Gas Safe Register has warned the public about the dangers of using gas appliances and barbecues during the summer, after research revealed that every day last summer 189 homes faced a dangerous gas emergency.
Between May and September 2014, gas emergency service provider National Grid was called out to 30,000 dangerous incidents – which included gas leaks, fires, minor explosions and over 9,500 cases related to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
A new survey among gas consumers has found that one in five homeowners (19%) said they did not use gas boilers at all during the summer, despite admitting they were still using hot water and cooking on gas appliances.
Furthermore, only one in 15 (6%) people saidthey would consider CO poisoning a summer health risk.
Gas Safe Register is also concerned that the public is putting itself at risk by believing that their boiler is not in use if the heating is turned off.
The research revealed that a third of people said they used a gas barbecue on a weekly basis during the summer, further exposing themselves to potential gas dangers.
Badly fitted and poorly maintained gas appliances can cause serious harm. Gas barbecues, and even portable barbecues, can be just as dangerous as unmaintained gas appliances – if faulty or brought into confined spaces such as a tent, they can emit deadly levels of CO fumes.
In the past three years, 28 people have been killed or injured from CO poisoning after bringing a barbecue into a confined space.
Gas Safe Register has teamed up with NHS Choices, the information website for the NHS, to highlight the dangers faced from poorly maintained gas appliances and barbecues and to encourage people to recognise the symptoms of CO poisoning.
A new safety advice video will feature on the NHS website.