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1 in 5 Welsh Residents Avoid Gas Safety Checks Fearing Tradespeople May Bring Covid Into Their Home

October 28, 2021

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In latest news, it has been reported that 22% of Welsh residents are avoiding gas safety checks as they fear tradespeople may bring in the virus.

18% of Welsh respondents are also not aware that regular gas safety checks were needed in their homes.  Carbon monoxide presents a huge risk, but more than a quarter of UK residents don’t have carbon monoxide detectors installed in their current homes.

Online boiler company BOXT surveyed 2,000 UK residents to reveal how gas safe the public are. Gas safety is especially important now, as UK residents start turning on their boilers and gas appliances following a warm summer.

In the study, on average 12.3% of respondents admitted to never testing their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, rising to 17.1% in Northern Ireland. 11.9% of Welsh residents didn’t even know where their alarms were.

2 in 5 Northern Ireland residents have never had their gas appliances gas safety checked. Only 48.6% of NI property owners get a gas safety check annually, the recommended frequency. In comparison, 70.7% of UK residents overall have a gas safety check carried out each year.

Worryingly, 1 in 5 people in Northern Ireland would have no idea what to do in the instance of a gas leak. Only 22.9% of Northern Ireland residents would recognise the main six symptoms of exposure to the fumes.

Of those East Midlands residents who hadn’t had their gas appliances safety checked within the past year, 12.4% blamed COVID. The cost was also cited as the main reason for not having a gas safety check, with 13.2% of respondents in the East Midlands stating they could not afford one.

If your home has a fuel-burning appliance, you should fit a carbon monoxide detector in every room where the fuel burns. However, homes that entirely run on electricity aren’t required to install this detector.

Here are some useful tips from engineers in the event of a leak:

  1. Prioritise leaving the property and calling the National Gas Emergencies helpline on 0800 111 999 from outside the property.
  2. If it’s safe to do so, open all doors and windows, and shut off the gas at the mains valve prior to leaving.
  3. If you or any members of your household feel unwell, suspect carbon monoxide or gas poisoning and visit the hospital straight away.
  4. Follow advice from the National Gas helpline if you feel well, and wait outside the property for their arrival.
  5. Do not turn light switches on or off after noticing a gas leak, as a simple spark could cause built up gas to ignite.
  6. Do not use any other electrical items within or next to the property, including mobile phones, chargers, flashlights or electric doorbells.
  7. Do not smoke or carry an open flame in or near the property.

Don’t return to your house until the leak’s source is found and fixed by a Gas Safe registered professional.

References: News from Wales

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