WORRYING RESEARCH REVEALS MILLIONS OF HOMES COULD BE A TICKING TIMEBOMB
- 40% of Brits skipped their annual boiler check-up in the last 12 months
- 54% cited ‘cost’ as the main reason they don’t book a service
- 18–29-year-olds were the biggest offenders, with more than half failing to book their boiler service
- Despite this, 91% would get their boiler looked at within a week if it stopped working
With gas leaks, house fires or carbon monoxide poisoning all potential risks of a faulty boiler, many homes could be a ticking timebomb, as more than 40% of Brits admit they have failed to have their annual boiler check-up in the last 12 months.
In a poll of UK households ahead of Gas Safety Week (13th – 19th September), Millennials were the biggest offenders, with 54% choosing to skip their boiler service this year, compared with just 25% of people aged 60 and over.
More than half of those who said they don’t get their boiler serviced on a regular basis – including a minority who have never had their boiler serviced – admitted it is because it simply costs too much (the average cost of a boiler service is £80*, the equivalent of a new pair of trainers or a family day out).
Furthermore, only 32% of respondents said they would spend any surplus home improvement budget on ensuring they get their boiler serviced, preferring instead to give a room a fresh lick of paint, the carpets cleaned or the gutters cleared. This compares with an overwhelming 91% of us who would get our boiler looked at within a week or sooner if it stopped working, suggesting home safety has dropped to the bottom of our priority lists.
Indeed, when it comes to carrying out our own safety checks around the home, as a nation we’ve become pretty lax. Only 35% said they carry out a visual inspection of their boiler, while 53% of respondents fail to check and replace the batteries in their smoke alarm, and a worrying 63% do not check and replace batteries in their home carbon monoxide detector.
Darran Smith, Technical Manager at Alpha, comments: “Our research shows a worrying number of homeowners in the UK are turning a blind eye when it comes to the safety of appliances in their home. Of particular concern to us is the number of people missing their annual boiler service. While we all enjoy the comfort and convenience that boilers bring in our homes, we should also appreciate the importance of ensuring their proper maintenance and be aware of the risks of unsafe appliances.
“Daily use of your household’s heating system can take its toll on the various components that make up your boiler. As such, making sure it is serviced annually is important so it can continue to function as intended. One of the most important reasons that you should have your boiler regularly checked is to ensure the safety of your household. When you’re watching TV together on the sofa or the kids are tucked up in bed, you want to know that your family is safe.
“A faulty or incorrectly fitted boiler can cause severe health problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning which, due to its odourless properties, can be a silent killer. Alternatively, you could also experience a gas leak without realising it, which in the most severe cases, can potentially cause a house fire.
“One of the most important steps you can take to ensure gas safety in your property is to have your appliance regularly checked by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. Although modern boilers are highly reliable; the better they are looked after, the better they will perform in the long term.”
Warning signs your gas boiler isn’t working properly:
- Lazy yellow flame rather than crisp blue one
- Pilot light that frequently blows out
- Excessive condensation on windows
- Unusual dark marks or staining around or on gas appliances
Signs that may indicate carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tiredness and confusion
- Stomach pain
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
- A fast and irregular heartbeat
If you smell gas or suspect a problem with any gas fired appliance, don’t wait. Call the National Gas Emergency helpline free on 0800 111 999.
To help you make the necessary home safety checks this autumn/winter, download our Home Safety Checklist.