An annual gas safety check can keep us all safe

Sarah Newton blog

If we can take one positive from the incredibly challenging past 18 months or so, it must be the acts of kindness and neighbourliness that we have all witnessed, especially during the difficult months of lockdown.

From those who worked to keep essential services running to getting the weekly shop for our vulnerable neighbours or simply making time to chat, the sense of community, connectivity and collective care is one thing that most of us have wanted to preserve as we have emerged from those dark times.

During Gas Safety Week, from 13 to 19 September, I urge everyone to continue in that spirit by encouraging relatives, friends and neighbours to get a gas safety check. Those who shielded through the lockdown months, are clinically vulnerable or having to work at home, may feel particularly nervous of allowing strangers into their home. I would like to reassure everyone that Gas Safety registered engineers are mindful of people’s concerns and all comply with Covid guidance procedures and protocols including wearing appropriate PPE and observing social distancing.

As winter approaches, we are all looking to crank up the central heating ready for that first cold snap. While gas is a safe and efficient way to heat our homes and water, if not properly maintained, appliances can pose a potential risk to ourselves and our neighbours. It’s important that we make sure our boilers, cookers, fires and all other gas appliances are checked on an annual basis.

In rented premises, landlords have a responsibility to their tenants to ensure that appliances in rental properties are regularly maintained by a registered engineer.

We can all be guilty of procrastination and justifying to ourselves why we haven’t done the things we know that we should.  How often do we put things off because we’re too busy or the costs may seem prohibitive? Almost a third of us (32%) haven’t had a gas safety check in the past year even though it should be done annually. If that rings a bell with you, then I urge you to tick that particular item off your list and book an appointment with a Gas Safe registered engineer now. Having your gas appliances serviced regularly not only give you peace of mind but can help save you money in the long term.

It might feel that we have been bombarded with safety messages over the past year, but this is one thing you can do just once a year to keep safe through the winter months and beyond. By law all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register. Visit the Gas Safe Register website to find one in your area and book a gas safety check for yourself, your family, friends and neighbours.

Sarah Newton

HSE Chair