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Staying Gas Safe

Staying Gas Safe

Hannah McCartan
5th October 2016

McCartan Lettings pledged its support for Gas Safety Week last month, and is keen to raise awareness of gas safety and urge the public to support the most vulnerable in society, to help keep them safe from dangerous gas appliances.

The sixth annual Gas Safety Week saw a record 6,859 organisations from across the UK work together to encourage all gas consumers – whether landlords or homeowners – to arrange an annual gas safety checks. The focus this year was on asking the public to reach out to their friends and family, be they elderly parents or a disabled neighbour, to ensure they are gas safe. Poorly maintained gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In the last year, at least 55,200 homes in the UK escaped deadly gas incidents such as these, thanks to engineers switching off dangerous appliances.

McCartan Lettings were recently asked by a landlord to market their property as the current tenant had plans to move out. During due diligence checks carried out by McCartan, it became apparent that the gas safety certificate for the property had expired six months previously. When the registered Gas Safe engineer visited the property, they discovered a leak behind a wall in the kitchen that, if left, could have caused an explosion.

When ordering gas safety certificates for their managed landlords, McCartan Lettings only instruct registered engineers, and have recently put in place a system to automatically email their specialist let-only landlords when their gas certificates are up for renewal to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

With 22 deaths and nearly 1,000 gas-related injuries in the last three years, it’s vital that people make sure their gas appliances are safety checked every year, by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Anyone working on gas appliances while not being Gas Safe registered is working illegally.

“We are really proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week and to be helping raise awareness of the importance of annual checks with registered engineers,” says Hannah, McCartan MD. “As part of our full management service, we work with landlords and tenants to ensure checks are carried out every year, and any issues involving gas are resolved quickly. Though we insist on seeing a valid gas safety certificate at the beginning of each tenancy for our specialist let-only service, we have no control over the on-going safety and maintenance of their properties. We hope that our new notification system will help those landlords to stay compliant, too, and encourage them to check the credentials of their engineers.”

Jonathan Samuel, managing director for Gas Safe Register, said: “It’s great to have the support of McCartan Lettings this Gas Safety Week. By working together we can reach more people and help to reduce the number of dangerous gas appliances that could be lurking in the homes of the UK’s 23 million gas consumers. We know from our own investigations that around one in six gas appliances in the UK are unsafe4, meaning far too many people are victims of preventable gas related incidents.”

Reach out to those who need help keeping gas safe at home by following these top tips:

  • Help them to sign up to a free annual gas safety check reminder service at www.staygassafe.co.uk. You could even sign up on their behalf, so the reminder is sent to you each year.
  • Make them aware that an unsafe gas appliance may cause a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame, soot or staining on or around the appliance, and excess condensation in the room. Carbon monoxide (CO) has no smell, taste or colour. The symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness, which can easily be mistaken for something else.
  • Make sure they know to ‘Trust the Triangle’ by asking to see their engineer’s Gas Safe ID card and checking it to make sure the engineer is covered to check or fit the appliance in question.
    To find out about dangers in your area, visit www.staygassafe.co.uk. To find a Gas Safe registered engineer, visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk, or give the team at McCartan Lettings a call on 01792 430100.

Sources: Gas Safe Register / HSE

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