Gas Safe raises the alarm for Christmas

The Gas Safe Register has issued a winter warning to help households avoid carbon monoxide poisoning this Christmas. The main aim of the campaign is to encourage households to get their gas appliances checked by a registered gas engineer and to buy an audible CO alarm.

Gas Safe points out that the ‘silent killer’, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, could be putting more than a quarter of UK households at risk this Christmas as a recent survey has shown that 27% of 2000 polled said they hadn’t had their boiler serviced in the last. A fifth (22%) of households said a CO leak at home is the Christmas ‘present’ they’d least welcome. However, a third (34%) don’t have, or don’t know if they have, a working audible CO alarm to alert them to a leak, and more than half of those asked didn’t recognise breathlessness and collapsing as symptoms of CO poisoning. Other CO poisoning symptoms include nausea, headaches dizziness and a loss of consciousness.

Many of those polled correctly identified signs of unsafe gas appliances which include: increased condensation (85%), lazy yellow flames (76%), dark stains around gas appliances (76%) and the boiler’s pilot light blowing out (67%). However, people also selected incorrect options thinking they would be a sign of unsafe appliances: green flames (21%), flickering light bulbs (11%) and leaking taps (4%).

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, comments: “You can’t see, taste or smell carbon monoxide leaking from your gas appliances so it’s crucial to be proactive about making your home and your loved ones safe this festive season. We recommend an annual check for your gas appliances by a Gas Safe registered engineer and, as a second precautionary measure, getting a carbon monoxide alarm which will sound if it detects the gas.”

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