Express Plumbing on 30 December 2016

Christmas holidays are supposed to be one of the most joyous time of the year for millions of people. Unfortunately, though, for some families, the occasion is marred by tragedy. The holiday season is already a magnet for catastrophe, with more deaths occurring around the Christmas/New Year period than any other period. Many families take care to drive safely when visiting their family and friends, but not everyone stops to think about the dangers of a gas leak or explosion, especially during a holiday. This is generally because people are more focused on ensuring the meat isn't burned, the drinks are flowing, the music is just right, and that the children are entertained and not burning down the house themselves.

But the risk of fire isn't limited to pyromaniacal children with a death-wish. Sometimes the biggest threat to you and your family around Christmas time is your assortment of cooking devices. There are, thankfully, some very simple tips to ensure that you don't become a victim of gas leaks or explosions.

1. Ovens

This might sound like common sense – and indeed it is – but overcooking your Christmas turkey isn't the worst thing that can happen on Christmas. The Christmas holiday often means that you are perpetually distracted by conversation, incidents, and rogue family guests. You need to make sure that you don't forget the little things. For instance, double-check that the pilot light in your oven has been properly activated. A gas build-up without ignition can have devastating consequences. 

2. Outdoor barbecues

The fact is that some of the hottest days in Australia occur around the Christmas season. If you're using a gas barbeque, there are a few things that you should always check, but doing so when most of your immediate and extended kin trust you with your life is the most important time of all. If you are cooking with a gas bottle, ensure that it is functioning correctly and has no physical damage. Additionally, if you're using your house-supplied gas line, there is a test you can do yourself to check the safety of the line. There's no harm in doing this any time of the year, of course, but Christmas time is as good a time as ever, and it can help keep your checks scheduled. If you feel uncomfortable with checking, most plumbers are able to do this for you.

3. Indoor heating

Although the Australian Christmas season takes place during summer, some people do live in an area where it can get a bit chilly at night. This means that you should take steps to avoid the stealthy but deadly effects of carbon monoxide poisoning brought about by heaters. This can easily be avoided by an affordable carbon monoxide detector, giving you and your family peace of mind. Other devices, including portable stoves or gasoline-powered tools such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers, can also be a hazard, especially in enclosed areas. Ensure that you check electrical appliances and heating systems carefully to prevent a dangerous situation occurring.

Implementing these tips allows you and your family to have a safe, merry Christmas - without worrying about your gas fittings or plumbing.