I was delighted to write a short Bad Nana story for Gas Safety Week, Better Gas Safe than Sorry, I mean, a story about gas and a grandma who always carries a whoopee cushion… the jokes practically write themselves!!!

But amongst the laughs (fingers crossed!) there is a very important message about the warning signs of unsafe gas and as one in five gas appliances are unsafe, there is a very good chance that you or someone close to you could do with knowing them. And of course the story also contains tips on what to do if you suspect your gas is unsafe, as Jeanie’s teacher, Mr Holmewood, points out these tips along with the warning signs really could be the difference between LIFE and DEATH.

The whole story, about how Jeanie, Jack and Bad Nana save Barbara Two Doors Down from her unsafe gas, can be read . But for starters, I thought I would share with you my Top Tips for keeping you and yours gas safe and tickety-boo…

What to watch out for…

If you have yellow and floppy flames, black marks on or around your gas appliances, and lots of condensation on your windows, these could all be signs your gas is unsafe.

If you are suffering from headaches, dizziness and or feel a bit sick, these could all be symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if you feel better when you leave home. More extreme symptoms include breathlessness and even loss of consciousness.

Keep your nose out for eggy smells, these could mean you have a gas leak.

What to do if you spot any of those signs…

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get some fresh air – leave the house as fast as you can and get help. See a doctor and if you are very unwell call 999 for an ambulance.

If you can smell eggs turn off the gas, open all the doors and windows, get everyone out the house and then get help.

How to avoid all these shenanigans in the first place…

Get gas appliances checked every year by a proper Gas Safe registered engineer, and always always use one of these properly qualified people when you get gas work done too. To find a Gas Safe registered engineer visit GasSafeRegister or call 0800 408 5500.

You can’t see, smell or even taste carbon monoxide so you should get a carbon monoxide alarm which will go off if it detects the gas.

And tell your kids to always tell a grown up if they think there is a gas risk as they quite often know what to do about this type of caper. And as the parent, if you don’t, then call 0800 111 999, the National Gas Emergency Helpline. There is always someone there. Always. Even in the middle of the night.

Sophy Henn, author of Bad Nana

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