Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Potentially dangerous gas incident averted thanks to Safe and Well Officer Peter

Safe and Well Officer Peter Glover from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been praised for preventing a potentially dangerous gas incident at a home in Pitsea.


Peter was fitting smoke alarms and carrying out safety checks as part of the fire service's free Safe and Well visit at a home when the incident unfolded.


He said: “The occupant told me she could smell gas from time to time. I couldn’t smell it but the whole point of Safe and Well visits is to listen to what people are telling you so you can help them.


I asked if she tended to notice the smell in the mornings when her boiler starts working and she did. I didn’t want to take any chances so I said ‘let’s open the doors and windows’.


“I found the gas meter on a wall outside and showed her how to turn off the supply. It’s surprising how many people don’t know where their gas meter is or how to turn off the supply to their home in an emergency, so I would encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with how to do this in their own homes.


“Then I encouraged her to call Cadent (the national gas emergency service) on 0800 111 999.

The emergency gas engineer found a leaking gas pipe in the living room, part of an old fireplace, and made it safe.

Peter said: “This could have led to a build up of gas with potentially deadly consequences and shows why it’s so important you know what to do if you smell gas.”

Nick Winter, Health and Safety Advisor, said: “Undoubtedly, Peter’s actions during the visit helped to prevent a potentially serious incident.

“It is good to know that our Safe and Well team really do keep the people of Essex safe. Well done, great job Peter.”

What to do if you smell gas

Here are Peter’s tips if you smell gas in your home:

  • Trust your instincts: if you think you can smell gas, take immediate action. A gas leak will only get worse if ignored.
  • Turn off the supply: make sure you know where your gas meter is and how to operate the emergency control valve. This is normally a quarter turn lever for a domestic property. Do not go into a basement or cellar if your meter is there. Other arrangements will be in place for LPG bulk storage tanks.
  • Extinguish naked flames: that includes cigarettes.
  • Open your doors and windows: ventilate your home by letting air in and the gas out.
  • Get somewhere safe: get away from the smell and don’t use anything that could create a spark, such as electrical appliances, light switches or naked flames.
  • Call Cadent on 0800 111 999: once you’re outside, call for help. The number should be on a label on your gas meter. It’s a free, 24/7 service telephone number and a gas engineer will be with you as soon as possible. Further information can be found on the Cadent website.
  • Not an emergency: get a qualified gas engineer to do routine service work or repairs on gas appliances, go to the GasSafe register at

Remember, landlords are legally responsible for servicing the appliances they supply and repairing the gas pipework in the property you rent.

If you need smoke alarms and fire safety advice, call us on 0300 303 0088 or go online:



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