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Better to be gas safe than sorry says Gas Safe Register

By Katie Anderson on September 13, 2012

With Gas Safety Week almost over for another year, the Gas Safe Register is championing the need to stay gas safe, spreading the message across the country by offering advice and tips to help homeowners make sure their homes are gas safe.

With more than 2,000 organisations having pledged their support to the campaign this year, more and more people are being made aware of the dangers surrounding unsafe gas appliances and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Launched on Monday (10th) by the Gas Safe Register – the official list of gas engineers who are deemed qualified to work on gas appliance – Gas Safety Week is a week-long initiative which focuses on the message of making gas safety a priority for everyone, whether you’re a home owner, a tenant or a landlord. And with one in three people saying they would carry out do-it-yourself jobs on their gas appliances, clearly the message still isn’t getting across.

While we want our homes to be a safe haven, there are many hidden dangers which we don’t give enough thought to. Take gas appliances for example. Central heating systems, fires and cookers can all be deadly if they aren’t properly maintained. We rely on our boilers to provide heat and hot water; fires to keep us warm and cookers to cook our meals. But poorly serviced and maintained appliances are at risk of leaks, fires and even explosions. Not to mention potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.

A Gas Safe survey of engineers has revealed that the majority of problems with gas boilers, cookers and fires can be attributed to poorly serviced appliances. In fact, 43% of people admit to not getting their appliances checked regularly. Are you one of them?

Gas Safe Register has compiled a list of top tips to help people stay safe this winter:

  • Gas appliances in your home should be checked and serviced once a year (if you’re a tenant it is your landlord’s responsibility to arrange this)
  • When fitting, fixing or servicing gas appliances only use a Gas Safe Registered engineer
  • Check your gas engineers credentials by asking to see their Gas safe Registered ID card
  • Keep an eye on the colour of your gas flame – if it’s a lazy yellow it could be a sign the appliance isn’t working properly
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm which will warn you if carbon monoxide is detected
  • Be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which includes dizziness and headaches
  • If you smell gas call 0800 111 999 straight away

Last year Gas Safety Week was supported by almost 1,000 organisations and involved a full-on week of national and regional media campaigning. From TV spots and articles in national and regional press to bus shelter advertising and a road show which toured the country. This year the Gas Safe Register has upped the ante even more and anticipates more than 2,000 organisations getting in on the action in 2012.

As part of their campaigning, Gas Safe Register has put together a rather useful video which features tips and advice to help the nation be gas safe rather than sorry.