This Gas Safety Week, more than 5.5 million people in the UK are putting their health at risk by not getting their gas appliances safety checked every year. In the last year there have been more than 67,000 gas emergency call outs to homes in the UK and, if left unchecked, gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Jade Ullrich and her partner know all too much about the dangers of unchecked gas appliances. They moved into a Newquay property with their five year old son and, not long after moving in, Jade discovered she was pregnant with her second child. She quickly started feeling unwell, experiencing headaches, tiredness and extreme nausea. Jade’s parents came to stay at the property and smelt gas. An emergency gas engineer was called out who condemned the boiler as ‘immediately dangerous’ and switched it off. The boiler had not been serviced for 18 months and was found to be producing high levels of carbon monoxide.
Jade is supporting Gas Safe Register’s call to homeowners to protect themselves and their property by having a gas safety check, which costs as little as £60. Watch our video explaining the dangers of not having an annual gas safety check and what steps you should take to ensure your home is safe.
40 people have been killed or injured by CO poisoning while staying in a tent, caravan, holiday cottage or boat in Britain in the past two years[i]. As 29.5[ii] million Brits are expected to holiday in the UK this year, Gas Safe Register – the UK’s official gas safety body – and the All Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) are issuing urgent advice on how holidaymakers can keep themselves safe.
New research, carried out by Gas Safe Register, found that many Brits do not understand the dangers of CO on holiday. More than one in two Brits (53 per cent) do not recognise a smoking charcoal barbeque in a tent, caravan, motor home or room can result in CO poisoning. More than one in three (38 per cent) do not realise that using a portable gas camping stove inside can result in poisoning and over one in five (22 per cent) people are unaware that CO can build up in a poorly ventilated space with working gas appliances in it, such as a caravan[iii].
Should Britain suffer the return of a cold spell this summer the threat of CO poisoning could be greater. Almost one in 10 people (eight per cent) say it is likely they would bring a charcoal barbeque into a tent or caravan to keep warm. Carbon monoxide is a highly dangerous and poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of gas, liquid gas, oil, coal and wood. CO cannot be seen, smelt or tasted, making it a silent killer
Gas Safe Register is urging people to know and understand the dangers of CO on holiday. Many of the tragic deaths and serious injuries over the past two years could have been avoided if the individuals had known the causes. Gas Safe Register is working with APPCOG to issue vital safety advice so that when it comes to CO people can identify and avoid risky situations and get help quickly should they suspect danger.
In a interview with Sara Hill of Gas Safe Register is interviewed by Feven of PatientTalk.
1 April 2013 Kelly Webster (36) and her daughter Lauren Thornton (10) were killed by CO poisoning, Kelly’s partner Matthew Eteson (39) suffered CO poisoning but survived. The incident was due to a faulty generator on a boat they were staying on. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21993924
[ii] Accent carried out the survey for Gas Safe Register in June 2013. 650 people were surveyed in Britain. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the population of Britain is 61.4million (53 million people in England, 5.3 million in Scotland, 3.1 million in Wales) 48% of Britons surveyed are planning on taking a holiday or a short break in the UK this year, equating to 29.5million.
[iii] Accent carried out the survey for Gas Safe Register in June 2013. 650 people were surveyed in Britain. 47% knew a smoking charcoal barbeque inside a tent caravan, motor home or room could result in CO poisoning. 62% knew using a portable gas camping stove inside could result in CO poisoning. 78% knew a poorly ventilated space with working gas appliances in it can result in CO poisoning. 47% knew a warm but not visibly smoking charcoal barbeque inside a tent, caravan, motor home or room can result in CO poisoning.