BRITISH Gas engineers detected a shocking 26,000 unsafe or dangerous gas and electric appliances during home visits in the first seven months of this year.
Hazardous appliances were detected in one in 20 of the homes visited – with the most common faults found in boilers and old cookers.
Thousands of homes were found to not have safe gas and electric appliances[/caption]
The problems were uncovered during gas and electricity safety checks conducted by engineers when completing meter installations.
It comes after a survey of 3,050 adults, commissioned by British Gas to mark Gas Safety Week (16-22 September), found a tenth admit they would probably still use an appliance if they saw it ‘spark’.
Lauren Vazquez, engineer and safety expert for British Gas, said: “Our engineers are in and out of homes around the country every day, checking that customers’ electricity is safely wired and testing all gas appliances to make sure they’re safe.
“We regularly visit customers who haven’t had their electrical wiring or gas appliances checked in 10 to 20 years, which is a concern.
“We have so many gadgets in the house nowadays that it can be difficult to keep on top of them all, but it’s important to keep an eye on whether they’re working as they should be.
“Some of the unsafe appliances we’ve come across could have had a devastating effect on our customers’ health and safety, had we not identified them.”
It also emerged more than two thirds of UK householders actively worry about the safety of the appliances in their home, while half have received an electric shock from one.
But more than half do not test their household gadgets as often as they’re advised to by the manufacturer, and almost two thirds of respondents admit they have used an appliance despite it being faulty.
GAS SAFETY WEEK
The average Brit knowingly has three broken electrical gadgets – including items from toasters and laptops to lighting and boilers – in their house.
The study also found 54 per cent were unaware that monitoring their energy use is a good way to look after appliances.
Using a smart meter can help identify changes in energy consumption which could be attributed to different devices being turned on or off, and that might also reveal any faults.
To mark Gas Safety Week, British Gas is raising awareness of the importance of having carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
Lauren Vazquez added: “You can’t hear it, see it, taste it or smell it, and it kills around 30 people a year – but fortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable.
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“Tell-tale signs of a carbon monoxide leak include sooty stains on your cooker, finding your gas fire has become difficult to light, and spotting that the flame on your boiler is burning yellow or orange instead of blue.
“Faulty central heating systems are one of the most common sources of carbon monoxide in the home.
“So as well getting your boiler checked once a year, it’s essential to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, and to call an expertly-trained engineer if you have any concerns.”
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