Monday, 13 July 2009

emergency call out, gas leak

Yesterday morning David and I went to a local car boot sale. We didn't buy much, I think he got a book and I bought a silicon bowl scraper for 50p (I'd have bought one for you, too, Rachel, if they'd had more than one!). When we arrived back home, about 11am, I though I could smell something funny as I walked towards the house. When I opened the door, I still thought there was something, but it was very slight, so I opened the doors to get a draught blowing through.

David went into the garage to clear the party wall between the garage and the house so that the cavity wall installers can do their job on Wednesday.

One minute later he was back, "Will you come out to the garage with me?" - it's not the most romantic request I've ever had, but at my age, what can you expect?

This was followed by "Do you remember there was that funny smell - like gas - a couple of years ago? Well, it smells similar out there now." I'd called out the emergency gas people then, and they'e told me it was blowback from the water heater, which is sited in the garage. I felt pretty silly, as you can imagine!!!

I walked in and was almost knocked over by the smell!! Then I heard the hisssssssss!!!!!!!! "We need to get out of here and I'll call the emergency service, don't touch anything, especially the light swicth!" I said calmly, my mind going into overdrive - what else don't you do when there's a gas leak??? "Shall I turn it off?" he said. "No" I replied, "it might cause a spark. We need to speak to them before we do anything." Caution is my middle name when something might go very wrong. I'm incredibly glad that neither of is a smoker!!!!!

So, I called the emergency number. How many of you know what it is? It's 0800 111 999 for a gas leak in the UK. If you have a gas supply, it's a good number to memorise. No, really, it is. It's pretty easy, freephone 111 999. The 999 is drilled into us from children, and three 1s isn't that much more to remember, is it, and the 0800 you'll remember cos that makes the call free. See, that was so easy, wasn't it?

A very calm lady on the other end of the phone took my details and I could hear her typing away as she sent the message out to the emergency vehicle. Once she'd done that, she advised me to turn off the gas supply, assuring me that it wouldn't cause a spark!! OK, so I worried in vain, but it had caused a spark, I wouldn't be writing this, now would I??? Within half an hour the engineer had arrived, replaced the leaking pipe, and was on his way.

The Yorkshire blood in me heaved a huge sigh of relief when he confirmed that the leak was at "their" side of the supply, and I hadn't been paying to pump gas into the atmosphere.

Just as well, really, as David later confessed that he'd smelled the gas the night before, but forgotten to tell me!! So the funny smell that had tantalised me was the gas leaking out under the garage door on the drive, and in through the open bathroom window in the house. Mystery solved.

He has now cleared the wall - a gas leak only gives a man a short reprieve. He was out til 8pm, but he's done it wonderfully, and I only had to help with the huge old school cupboard, but that's another story.

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