Safety at Home: Carbon monoxide kills

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless, non-irritant gas, killing 50 people each year in the UK and making hundreds more seriously ill.

CO poisoning occurs when gas-fired appliances such as boilers, cookers and fires are not operating correctly. With research indicating that nearly a quarter of UK homes have one or more defective gas appliance, it is vital your appliances are checked regularly.

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If your boiler is more than 10 years old or has been infrequently serviced in the past, you really should get it checked by a Gas safe registered engineer. Fitting a European standard certified audible carbon monoxide alarm is a vital second line of defence after having  your appliances safety checked. It is essential that your alarm is marked with the EN50291 safety standard and with the CE mark.

Vital signs and symptoms to look out for CO poisoning include:

  • Sooting and staining on or around your gas boiler or other gas appliances.
  • Excessive condensation in the room where an appliance is installed.
  • A lazy, yellow-orange gas flame instead of blue.
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea and can be mistaken for flu, a virus and even food poisoning.
  • Breathlessness
  • Lost of consciousness

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning visit http://www.hse.gov.uk

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COP25 Climate Change: Major emitters disagree over UN deal

UN climate talks in Madrid enter their final scheduled day with divisions emerging between major emitting countries and small island states.

Negotiators are attempting to agree a deal in the Spanish capital that would see countries commit to make new climate pledges by the end of 2020.

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But serious disagreements have emerged over how much carbon-cutting the major emitters should undertake.

The talks have also become bogged down in rows over key technical issues.

Negotiators arrived in Madrid two weeks ago with the words of the UN secretary general ringing in their ears – António Guterres told delegates that “the point of no return is no longer over the horizon”.

Despite his pleas, the conference has become enmeshed in deep, technical arguments about a number of issues including the role of carbon markets and the financing of loss and damage caused by rising temperatures.

Source: BBC News

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Gas failure in part of UK render homes without heating in freezing temperature

Thousands of people spent the night without heat in freezing temperatures below zero after gas outage in Falkirk on Sunday morning.

Hundreds of engineers are visiting homes in the area as part of a major operation to tackle the gas network failure.

Fire brigade helping with distribution of heaters in Falkirk

Heaters and portable cookers have been distributed to vulnerable residents and 14 schools and nurseries are closed.

Gas infrastructure company SGN said it had now begun reconnecting supplies to homes across the area.

The company said previously that it had hoped to visit all 8,000 affected properties by Monday afternoon.

By 21:30 on Monday, SGN confirmed it had reconnected gas to 3,000 properties.

More than 250 engineers are going door-to-door to turn off gas supplies at the meter for safety reasons.

Falkirk Council said the majority of schools in the area, as well as Kinnaird Waters early learning and childcare centre, would reopen on Tuesday.

Bainsford primary school and nursery class, Larbert early learning and childcare centre, and Kinnaird primary school and Thistle Wing will remain closed.

Source: BBC News

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Essential tips on empty property

When a property is unoccupied – between tenants, awaiting sale, or the resident is absent for any reason, it is expected that the property will be exposed to greater level of risk than any other time.

Below are some few tips that can help;

  • Security – Review and implement adequate security measures and remove valuables
  • Water supply – To avoid the risk of freezing causing serious damage, systems should be drained down and the water switched off at the stopcock. Alternatively, the central heating system be active 24 hours per day (not timed) at a minimum of 15 degrees centigrade. If possible, the water should still be switched off at the stopcock (note – some boilers work on mains pressure, making this impractical). If any water is stored in the loft, the access hatch should be left open part way, allowing warm air to circulate in the loft space.
  • Water tank – Ensure it is kept warm or emptied
  • Regular visit – Inspect the property as often as possible
  • Gas and electricity – Ensure Gas and electricity are switched off at the mains if not in use.
  • Maintenance – Keep the property and grounds tidy
  • Insurance – If you don’t tell your insurer that the property is empty, at best the cover under your policy may be restricted. At worst be invalidated completely, leaving you totally uninsured. Many insurers will refuse to provide further cover, some may continue but with severe restrictions. There are specialist insurance companies that offer unoccupied property  insurance.

 

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Home energy saver: Buy green appliance

Most home appliances are switched on 24hrs a day or used everyday and as such uses the most energy and cost the most money to run in the home.

The next time  you have to replace your fridge, freezer, washing machine or dishwater, shop around to find one with a A or A+ energy rating. As these appliances use less energy, they also cost less to run. When buying a new appliance, look for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo, which proves the appliance has met rigorous standards to qualify for the Energy saving Trust’s scheme.

Energy saving washing machines have to be AAA-rated to qualify, gaining an A in energy efficiency, spin efficiency and wash performance. Home appliance are used everyday, fridges, freezers are switched on 24 hours a day, so if you still have an old appliance, you’re sure to be wasting energy and money.

 

 

 

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UK government suspends fracking indefinitely

The government has called a halt to shale gas extraction – or fracking – in England amid fears about earthquakes.

The indefinite suspension comes after a report by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said it was not possible to predict the probability or size of tremors caused by the practice.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said it may be temporary – imposed “until and unless” extraction is proved safe.

Labour, Lib Dems and the Green Party want a permanent ban.

20 Properties damaged as mains water pipe burst in Tipton UK

A burst water main caused widespread property damage. Discoloured water gushed metres into the air and flooded Park Lane West in Tipton.

A house partially collapse due to the burst main on Monday afternoon (14/102019), South Staffs Water confirmed.

Tipton

Dramatic pictures from Park Lane West in Tipton, Birmingham, showed external walls had given way completely.

Pete Aspley, wholesale service delivery director at South Staffs Water, said: “Due to the burst water main, around 20 properties on Park Lane West appear to have been damaged, one of them severely.

Tipton water burst

“We have a team on site who are working with the emergency services and we are in contact with the people affected.

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