Latest research from the Gas Safe Register reveals that almost one third (31%) of UK homeowners will skip their annual gas safety checks this year in attempts to reduce household costs. Alpha believes a nationwide call to action is needed to address this imbalance and ensure gas safety remains an essential priority.
“The Gas Safe Register data is alarming and demonstrates yet further implications of the cost-of-living crisis,” says Alpha Product Engineer, Jonathan Kidner. “Gas safety checks in the home can prevent serious or life-threatening accidents including gas leaks, explosions, house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. While it was encouraging that the research also showed the majority (77%) of homeowners knew the benefits of regular servicing and maintenance, most notably performance and cost savings, it seems this awareness isn’t translating into enough action and is therefore an extreme cause for concern.”
Alpha argues one of the most important steps for homeowners is to arrange for a Gas Safe Registered engineer to undertake checks on all gas appliances, including an annual boiler service. This will not only ensure boilers continue to run at optimum efficiency, but also identify any potential faults and ensure warranties and insurance policies remain valid.
Jonathan continues: “The boiler is one of the most used pieces of equipment in the home yet the perceived maintenance costs remain one of the main reasons people don’t book a service; our own research from 2021 indicated this being the barrier for 54% of respondents. This needs to change. The average price of a boiler service is £80 which, when compared with the cost of repairing or replacing the most common faulty parts, could save homeowners anywhere between £30 and £219.”
Additional measures homeowners can take to remain gas safe include:
Undertaking visual checks to look for warning signs on unsafe appliances including lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue; pilot lights which frequently blow out; excessive condensation on windows; and unusual dark marks/staining on or around gas appliances;
Testing and replacing smoke alarm batteries;
Installing a carbon monoxide alarm and familiarising themselves with the six key symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“While some of these points may seem obvious or even repetitive, the research highlights there is a need for reinforcement. Only one in three homeowners knew house fires were a potential result of not having regular gas safety checks and less than half could correctly identify symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
This is a conversation we need to keep having until this knowledge becomes commonplace. We understand the collective concern about rising costs but the loss could be far greater if we do not encourage homeowners to act now and prioritise their gas safety.”
For further information on this topic, please take a look at our articles on gas safety awareness in the home and the importance of annual servicing.