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Here are 10 pieces of good advice

  1. Don’t try to “do it yourself”
    “Do it yourself” is a bad idea when it comes to gas. All regular and special maintenance tasks must be performed by authorised, skilled technicians under Italian law no. 37 passed in 2008. Incorrect installation or use of inappropriate materials could create a hazard for you and other people, which may not be apparent until much later on. Always comply with the requirements of legislation and the manufacturer’s use and maintenance instructions. Follow the rules to make sure your gas appliances work properly and safely.
  2. Only buy appliances with the CE mark
    When buying a gas appliance, always check that it has the CC mark. This mark is obligatory under the law and offers consumers a concrete guarantee of safety. The symbol should be in the graphic form shown here, inspired by two circles side by side.
  3. Don’t leave any flammable object near a gas flame
    This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many accidents in the home are caused by small fires due to heat given off by cooking elements. For instance, if you leave a bottle of ethyl alcohol or an ordinary spray can next to your hob or other gas appliance, it could reach a temperature of about 80°C and explode.
  4. Remember to turn off the gas
    Get into the habit of turning off the gas at the meter, or on the pipe coming into your home, when you are not using gas-burning appliances. Always do this when you go away, even if you will only be away for a short time.
  5. Purchase a hob with safety devices
    Safety devices on the hob are essential for safety in the home. A sensor on the burner stops gas from being released if the flame should accidentally go out.
  6. Be careful with boiling liquids
    Stoves, water heaters and heating systems using the air in the house, referred to as types A and B, require a ventilation opening to ensure that the air they need for combustion is always available in the room in which they are installed. If this is not the case, they will slowly consume all the oxygen in the room, creating a danger for people and animals. And gas combustion will be incomplete, generating dangerous carbon dioxide. We might call this permanent opening a “safety entry”!
  7. Use regulation gas pipes
    It is important to be aware that, while hobs built into kitchen cabinets are connected to the gas supply via a flexible steel tube, hobs which are not built-in may be connected with a special flexible rubber hose. This hose is very important for the safety of your gas appliance: it must be no longer than 1.5 metres, and it must be held in place with hose clips to prevent it from coming off accidentally. The rubber hose can easily be damaged (burnt, cut, cracked) and so it is important to inspect it regularly and change it periodically, even if it does not seem damaged. This should be done at least every five years, and in all cases before the expiry date appearing on the hose.
  8. Ventilation: a breath of fresh air
    Stoves, water heaters and heating systems using the air in the house, referred to as types A and B, require a ventilation opening to ensure that the air they need for combustion is always available in the room in which they are installed. If this is not the case, they will slowly consume all the oxygen in the room, creating a danger for people and animals. And gas combustion will be incomplete, generating dangerous carbon dioxide. We might call this permanent opening a “safety entry”!
  9. If you smell gas…
    What should you do? You may not know this, but natural gas in the form in which it comes out of the ground is entirely odourless. All distributors are required by law to add a given amount of a chemical substance known as an “odouriser”, which gives gas its characteristic, immediately recognisable odour. The odouriser must be added to the gas flow at all times to ensure that the average person can recognise it in concentrations well below the danger level; the danger level for natural gas is about 4% gas in air. Above this percentage the gas/air mix may ignite, while below this value ignition cannot take place due to insufficient fuel. If you smell gas, immediately contact your distributor’s emergency service (Genova Reti Gas 800 010 020) or the fire-fighters (115).
  10. Fumes must always go outside
    The user’s gas system also includes exhaust ducts and stacks for evacuating the products of combustion. This important part of the system requires just as much attention as the others to ensure safety, but it is often neglected. It must be in good overall condition, correctly installed, of the right size, and compliant with the applicable technical standards; it is important to have a qualified technician inspect it periodically to make sure it is not obstructed or blocked up. The vast majority of accidents involving gas in Italy are caused by malfunctioning of this part of the system; the pipes through which exhaust fumes from gas-fired appliances are eliminated need to be cleaned every once in a while, just like chimneys!
     

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