So what happens when someone dials the National Gas Emergency Service?
Making the call
When you dial 0800 111 999, your call will be routed to the call centre.
It doesn't matter what time of day or night you ring - we have trained operators working round-the-clock waiting to take your call.
A call handling agent will log all the appropriate details onto a computer. The kind of information you'll be asked for will include:
- The address/location of the suspected gas escape or gas emergency
- How many people are at the property where the smell is most noticeable?
- How long the smell has been noticeable?
- Is the smell coming from the cellar/basement?
- Are any neighbours affected?
- Your name and phone number
- Any special circumstances or access information
Getting accurate address details is very important as we want to make sure we send engineers to exactly the right place. You will be asked to verify these details for this very reason. Your address and postcode are particularly important.
You'll be asked a series of questions designed to help us build a picture of the reported gas escape or gas emergency. From these details, we can identify the right gas safety advice for you - such as:
- Opening doors and windows
- Turning the gas off at the meter unless the meter is located in the cellar/basement
- Avoiding the use of any naked flames or electrical switches
All calls to the National Gas Emergency Service and National Enquiry lines may be recorded and monitored.
Send for an engineer
Once all the information has been gathered, it will be sent electronically to an engineer for action.
How long will you have to wait for an engineer to arrive? National Grid aims to attend all uncontrolled escapes within one hour, and all controlled escapes within two hours. A controlled gas escape is one where the person reporting it has confirmed that the gas emergency control valve serving the premises has been turned off and the smell of gas has gone. An uncontrolled gas escape covers all others.
Sometimes, our engineers will be sent to a leak that has been reported outdoors. Around a quarter of these turn out not to be gas leaks at all. Around 80% of the gas escapes we attend are inside buildings. That means the escape is related to internal pipework, a boiler, gas fire or other gas appliance.
What if the gas leak is indoors?
National Grid engineers will always 'make safe' when called to a suspected gas escape. However, the emergency service provided by National Grid under the terms of its Licence doesn't cover repairs to appliances or installation pipework which can't be completed within 30 minutes.
So what do I do next?
Once we have made the property safe, our engineer will explain that any work on appliances (e.g. cookers, boilers or fires) has to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. To find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your area, please visit the Gas Safe Register website www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call on 0800 408 5500.