'Silent killer' safety alert as clocks go back

Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 9:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th October 2017, 11:04 am

Cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are on the increase, so as the clocks go back on October 29 and many people jerk their boiler in to action too, people are warned to do safety checks.

This is the time when heating engineers receive a record number of calls from homeowners discovering faults with their boilers.

Software company Gas Tag is warning people of the dangers of failing to carry out proper gas safety checks. One in six homes in the UK are thought to have an unsafe gas appliance, putting people at risk from the ‘silent killer’ of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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The company is also challenging big housing providers and private landlords to keep proper tabs on gas safety for all their tenants.

Paul Durose, CEO of Gas Tag, said: “This is a vital time of the year for people to check their boilers are safe. It’s not even enough to check your own boiler, but your neighbour’s too.

“There have been too many incidences of people being poisoned by a neighbour’s faulty boiler after deadly fumes have seeped through an adjoining loft and numerous houses in a street being damaged in gas explosions.”

Gas Tag gives the following advice ahead of the end of British Summer Time;

Stay free from risk by employing gas engineers who are properly qualified.

Protect children: There has been an increase in the number of children suffering from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. According to a new report by Project SHOUT, more than 500 cases involving under 18s were reported last year.

Beware: A worrying 65 per cent of gas jobs carried out by illegal fitters are unsafe and one in five gas appliances they work on are so dangerous that they have to be disconnected immediately.

Ask for ID: One in five people who employ a tradesperson to work on a gas appliance do not check their ID card or qualifications so it’s not surprising that around 1.1 million gas jobs are carried out every year by illegal gas fitters. Research shows that 16 per cent of people would trust an engineer if they said they were registered, rather than checking their ID card.

By law, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register to work safely and legally on gas appliances. Click here to find a business or check an engineer.

Landlords should have all gas appliances serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record. If you rent out a room in your house – even an Airbnb room – you are officially a landlord and legally require this annual check. Half of 5m private landlords don’t get an annual gas safety certificate done.

Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.

A gas tag provides geo-tagged, time-stamped and photo-verified evidence of all gas work carried out. It helps to keep tenants safe and provides an audit trail for compliance.

Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm: 91 per cent of people have smoke alarms in their homes, yet only 30 per cent are thought to have CO alarms.

If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24 hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.