Gas, fire, carbon monoxide

Fire, carbon monoxide and faulty gas appliances are killers. You can take simple steps to protect yourself and your family. A carbon monoxide or smoke alarm could cost as little as £10, but could save yours or a loved ones life.


All gas appliances should be checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You can find a suitably qualified engineer on the Gas Safe website.

If You Smell a Gas Leak call National Grid Gas Emergencies line straight away on 0800 111 999 (this is a 24-hour emergency line). Open your windows and doors to let air in, make sure all gas appliances are turned off, and turn the gas off at the mains if possible.

Do not turn lights on or off and avoid using other electrical switches and appliances. Do not smoke, light a match or any other naked flame. Do not try to investigate the problem or attempt to fix a leak or a faulty appliance.


Barnet Council’s Social Care Direct is able to offer assistance to vulnerable Barnet Residents in an emergency situation where vulnerable residents have no heating.

Call Social Care Direct on 020 8359 5000, or 020 8359 2000 in an out of hours situation. For more information on what help is available to help keep Barnet residents warm see our Keep warm and well.

For older people and disabled people of all ages who would like advice on known and trusted contractors which we use, they can ask the Care and Repair Agency to help them


A fire can strike at any time. But it can be at its most devastating during the night as people may not wake up to act. That is why having a correctly functioning fire alarm is so important. Its function is to alert you to the presence of a fire.

What can I do?

  • ensure you conduct regular test of the alarm and always keep a spare battery
  • it is also vital to correctly site your fire alarm. Don’t place it too near the kitchen as cooking will set it off
  • in London, more than a third of all fires occur in the kitchen. Never leave the kitchen unattended when you’re cooking
  • chip pan fires are responsible for most of these fires. If you can, avoid cooking with large amounts of oil or fat; if not, never fill a pan more than one third of oil
  • prior to cooking with a large amount of oil, prepare your own fire blanket. Wet a good sized tea towel and wring out the excess water. If the pan should catch fire, turn off the hob, and gently place the blanket over the pan to extinguish the flames. Never try to extinguish the flames by pouring water into the pan, this could cause a splash back and dowse you with burning hot oil
  • don’t smoke if you feel you may fall asleep. Never smoke in bed and ensure ashtrays are never overfilled
  • statistically, the majority of fires occur during the night at around 2am. Prior to going to bed, switch off all mains appliances except items such as fridges. Close doors to limit the spread of the fire and smoke
  • ensure you have more than one route when evacuating your home. Recent additions to home safety include coiled fire ladders which attach to window ledges to enable you to escape from your upper stories.

The London Fire Brigade can offer free Home Fire Safety Visits to certain people where they can advise and check fire safety in the home. The home fire safety visit is usually for people regarded as having a higher risk of fire in the home, such as:

  • Older people living alone
  • People with mobility, vision or hearing impairments
  • People accessing mental health service users
  • Those liable to intoxication through alcohol and/or drug use

For more information, visit London Fire Brigade website or call 0800 028 4428.