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Energy price rise crisis prompts gas safety warning



Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the gas distributor for the North of England, is backing a major national awareness drive in a bid remind customers that gas safety is critical – even in times of major economic uncertainty.

Gas Safety Week, which runs 12th – 18th September 2022, is now into its second decade, bringing organisations from across the UK together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

And this year NGN, which provides the region’s rapid response when a smell of gas is reported, has pledged to throw its full weight behind the campaign amid fears that soaring prices may tempt some households to try and cut corners or even attempt dangerous DIY on their domestic gas appliances in a bid to save money.

NGN Customer Experience Director Eileen Brown said: “We’re in unprecedented times when it comes to rising energy costs and we know that a lot of our customers will be understandably anxious about the financial implications for themselves and their families.

“In these challenging circumstances, it can sometimes be tempting for people to try and take matters into their own hands – but our clear message to them in this important week of awareness-raising is that gas can be extremely dangerous and must be treated with respect at all times.

“If you smell gas, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 immediately. This line is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our engineers will be with you within the hour.”

This year, Gas Safety Week focuses on the steps consumers can take to ensure they stay safe, including only using professionally qualified engineers and being aware of the warning signs of unsafe appliances, such as dark or sooty staining, or increased condensation.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive for Gas Safe Register, said: “During these difficult times it’s important to stay aware of the warning signs of an unsafe gas appliance and contact a Gas Safe registered engineer if you’re worried something’s wrong, as well as having your annual gas safety check.

“We’re delighted to see so much support for this year’s Gas Safety Week, and by working together we can keep the public informed of gas safety and help reduce the risk of dangerous gas appliances across the UK, helping the whole nation to stay gas safe.”

The Gas Safe Register has pulled together a list of handy hints for households including:

  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, collapse, and loss of consciousness.
  • Look out for warning signs your appliance may be unsafe, such as dark or sooty stains around the appliance, increased condensation and pilot lights frequently going out.
  • Make sure you leave vents unblocked as these are there to help your appliance work safely and efficiently.
  • If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour National Gas Emergency Helpline number immediately on 0800 111 999.
  • Never attempt to work on a gas appliance yourself, always seek the help of a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • If you’re having your annual safety check, only employ a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer to carry it out.
  • 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.

Gas Safe Register is the official register for legally qualified engineers. You can find a registered engineer in your area by visiting the Gas Safe Register website at GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

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