Nearly one in four homes checked by Swale Heating has an unsafe gas boiler, according to figures it has released in time for Gas Safety Week this month.
The statistics were collated for the quarter May to July 2016 amid concerns that householders do not understand enough about gas safety to keep themselves and their families safe.
Sales director, Matthew Edwards, said: “During the survey period, our engineers made 29,024 service calls and had to issue 6,714 notices of unsafe boilers. That’s boilers only; in some cases where the boiler was working satisfactorily there were other appliances that were unsafe.
“It’s frightening to know that so many people are living in potential danger without even realising.”
About three quarters of the boilers were identified ‘At Risk’ (AR) where the appliance had one or more faults which could pose a risk to lives or property.
However, in a quarter of cases, the engineers had to issue an ‘Immediately Dangerous’ (ID) notice where the installation is considered to pose an immediate danger to life and property if it is left on.
Engineers cannot disconnect the appliance without the householder’s permission; if permission is not given, the engineer must report to the Gas Emergency Service Provider (ESP). The ESP has the legal right of entry to make the appliance safe and this includes disconnecting the gas supply to the property entirely.
Swale Heating is working with Gas Safe Register to make sure Gas Safety Week makes people more aware of gas safety in their homes. The heating firm has already announced it will give away a free carbon monoxide (CO) monitor with every private order of a new boiler from September 19-25 in an effort to reduce the number of people who are poisoned or even killed by CO fumes.
Matthew continued: “Make sure all gas work in your home is carried out by an engineer registered with Gas Safe Register and get your gas appliances regularly serviced.
“Then perhaps we’ll see a fall in the number of AR and ID notices issued and we’ll know the gas safety message is really getting through.”