Gas appliance checks not carried out regularly
HOMEOWNERS in the East Midlands are putting their lives at risk by leaving gas safety on the back burner.
Research from British Gas found that 40 per cent of homeowners in the region last checked their gas appliances two or three years ago, or cannot remember when.
Only one in four said they had carried out a safety check on their gas appliances in the past 12 months.
More than a fifth said an annual safety check was a low priority in relation to other household bills such as maintenance costs.
A quarter of all those surveyed were unaware of any health risks associated with not taking the annual check, or do not believe it is life threatening.
British Gas recommends getting all gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer once a year, and serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The checks pick up problems such as faulty boilers, which can cause gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal and can cause long-term health problems including brain damage.
It is known as the ‘silent killer’, because the gas is odourless, has no taste and is invisible, something one in ten surveyed did not realise.
Three in ten homeowners in the East Midlands do not have a carbon monoxide alarm installed in their home, despite the fact that they can be easily purchased.
Symptoms of poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nause and breathlessness.
Signs an appliance may be leaking carbon dioxide include stains, soot or discolouration on or around your boiler, fire or water heater.
A yellow or orange pilot light on a boiler is another potential sign of a carbon monoxide leak.
It’s also important to make sure there are no blockages in your chimney or flue, and to keep clear air vents in doors, walls and windows.