21 October 2009 – emergencies

Gas emergencies give me nightmares

Gas emergencies give me nightmares

This week seems to be all about emergencies, thankfully not my own, although the weight gain on Monday felt a little like an emergency at the time. The emergencies in question are customer emergencies. Not just a broken washing machine, boiler or freezer but big disasters, like a kitchen flood a power cut or, most terrifying of all, a gas leak from a boiler or an electrical fire.

Kitchen floods are mostly about washing machines and the advice is mostly about finding a stop cock to turn the water off and making sure water hasn’t got into the electrics. Power cuts are mainly about freezers. They’re the easiest to deal with because, if the freezer door is kept shut things will be fine for at least twenty four hours and we have a list of phone numbers for the electricity suppliers if it turns out to be more than a blown fuse. Electrical fires are mostly about keeping them calm, getting them out of the building and calling the fire brigade. Almost no one calls us about electrical fires anyway, they call the fire brigade, they do call about burning smells though and the advice there is to turn off the power, don’t touch anything and calling an engineer out if they have a service or maintenance contract. Gas emergencies are scary! I don’t even want to think about dealing with one.

If I have to there are a list of things to remember. Ventilate the room, switch off the gas at the mains switch on the meter, do not use any open flames like lighters, do not switch any electrical switches like lights on or off as a spark can cause an explosion, evacuate the house and then we have to call the national gas emergency number and put them through. It gives me palpitations just thinking about it.

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