Today sees the start of Gas Safety Week, organised by Gas Safe Register to raise awareness of the dangers of natural gas and the importance of using qualified engineers.
The initiative has gained extensive support from the building services sector, including merchants, manufacturers and suppliers to the industry and engineeers.
It has also received extensive coverage in the national and local media, in a comprehensive drive to educate householders.
Gas Safe Register states that its latest research has revealed more needs to be done to raise awareness and improve safety.
Issues that need to be addressed include:
- The fact that half of UK tenants did not receive a landlord’s gas safety record when they first moved into their property and 38 per cent have never received one, despite this being a legal requirement;
- Public confusion as to what the symptoms of CO poisoning are;
- That one in five people who employed a gas engineer said they did not check if the engineer was registered;
- That 12 per cent of homeowners said they would willingly use an unregistered engineer or friend in order to save money.
Gas Safe Register chief executive Paul Johnston said: “Last year marked the first ever Gas Safety Week, which was a huge success in bringing the industry together and reaching the public with potentially lifesaving messages.
“We hope that even more organisations and engineers will pledge their support this year.
“Whether that is educating your customers about the six symptoms of CO poisoning, or encouraging them to have annual safety check; the more people that we reach, the more lives we hope to save.”
In the last 12 months, Gas Safe Register has investigated 690 illegal gas jobs, 93 per cent of which were left unsafe or were not to the correct standard.
One in five jobs were left in such a dangerous state that the appliance had to be turned off immediately to make it safe.
In addition to B&Q and Homebase stores across the country holding events, further supportive action is also being organised.
For further details, log on to www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk