23 September 2016

‘Cut the risk of fire and organise an annual gas safety check’ is the message from Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) as it marks Gas Safety Week.

Gas Safety Week 2016 runs from 19 to 25 September and NFRS would like to use this opportunity to remind gas consumers to take steps to make sure their homes are safe.

During the week, organisations from across the UK work together to encourage all gas users to arrange an annual gas safety check.

Friends and family

This year there is also a focus on encouraging the public to help their friends and family to stay gas safe too.

Poorly maintained gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. In the last year at least 55,200 homes in the UK escaped potentially deadly gas incidents thanks to engineers switching off dangerous appliances.

In the last three years the UK has seen 22 deaths and nearly 1,000 gas-related injuries, so it is vital people make sure their gas appliances are safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Anyone working on gas appliances while not Gas Safe registered is working illegally.

Annual check

Lisa Bryan, District Liaison Officer in NFRS’s Home Safety Team, said: “Not all house owners are expert enough to know straight away that their gas system has become unsafe, which is why having an annual check with a Gas Safe registered engineer is so important.

“Sadly, Fire Services across the country are sometimes called out to serious fires involving unsafe gas appliances, but these could be prevented if they were professionally maintained.

“We are delighted to be supporting Gas Safety Week and I hope that people do take note of the safety messages we are sending out, and perhaps prevent a potential fire from happening in their own homes.”

Tips to staying ‘gas safe’:

1) Sign up to a free, annual gas safety check reminder service at www.staygassafe.co.uk

2) Be aware of some of the signs that can be visible in an unsafe gas appliance. This can be:

-A lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame; soot or staining on or around an appliance; excess condensation in a room.

-Carbon monoxide has no smell, taste or colour. The symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness, which can easily be mistaken for something else.

3) ‘Trust the triangle’ by asking to see the engineer’s Gas Safe ID card and checking it to make sure the engineer is covered to check or fit the appliance in question.

4) To find a Gas Safe registered engineer, call 0800 4085500 or visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk