Gas Safety in Times of Economic Hardship - Viva Training Centre

The importance of regular gas appliance checks extends beyond efficiency. These checks are crucial for preventing gas leaks and carbon monoxide emissions. Yet, a mere one-third of homeowners recognise the risk of house fires from unchecked gas appliances, while less than half are aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as collapsing and nausea.

Professionals strongly advise annual maintenance and servicing of all gas appliances, including boilers, cookers, fires, flues, and pipework. This should be done by a qualified engineer registered with the Gas Safe Register. estimates an average cost of £80 for these checks. Comparatively, boiler repairs can cost up to £200 per call-out, and a new boiler installation can reach thousands of pounds. Neglecting regular checks may also invalidate warranties and insurance policies.

With the approach of spring, the Gas Safe Register, in collaboration with meteorologist Clare Nasir, has launched the “Switch Off, Check On” campaign. It emphasises the safety risks and false economy of avoiding gas appliance servicing and encourages doing so before the less active spring and summer months.

Nasir stresses the importance of prioritising gas safety and annual checks, citing the risks to health, wealth, and safety, including life-threatening carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mike Fairman, CEO of Checkatrade, notes a 28% decline in demand for boiler repairs this March, potentially indicating early boiler shutdowns by homeowners to save costs. There is also an uptick in interest in energy efficiency measures, like smart thermostats and insulation.

From the Gas Safe Register, Bob Kerr parallels gas safety with health: prevention is better than cure. He advises booking boiler services to avoid problems in the more demanding autumn and winter months.

Despite 90% of homeowners expressing confidence in spotting unsafe gas conditions, a Gas Safe Register study revealed a stark reality: only 0.2% passed their Gas Safety Challenge. The study highlights a significant gap between perceived knowledge and actual safety practices.

The Gas Safe Register has introduced the Gas Safety Challenge to combat misconceptions and enhance safety knowledge. It’s a quick, engaging way for the public to refresh their understanding of gas safety.

While the financial pressures are undeniable, the risks of skirting gas safety checks are substantial. Homeowners are urged to reassess their priorities, considering the potential health and economic consequences of neglecting gas appliance servicing. The message is clear: being “better gas safe than sorry” is not just a slogan but a necessary practice in these challenging times.


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