Over five and a half million people living in the UK are risking their finances and health by failing to have yearly safety checks conducted on their gas appliances. Such a check can cost as little as £60 − a small price to pay for peace of mind.

65,000 Emergency Call Outs for UK Gas Appliances

In 2015 there were over 65,000 emergency call outs connected to home gas appliances in the UK; in addition, the Gas Safe Register has reported that it found faulty gas appliances in a worrying one out of every six of the 140,000+ homes it has examined over the past five years. Such dangers have resulted in the deaths of six people and in excess of 300 reported injuries over the last 12 months alone.

When their upkeep is neglected, gas appliances may cause hazards such as fires, explosions, gas leaks and the ‘silent killer’ − carbon monoxide poisoning. These can be life threatening situations and may also cause significant damage to your property, which could cost thousands of pounds to put right. Other often-reported issues associated with badly-maintained or faulty gas appliances include an excess of condensation, which often leads to unsightly black stains and, in some cases, burst gas pipes.

Gas Safety Checks are Mandatory for Landlords

Landlords are required by law to have regular gas safety checks conducted in their properties, but this is not the case for homeowners. The Gas Safe Register is making a concerted effort to raise awareness of the risks posed by faulty gas appliances among homeowners to encourage them to get into the habit of having a yearly safety inspection.

The public can access a list of all the gas-related incidents that have taken place in their local postcode by clicking on the interactive map at StayGasSafe.co.uk. The site also offers a service whereby homeowners can sign up to receive a reminder when their annual safety check is due.

Choose a Registered Gas Safe Engineer to Keep Appliances Safe

There are a number of simple ways to keep your gas appliances safe, the most important of which is to have them regularly serviced by a registered Gas Safe engineer. If you rent, check that your landlord is on top of this − he or she is legally obliged to do so.

It is obviously a good idea to use a high quality carbon monoxide detector and get up to speed with how to spot the warning signs that indicate your gas appliances are malfunctioning. Such signs include the presence of a ‘lazy’ yellow-coloured flame and the appearance of black sooty marks in the area around the appliance. You should also be aware of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathlessness and − in the worst case scenario − loss of consciousness.