The UK hosts roughly 21 million households which are dependent on gas to power their central heating system and cooking appliances.
Despite this prevalence of gas powered appliances, few stop to consider whether or not their set up is safe.
Risk of gas leaks, fires and explosions
Shoddy installations, poor quality appliances and a lack of inspections can lead to deadly gas leaks, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
In fact, thousands of Brits are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning every year. The gas is invisible to the naked eye and tasteless but can kill a person quickly and with little warning.
Gas Safe Register has estimated that there are currently 7,500 illegal gas fitters operating across the UK, who carry out approximately a quarter of a million illegal gas fittings every 12 months.
Research carried out in 2011 revealed that although most Brits know they need to carry out safety checks on their gas appliances annually, only 57% do. One tenth of people are in possession of appliances which have never been checked.
Why is Gas Safety Week important?
Russell Kramer, chief executive for Gas Safe Register, said: “Poorly fitted and badly maintained gas appliances cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. With 31 deaths and over 1000 injuries as the result of gas related incidents in the past three years, we want people to realise gas safety is something they should take seriously. That’s why this Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register is launching an interactive gas map where you will be able to enter your postcode and see how dangerous your area is when it comes to gas.
“It is the first time that data on unsafe gas appliances and illegal gas work has been compared across postcodes in Great Britain. By bringing gas safety to people’s doorsteps we hope to make gas safety harder to ignore. You can check how safe your area is and sign up to an annual reminder service by visiting www.staygassafe.co.uk. Our message this Gas Safety Week is simple – get your appliances checked every year, sign up for our reminder service and only use a Gas Safe registered engineer. It could save your and your family’s lives.”
Gas Safety Week is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register and supported by various companies operating within the gas industry such as retailers, manufacturers and consumer organisations.
You can keep up with all the latest news and developments surrounding Gas Safety Week on Twitter using #GSW13.