As the middle of winter approaches, our boilers are having to work overtime to heat our water and keep our houses warm. Most boilers will have not seen heavy use since last winter, making now the time undertake some critical checks to ensure everyone is kept safe. Checking your boiler is vital, as the dangers posed by faulty gas appliances can include fatal carbon monoxide leaks, gas fires, and even explosions. These are more likely to occur when your boiler is being used heavily than at any other time. According to the government department for business energy and industrial strategy (BEIS), it is also essential that landlords and landladies undertake thorough gas safety checks as standard. Can you smell gas? If you can, stop the gas supply and air the house fully by opening all the windows and doors. You and everyone else should leave the property. Once safely outside, call the gas emergency service on 0800 111 999 and call a gas safety engineer such as http://www.hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-service-gloucester/ that will provide a Gloucester boiler service check as standard. It is vital that you do not touch any electrical sockets or plugs, as these may emit a spark that could cause a fire. Even something as simple as using your mobile phone could be highly dangerous. Carbon monoxide risks. If the flame in your boiler is yellow and not blue, this means it is not completely burning the fuel and could result in a potentially fatal carbon monoxide (CO) leak. You cannot smell carbon monoxide, so it is advisable to install a detector close to your boiler. Getting your boiler checked for carbon monoxide leaks is recommended from time to time and you should seek the expertise of an engineer from a Gloucester boiler service to take a reading of the CO levels. Your boiler should also be checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer as standard, preferably on an annual basis. Black stains around the boiler. If you see black stains on or around your boiler, this could be an indication of a gas leak. If you suspect this to be the case, call a local heating engineer or boiler tester to come and have a look for you and ensure that you, your family and your neighbours are safe.