Last week was Gas Safety Week (19th – 25th September)
Gas Safe Register use the campaign to urge engineers to help ensure the public, and particularly the elderly, know the risks of faulty gas appliances and the importance of getting an annual safety check.
Jonathan Samuel, managing director for Gas Safe Register, says:
“Registered engineers are at the front line of gas safety in the UK, and have the best insight into the safety of elderly or vulnerable residents.”
Worryingly, older people are half as likely as any other age groups to have a gas installation or service carried out by a professional gas engineer, which would ensure the safety of their appliances.
The danger of gas appliances is very real. Gas Safe Register investigations find around one in six gas appliances are unsafe, with half of the gas fireplaces investigated found to be dangerous. More than 260 over-65s are injured by gas appliances every year, accounting for 57% of deaths from gas fires at home.
To mark the launch of Gas Safety Week 2016, a survey was released which reveals the views of engineers on gas safety for the elderly:
- 81% of registered engineers believe the elderly should be offered better support to help them be gas safe in the home.
- a third of registered engineers feel that people over 65 are less likely to be aware of the dangers of gas appliances.
- 83% say they regularly give older or vulnerable customers support in understanding how to look out for signs/symptoms of unsafe gas appliances.
- Engineers believe that direct advertising together with extra information such as, leaflets, safety booklets and step-by-step guides, discounts on carbon monoxide (CO) alarms for the over-65s, and regular updates from the industry would help to protect the older people stay gas safe.
Gas Safe Register’s gas safety tips
Everyone can benefit from these life-saving tips, but particularly the elderly and vulnerable. Share them with your customers during Gas Safety Week and beyond!
- Sign up for an annual gas safety check –only 16% of people speak to their older relatives annually about gas safety. Sign up for an annual gas safety check reminder at: www.staygassafe.co.uk.
- Get savvy with CO poisoning symptoms –one in nine (11%) over 75s has little or no knowledge of the dangers of CO and less than half (47%) of Britons can recognise CO poisoning symptoms in their older relatives.
- Recognise unsafe gas appliance signs – just over half of Britons (53%) know the signs of unsafe gas appliances, which include a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame, soot or staining on or around the appliance, excess condensation in the room.