British Gas: UK homeowners and renters at risk due to lack of understanding about gas safety

Gas Safety Week

Gas Safety Week

  • One in five homeowners and renters do not know that gas appliances must be checked for safety every year
  • Survey shows nearly a quarter of homeowners have not had a gas safety check in the past year
  • More than a third of homeowners and renters do not have a carbon monoxide alarm
  • Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal

WINDSOR, 15-Sep-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The lives of thousands of homeowners and renters across Britain are at risk due to a lack of understanding about gas safety and not enough people installing carbon monoxide alarms in their home, according to new research released today by British Gas.

The independent national survey* reveals that one in five homeowners and renters do not know that their gas appliances should be checked for safety every year, and nearly a quarter (22%) are unaware that they may be putting lives at risk by not doing so.

All gas appliances should be checked annually for safety by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Neglecting this check risks a range of problems from boiler faults to gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning which could result in death.

Despite this threat to life nearly a quarter of homeowners (23%) have not had a gas safety check on their home in the past year, and a more than a third (35%) do not have a carbon monoxide alarm installed to warn of the presence of the poisonous gas.

Landlords are legally obliged to install working carbon monoxide detectors in any room with a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. However, in the British Gas survey, more than a third (34%) of people living in private rented accommodation did not have a carbon monoxide alarm installed.

Landlords are also legally obliged to use a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out an annual gas safety check of their properties, to keep tenants safe. They must keep a record or certificate (CP12) of the check and give a copy to tenants. Failure to do this could result in a criminal record for the landlord, an unlimited fine, or even imprisonment.

In spite of this threat, landlords appear to be gambling with their tenants’ lives, with more than a fifth of renters surveyed (22%) stating they have not had, or are unsure whether a gas safety check was carried out on their home in the past year.

Stacey Rodgers set up The Dominic Rodgers Trust in 2007 after her 10-year-old son Dominic died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a neighbour’s flue and faulty boiler.

Stacey Rodgers said: “Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, so it’s crucial that everybody takes practical steps to keep safe in their home, including making sure that gas appliances are checked every year, and that they get an audible carbon monoxide alarm.”

Natalie Foster, who services and repairs boilers at British Gas, said: “Our survey highlights that there’s a gap in understanding about gas safety and the dangers associated with not carrying out annual gas safety checks.

“Carbon monoxide doesn’t discriminate whether you are a homeowner, landlord or tenant. So put your safety first. It’s critical that a Gas Safe registered engineer carries out an annual check of your gas appliances and that you install a carbon monoxide alarm.”

ENDS

Notes to editors
British Gas’ simple checks to stay gas safe:

For landlords:

  • You need a gas safety check and record or certificate (CP12) for each property every year. Give a copy to your tenants to keep safe.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your properties. You can buy them online and have it delivered direct to your tenants to install themselves with minimal effort.
  • British Gas can arrange for your gas safety certificate for each property to be available online, so you can download or print them whenever you need them. Get more advice here.

For tenants:

  • Your landlord is legally obliged to have a gas safety check done every year, and to give you a copy of the property’s gas safety certificate (CP12). If you don’t know whether your property is safe, just ask.
  • Look for signs of staining, soot or discoloration on, or around your gas boiler, fire or water heater. These can be signs of carbon monoxide. Keep vents in doors, walls or windows clear to ensure gas fumes can safely escape your home.
  • Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be similar to the flu.
  • If you notice anything wrong, stop using the appliance immediately, open windows and doors to ventilate your home and call the Gas Emergency Services Helpline on 0800 111 999 (24hrs). You should also seek medical advice.
  • Get more advice here.

Methodology:
* The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 4,026 respondents aged 16+ in the UK between 19.08.16 – 30.08.16.  Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

For more information contact:
Bieneosa Ebite
Senior PR Manager
British Gas
01784 84 3000
bieneosa.ebite@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.

SOURCE: British Gas

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