The third annual Gas Safety Week kicked off today, with over 2,500 industry supporters working to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of using a registered engineer to check heating appliances.
From retailers and big energy companies to individual engineers, campaigns are being run across the UK to encourage homeowners to get their gas appliances checked every year, check their engineer is Gas Safe registered and check their ID card.
Among those who have pledged their support are TrustMark and its scheme operator the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES).
“Regrettably, too many homeowners rely on old or inefficient boilers or heaters,” said Roderick Pettigrew, chief executive of B&ES. “If your boiler or other gas appliances – like a cooker or gas-fired heater – are more than three years old or have been infrequently serviced in the past, we strongly advise that you contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to have them inspected and serviced.
“While safety is the first priority, with energy bills at stubbornly high levels and the average household dual fuel bill now around £1,300, it really is false economy to forego what should be an annual service and safety check – a well maintained boiler burns up to 10% less fuel than a poorly maintained one and that can mean very important energy savings.”
Some manufacturers, such as Worcester, Bosch and Sprue Safety Prodcucts, have launched social media campaigns to spread the word via Twitter and Facebook.
Worcester, Bosch has been encouraging installers to tweet their top tips to the manufacturer’s @HeatingYourHome account in the run up to the week, with prize giveaways for the installers who submit the best tips.
To mark Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register has launched an interactive gas map, which identifies the most dangerous postcodes in the country. The map reveals how many unsafe gas appliances have been found lurking in an area, how many unregistered gas fitters have preyed on the public and how many gas incidents and emergencies have happened. It is the first time that gas data has been compared across postcodes.
“In fact, one in three gas customers in Great Britain – around 7.69 million households – admit they’ve never had their gas appliances checked or maintained. This is despite eight in 10 people (82%) recognising that they should do it in order to protect themselves from gas dangers. This is why we have launched the gas map.”
The gas map enables people to type in their postcode to find out how safe or unsafe their area is and sign up for an annual gas safety check reminder. Gas Safe Register hopes the map will help drive further business for engineers as it will encourage more people across the UK to hire qualified engineers.