As winter approaches, and with many people continuing to work and spend more time at home because of COVID-19, West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) is joining calls in Gas Safety Week 2020 to ‘think gas safety’.
The initiative, now in its tenth year, aims to raise awareness of the importance of gas safety – as well as of the dangers of poorly-maintained gas appliances.
In the three years to March 2020, WMFS firefighters attended 15 fires where gas was the main source of ignition (domestic and non-domestic settings). They also responded to 615 gas leak incidents – with just over 80 per cent of these being at people’s homes.
Pete Wilson, WMFS’s Group Manager for Prevention, said: “Many of us rely on, and perhaps even take for granted, our gas appliances. However, if you don’t keep boilers, heaters and cookers in good working order you risk gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
“It’s important that you only use a registered and qualified Gas Safe engineer to carry out servicing and repairs. Never attempt to work on a gas appliance yourself.
“We’re also urging people to have carbon monoxide detectors and alarms in their homes. It’s a highly-poisonous gas which can kill quickly, with no warning, but an alarm will alert you if there are dangerous levels in your home.”
It is a legal requirement for anyone carrying out domestic and commercial gas work to be registered, and comply with the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.
Gas Safe Register is the official register for legally-qualified engineers and can help you find an engineer in your area: GasSafeRegister.co.uk.
More top tips to help you stay ‘gas safe’:
- if you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999
- know the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning: headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapse, dizziness and loss of consciousness
- keep up-to-date with Gas Safety Week updates on social media by following @GasSafeRegister and the hashtags #GSW20 and #GasSafetyWeek.
Gas Safety Week 2020 starts Monday 14 September.