Easington MP Grahame Morris has pledged his support for Gas Safety Week (19-25 September), to raise awareness of gas safety issues in East Durham.
This sixth annual campaign, coordinated by the Gas Safe Register, see organisations across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The campaign aims to remind the public to have their gas appliances checked, as we head into winter and begin to switch our heating on.
There are around 40 confirmed deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales every year and inspections conducted by the Gas Safe Register last year revealed that 1 in 5 homes in the East of England contained an unsafe gas appliance. At a recent All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group event Dr Andy Shaw presented new research which showed that while 78% of homes have smoke alarms shockingly only 9% have CO alarms and those in private rented properties are at a greater risk of CO poisoning.
In the report Carbon Monoxide: From Awareness to Action (2015), it was identified by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group that “the risk of CO being produced at levels dangerous to humans is relatively low”, when appliances are serviced regularly by a “competent person”. With 20 deaths and 1,000 gas-related injuries in the last three years, it’s vital that people make sure their gas appliances are safety checked every year by a registered engineer. Anyone working on gas appliances while not being Gas Safe registered, is working illegally.
Jonathan Samuel, managing director for Gas Safe Register, said: “We know from our own investigations that one in six gas appliances in the UK are unsafe, meaning far too many people are victims of preventable gas related incidents. It’s great to have the support of Mr Morris for Gas Safety Week 2016 so that we can work together to raise public awareness of gas safety and reduce the number of dangerous gas appliances lurking in the homes of the UK’s 23 million gas consumers.”
Follow these three simple top tips to stay gas safe:
- Get all of your gas appliances safety checked once a year by a registered engineer and sign up to a free reminder service at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk
- Make sure your engineer is legal and safe, by making sure they are registered with Gas Safe Register, the UK’s official gas authority. You can check by calling 0800 408 5500 or visiting www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk
- Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue one, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.