Monday 7 February 2011

Gas Fires, Putting Your Safety First

Gas fires, indeed all gas products, always come with some form of safety advice, feature or warning, but are you aware of what the feature does? What your being warned of? What other safety devices do you require for piece of mind? Set to follow are some commonly used devices and terminology explained in layman’s terms;

Smoke Alarms.

Smoke alarms are an essential for all homes, usually they provide a loud alarm to warn you that smoke has been detected within your homes and some will flash too (red warning light). There are several brand types and different smoke detecting types but as a general rule:

  1. Ionization Alarms. These sound the alarm faster for fast spreading, large flame fires.
  2. Photoelectric Alarms. This type of alarm sound more quickly for smokey, smoldering fires.
  3. Dual Sensor Alarms. The more popular type of fire alarm as it incorporates the features of the other two types.

If you do not have a smoke alarm fitted, stop whatever you are doing and get one fitted now, they are absolutely necessary. They will raise the alarm giving you and your family a chance to escape a fire.

CO Detector (Carbon Monoxide).

These units or sensors detect Carbon Monoxide, a gas that comes from fossil fuels that have not been burnt properly. This gas has no smell, taste or colour and is poisonous; it is not detected by standard smoke alarms. It would be recommended to buy a CO Detector if you can afford one, you shouldn’t have to pay anymore than £20 for a detector and they will let you rest easy if you burn some kind of fossil fuel in your home. If your house is solely run on the electric supply then there is no need to purchase a devise of this type.

Flame Failure Device (FFD).

This devise is usually located on a gas hob, or gas fire. It basically will stop the gas supply if the flame is no longer burning, or blown out. It operates when the flame has been extinguished.

Flame Supervision Devise (FSD).

Found in similar locations to the FFD, and will cut the supply of gas to the appliance as well. However the Flame Supervision Devise is superior as it will cut the gas supply if the flame is burning inconsistently. A Flame that is not properly burning may cause Carbon Monoxide. This devise helps prevent the risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in your home.

Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS).

Differing from the other devices this one monitors the levels of a gas rather than alarming you to the presence of one. The Oxygen Depletion Sensor monitors the levels of Oxygen found within a room. This device is can be found on gas fires as a safety feature however individual units can be bought if required. Oxygen levels usually read at 21% in a normal atmosphere, an alarm is activated when levels approach 18%. Usually effects from lack of Oxygen are noticeable at 14%, most often the cause of Oxygen Depletion within a room is due to lack of ventilation and can easily be resolved.

If you have any fears or concerns of a gas leak or lack of oxygen within a room then turn the supply of gas off (if you know how to), then call your gas supplier or a gas safe registered trader to investigate further, try not to activate any device that will create a spark, including switches.

Many gas products come complete with safety features added, these may include some of the devices mentioned above and may be named slightly differently but will have the same effect. Please be aware of what safety features your appliances have and make an informed decision to what others you may require, or ask someone within the gas industry their professional opinion for safety measures needed.

Gas Fires with such safety features can be found online or in local showrooms.

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