Emergencies happen for many reasons and to many different people, however the one thing emergencies have in common is the necessity for efficiency. That’s why we’ve compiled a user-friendly guide, containing up-to-the-minute information and a host of quick call phones numbers (including freephone numbers for many departments).
For your convenience, we’ve highlighted some of the most commonly occurring emergencies and associated details:
If you smell gas, suspect a gas leak or are worried about carbon monoxide escaping from an appliance, don’t hesitate to call the gas leak freephone number 0800 111 999 – advisors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It’s also essential to:
- Ventilate the property – opening doors and windows (remember that, any electrically operated doors must be opened manually)
- Electrical switches must not be switched on or off.
- All naked flames must be extinguished, ensuring no smoking or striking of matches.
How to bleed a radiator
Bleeding radiators is often the way achieve maximum heating efficiency. If you’re not sure how to bleed a radiator, follow our user-friendly guide:
- Turn off your central heating and hot water system – observing optimum safety at all times.
- Place a dry cloth beneath the radiator in preparation for escaping water.
- Locate the square bleed key (usually at the side or back of the unit) and carefully turn anti-clockwise until it make a hissing sound – never turning more than twice, as the screw shouldn’t be removed.
- Wait for the hissing to stop and a little water to escape from the valve before re-tightening the screw (taking care not to over-tighten).
- If you have a combination boiler and the pressure is below normal, water may need to be added to the boiler – as per manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once all the steps are complete, the heating can be switched on again, however, if optimum function isn’t restored, you will need to request an engineer call out.
Electrical malfunctions and power outage can be quickly reported to British Gas by calling the freephone number 0800 048 1000 – once connected, a team member can advise about contacting your regional electricity network provider (from WPD East Midlands and SP PowerSystems Ltd through to WPD and CE Electric UK, to name but a few).
For all emergency issues relating to your PayPoint system, including recharging your card and details of where to find your local PayPoint, please call the British Gas phone number provided – lines are open from 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am until 6pm on a Saturday.
Appliance breakdowns – in association with HomeCare from British Gas
If in immediate danger, for example you smell burning or see smoke coming from an appliance, fuseboard, socket or lightswitch, call 999.
Alternatively, for all other appliance breakdown emergencies covered under the HomeCare agreement (excluding plumbing and drainage) – emergency assistance can be requested online via www.britishgas.co.uk. If you don’t have an online account or would prefer to discuss your situation with a member of the British Gas team, please call the contact number provided.
Not a HomeCare customer but still require assistance?
British Gas offer a fixed-price option for their customers who aren’t covered by the HomeCare scheme. This consists of an agreed up-front fee accommodating work carried out, extra parts needed and any additional engineer visits– applicable until the original problem is resolved.
Further troubleshooting in an emergency
Turning off your gas supply
Turning off your gas supply requires you to locate the gas isolation valve, which is commonly found under the stairs, beneath the kitchen sink or in the garage – newer properties often place isolation valves and gas meters outside.
Once located, turn the handle until it is at a 90 degree angle to the gas pipe – which is typically in an upright position.
Fusebox faults are commonplace, with power cuts being a regular problem – before calling for an engineer the remedy often lies with simply checking that all trip switches are in the ‘on’ position. Also, in times of power failure, ask your neighbours if they are experiencing the same problem – other homes may also be affected and if so, your local network provider will need to be contacted. If your fusebox sparks or smokes, turn off the main switch and contact your electrical network provider – details of your local network provider can be found online (www.britishgas.co.uk) or via the British Gas phone number provided.
Problems with refrigerators, freezers and fridge-freezers
Refrigerator, freezers and fridge-freezers are subject all manner of problems, however some can be easily fixed without the need for a British Gas engineer to visit, for example:
- My appliance is making a strange noise, what do I do? Firstly, vibration sounds often occur when the fridge or freezer is positioned too closely to a wall – simple repositioning often does the job. If not, listen for periodic clicking which may be an indication of over-heating – this will require an engineer.
- The temperature of my appliance isn’t cold enough and it seems to be defrosting. I have set the thermostat as per the manual’s instructions – please can you help? Overloading your fridge/freezer is a common cause of such problems, likewise ensuring the door closes snugly and isn’t left open for too long is also paramount.
- The light inside my fridge doesn’t work, how can I fit it? Switching off the power to your appliance via the fusebox is the first step, before consulting the manual for instructions regarding bulb changing.