Installers have been encouraged to remind homeowners of ways to improve safety and reduce cases of carbon monoxide poisoning by the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC), ahead of September’s Gas Safety Week.
The fifth instalment of the annual event, co-ordinated by the Gas Safe Register, aims to bring the plumbing and heating industry together to remind people of the importance of gas safety. The 2015 Gas Safety Week will run from 14 to 20 September.
It is essential that gas appliances are safely checked at least once a year, APHC says. Unchecked, dangerous gas work can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, all of which can be fatal.
John Thompson, chief executive of APHC, said: “Appliances which are not properly maintained can quickly become silent killers. For this reason, APHC is proposing some measures, the first of which would be MOT style check-ups for appliances, with the aim of reducing incidences of faulty appliances and fatalities.”
“Secondly, it should be a mandatory requirement to have a CO detector installed when replacing a boiler in England and Wales. This requirement is already in place for solid fuels, and we recommend for it to be extended to cover all fuel types. These measures should also apply to all types of combustion appliances to reduce dangers to consumers across the board.”
APHC is encouraging installers to get involved with Gas Safety Week and help spread the message of gas safety. The Association has asked installers to help improve safety by reminding customers they should:
· Always use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to fit, fix and service gas appliances in the home. A registered engineer in a specified area can be found by calling Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5000 or visiting www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk
· Get gas appliances safely checked at least once a year and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes gas boilers, gas cookers and gas fires. Sign up at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk for a free reminder service.
· Check front and back of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card, making sure they are qualified to do the specific type of gas work required.
· Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm that will alert those in the home if dangerous levels of the gas are present.
· Check for warning signs that appliances aren’t working correctly, such as lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
· Sign up to a free reminder service at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk where it is possible to see how many and what type of unsafe gas appliances have been found near them on an interactive map.