Fears over gars appliances in Sheffield

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Checks on gas appliances in Sheffield found one in five were unsafe.

Gas Safe Register has inspected 2,607 homes in Sheffield in the past four years and found unsafe gas appliances in one in five homes.

To mark Gas Safety Week, which starts today, Gas Safe Register, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and local registered engineers will be in the Moor Market in Sheffield tomorrow to offer gas safety advice.

New research released today has revealed at least 400 homes in Sheffield have escaped deadly gas incidents, such as explosions, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, in the last year.

The research carried out among Gas Safe registered engineers revealed that over half of the engineers - 57 per cent - found a dangerous gas boiler, cooker or fire in a customer’s home in the last year that needed turning off immediately.

In addition, National Grid found over 4,000 unsafe gas appliances at emergency call-outs attended in Yorkshire in the last year.

Michael Boaler, a Gas Safe registered engineer from Sheffield, said: “It’s scary to see everyday how many people are in danger and don’t even realise it.

“I work for a housing association and on one occasion I was left with an emergency situation, which could have resulted in a gas explosion if I hadn’t gained access into the property and switched off the gas supply. As well as fitting carbon monoxide detectors throughout all of the homes, we also hold regular drop in sessions for tenants to promote gas safety and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Kevin Ronan, head of community safety at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our fire fighters regularly deal with the consequences of badly fitted and poorly maintained gas appliances or illegal gas work.

“These situations are often fatal, so it’s an issue we take very seriously. We’re joining forces with Gas Safe Register to raise awareness of this important issue in the hope it will prevent tragedies happening.”

Russell Kramer, chief executive for the Gas Safe Register, said: “Over the past three years there’s been 31 deaths and over 1,000 injuries that have resulted from gas related incidents.

“However, listening to our engineers tell us about the situations they face on a daily basis and hearing just how many life-threatening incidents they prevent, it’s surprising there haven’t been more. “It shows what a great job registered engineer’s do, but at the same time the public also has an important role in gas safety.

“An engineer can only help keep you safe if they are invited into your home to check your gas appliances. It’s therefore your responsibility to make sure you stay safe by regularly getting your appliances safety checked by a registered engineer.”