A council crackdown on gas safety in Indian restaurants has led to the closure of three curry houses in Surrey.

The action, taken to restrict unsafe gas appliances, was conducted by Woking Borough Council in February in response to a spate of injuries in other parts of the country, due to poorly maintained tandoori ovens.

Environmental health officers inspected 32 Indian take-away and restaurant premises, 14 of these with Gas Safe registered engineers, and three premises were closed immediately due to the detection of gas leaks.

Gas Safe engineers had to make the premises safe before they could re-open, and all premesis have now complied with notice requirements.

A futher two premises had equipment disconnected because they were of ‘immediate risk’, two premises were served with prohibition notices to prevent the use of unsafe equipment, and eight were issued with improvement notices requiring action within a specific time period.

Before any visits took place, Woking Asian Business Forum wrote to businesses advising them of the importance of gas safety, asking for their cooperation and to expect contact from Woking Borough Council.

Emma Doherty, Woking Borough Council’s environmental health manager, said working with the Woking Asian Business Forum was beneficial as it helped secure engagement from businesses and gave them adequate warning that the council were to focus on gas safety in their premises.

Councillor Beryl Hunwicks, portfolio holder for food and health & safety, said: “The level of enforcement action necessary proves that this initiative was extremely worthwhile and has made the Borough a safer place for both employees working in these establishments and members of the public who visit them.”

The council is currently considering similar initiatives for Chinese and Italian restaurants and take-aways that also use specialist gas appliances in their style of cooking.