This is despite a majority (77%) being aware that regular servicing can help gas appliances run more efficiently, and in turn save money on household bills.
It’s vital that gas appliances are regularly checked to help prevent gas leaks and stop carbon monoxide being released. But, when recently quizzed on gas safety by Gas Safe Register, only a third of homeowners knew that house fires can result from not having gas appliances safety checked on annual basis, and just under half correctly identified that collapsing and developing nausea can indicate carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from unsafe/unchecked gas appliances.
Experts recommend homeowners get all gas appliances (boilers, cookers and fires), flues and pipework, regularly maintained and serviced annually by a suitably qualified and competent engineer on the Gas Safe Register.
Checkatrade.com estimates the average cost at £80 a year to have a gas appliance safety checked, to avoid unexpected and potentially more serious issues occurring. In contrast, if a boiler breaks down, each call-out could cost up to £200 and replacing a boiler can cost thousands of pounds. Not getting regular safety checks could also invalidate warranties or conditions of insurance policies.
With spring now firmly on the horizon, the Gas Safe Register has teamed up with meteorologist and TV weather presenter Clare Nasir, to launch a new national campaign – Switch Off, Check On – warning homeowners of the false economy and safety implications of not servicing and safety checking their gas boilers, and the benefits of doing so at this time of year before retiring them for the spring and summer months.
Clare Nasir, Meteorologist and TV weather presenter, said: “Spring weather can often be deceptive – especially with colder mornings, which can take many by surprise.
"When planning to turn off your heating for the months ahead, it’s imperative that homeowners are prioritising gas safety in their homes and ensuring they do not skip their annual gas safety checks. Although homeowners, understandably so, are concerned about the increased cost of living – there are real risks to health, wealth, and safety linked to not servicing and safety checking their gas appliances, such as gas boilers.
"I would urge homeowners to familiarise themselves with these invisible risks and ensure you and your loved one’s safety is forefront of mind – if left unchecked – these can pose life-threatening risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Mike Fairman, CEO at Checkatrade, said: “As energy prices soar, we’ve noticed changes in homeowner demand for heating and energy efficiency measures. March is usually a busy month for boiler engineers, however so far this month we’ve seen a 28% decline in demand for repairs. This could suggest that people are switching their boilers off early, as they seek to save money on heating bills. We’re also seeing signs that homeowners are preparing for next autumn’s eyewatering bills – with searches for smart thermostats rising sharply by 23% and insulation searches by 17% – again bucking our usual seasonal trends."
Bob Kerr, Gas Services Director at Gas Safe Register, added: “With the cost of living rising across the country, including higher energy bills, there is no denying that we’ll all be feeling the financial squeeze over the coming months and year. But, much like with our health, prevention is better than cure when it comes to gas safety and keeping you covered for the unexpected."
"Many engineers get busier in the autumn and winter months when central heating within homes is turned on, and at a time when badly maintained boilers throw up problems. By booking in your annual boiler service now, to detect early signs of wear and tear, replace any faulty parts and help keep it well maintained before it will be in constant use again this autumn, you can minimise disruption to your household.
"That’s why we want to encourage homeowners to adopt a ‘Switch Off & Check On’ approach to gas safety this spring, and ensure they have peace of mind by considering booking their annual boiler service with a Gas Safe-registered engineer.”
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