The Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) pledges its support for Gas Safety Week (15-21 September), now in its fourth year. John Thompson, APHC CEO, is highlighting potential measures which could improve safety and reduce cases of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The fourth annual Gas Safety Week will see the whole industry coming together to bring gas safety to the forefront of people’s minds. Dangerous gas work can kill, so it is vital that gas appliances are safety checked at least once a year. If left unchecked, poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In the last year alone, 343 people were injured and 10 people died as a result of gas related incidents.
John Thompson, Chief Executive at APHC said, “APHC is proposing some solutions to reduce incidents of faulty gas appliances and fatalities. A primary measure would be a mandatory annual MOT style check-up to make sure appliances are properly maintained, with potential faults detected prior to them becoming a silent killer.
“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, along with other leading industry colleagues and led by Plumb Center, are lobbying for CO detectors to become mandatory wherever a carbon-burning appliance is installed. You can join the petition at www.no-to-co.co.uk. Only around 15% of UK homes have CO alarms, yet every year over 4,000 people are admitted to hospital with CO poisoning”.
Installers can get involved with Gas Safe week and help spread the message of Gas Safety; you can help by reminding customers that to stay gas safe they should:
Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home.
Get your gas appliances safety checked at least once a year and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check the 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 you require.
Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm which will alert you if dangerous levels are present in your home.
Check for warning signs your 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.
People can also sign up to a free reminder service at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk where they can also see how many and what type of unsafe gas appliance has been found near to them on an interactive UK map.