First the stats: In 2014 during the summer months (May – September) the gas emergency service provider, National Grid, was called out to 30,000 dangerous incidents including gas leaks, fires, minor explosions and over 9,500 cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Gas Safe Register is once again warning Britain about the dangers of using gas appliances and BBQ’s. One concern is that the public tends to forget about their boilers because the heating is off.
A new survey carried out among gas consumers found that one in five homeowners said they do not use gas boilers at all during summer, despite also admitting that they are still using hot water. People also admitted to cooking with gas appliances.
Almost unbelievably, only one in 15 people said that they would consider CO poisoning a summer health risk, showing a real lack of awareness.
It seems that the public has a tendency to let their guard down over the summer, particularly as the alcohol begins to flow more freely and the BBQ’s are lit.
A third of those asked in the survey also said they used a gas barbecue on a weekly basis during the summer.
Gas BBQ’s present their own risks including CO poisoning and explosions if handled incorrectly. A gas BBQ or even a portable BBQ can be just as dangerous as an unmaintained gas appliance. If faulty or brought into a confined space such as a tent or gazebo, they can emit deadly levels of CO fumes.
In the past 3 years 28 people have been killed or injured from CO poisoning after bringing a barbecue into a confined space.
Gas Safe Register has teamed up with NHS choice to highlight the dangers faced from poorly maintained gas appliances and barbecues during the summer.
Make sure you keep your customers safe by:
- Recommending that they get their gas appliances checked and if they suspect a fault get it looked at by a Gas Safe Register engineer.
- Remind them what to look for in a faulty gas appliance (lazy yellow flames, black marks around appliances).
- Remind them of the symptoms of CO poisoning.
- Make sure they know how to use barbecues safely – never use a smouldering or lit barbecue (charcoal or gas), gas stove, light or heater in a tent, caravan, room or cabin, or under an awning unless it is a permanent fixture that has been installed and maintained correctly.