unsafe gas work.

According to Gas Safe Register over the last three years there have been nearly 1,000 injuries and 22 fatalities relating to gas incidents such as carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, fires and gas leaks.

It is also estimated that a quarter of a million jobs are carried out illegally each year due to the gas fitters having incorrect qualifications.

Is your engineer Gas Safe registered?

Gas Safe Register is the official gas registration body for the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey, appointed by the relevant Health and Safety Authority for each area. By law all gas engineers must be Gas Safe registered.

Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI as the registration body in Great Britain and Isle of Man on 1 April 2009 and Northern Ireland and Guernsey on 1 April 2010.

To find a Gas Safe registered engineer fill out their online form on the Gas Safe Register website.

Simple rules for Gas safety
  • Always check the engineer fitting appliances such as boilers, hobs and radiators is Gas safe registered.
  • When having building work done, check the gas fitter credentials by looking at their ID card or contacting the Gas Safe Register - don’t rely on your builder or project manager to do it on your behalf.
  • Ensure your gas appliances are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer to check they are operating correctly and safely.
  • Only use gas appliances for their intended purpose for example, don’t use a cooker to heat a room
  • Buy an audible carbon monoxide detector for your property and make sure it is maintained correctly.

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