Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION - THE GAS SAFE REG­IS­TER www. Gas Safe Reg­is­ter. co.uk

MORE gas-re­lated fires hap­pen on Christ­mas Day than any other but, as al­most a quar­ter (21%) of house­holds in the South East have not had their gas ap­pli­ances legally checked this year, thou­sands of peo­ple in the re­gion could be liv­ing with dan­ger­ous ap­pli­ances.

Ac­cord­ing to five years-worth of data from the Gas Safe Reg­is­ter and Fire and Res­cue Ser- vice, Christ­mas is the most dan­ger­ous time of the year when it comes to gas safety in the UK.

More fires in house­holds with gas ap­pli­ances take place on Christ­mas Day than any other day of the year, and Gas Safe Reg­is­ter’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion team find a higher pro­por­tion of dan­ger­ous gas ap­pli­ances in De­cem­ber that any other month.

A to­tal of 17% of UK boil­ers, fires and cook­ers in­ves­ti­gated in De­cem­ber dur­ing the last five years have been found to be un­safe.

While the ma­jor­ity of fes­tive rev­ellers in the South East pri­ori­tise buy­ing (63%) and wrap­ping (43%) presents, only 4% of adults in the re­gion put gas ap­pli­ance safety checks on their De­cem­ber ‘to do’ list in the run-up to Christ­mas.

In fact, many more (16%) pri­ori­tise watch­ing their favourite Christ­mas film over mak­ing sure that they and their fam­i­lies are gas safe at Christ­mas.

Peo­ple in the South East were most con­cerned about get­ting flu (28%), when asked about their top sea­sonal con­cerns; 24% were con­cerned about putting on weight while 22% were wor­ried about their boiler or gas fire not work­ing.

Jonathan Sa­muel, chief ex­ec­u­tive at Gas Safe Reg­is­ter, said: “Al­though Christ­mas is a very busy time of year, it is re­ally im­por­tant your gas ap­pli­ances have been checked and are run­ning safely. With our data show­ing that De­cem­ber can be dan­ger­ous for home­own­ers, Gas Safe Reg­is­ter is re­mind­ing peo­ple in the South East to get their an­nual gas safety checks in the di­ary so this Christ­mas is a safe and en­joy­able time.”

To stay gas safe this fes­tive sea­son, fol­low these top five Gas Safe Reg­is­ter’s top tips:

1. Only em­ploy a le­gal Gas Safe reg­is­tered en­gi­neer when hav­ing gas work car­ried out in your home. You can find a reg­is­tered en­gi­neer in your area by call­ing Gas Safe Reg­is­ter on 0800 408 5500 or by vis­it­ing www. Gas Safe Reg­is­ter. co.uk

2. ‘Trust the Triangle’ and al­ways ask to see your en­gi­neer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure you check the back of the card, which will state which gas ap­pli­ances they are qual­i­fied to work on.

3. Sign up for a re­minder ser­vice to make sure your gas ap­pli­ances are checked an­nu­ally: https ://www.stay­gas­safe.co.uk/

4. Speak to your en­ergy sup­plier to see if they can pro­vide a free gas safety check.

5. If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24hour na­tional gas emer­gency num­ber im­me­di­ately on 0800 111 999.

To find out more about the dan­gers posed by un­safe gas ap­pli­ances in your area visit www. Stay­Gas­Safe.co.uk, and to find a Gas Safe reg­is­tered en­gi­neer call 0800 408 5500 or visit www. GasSafeRegis­ter.co.uk.

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