Gas Safety Week 17–23 September 2018
To: All Branches
The CWU is proud to again be supporting Gas Safety Week this year, 2018. The eighth annual Gas Safety Week sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is coordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
The week aims to raise awareness amongst householders and landlords, about the importance of having their gas appliances serviced on an annual basis. 5000 organisation across the UK signed-up last year pledging to work together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances. Unsafe gas appliances can put lives at risk from gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO2) poisoning.
This year, Gas Safety Week is addressing a whole range of gas safety matters throughout the week, from tackling illegal gas work to reminding people to avoid DIY when it comes to gas appliances and instead leave it the experts – registered engineers who are legally qualified to make sure your appliances are working safely and efficiently.
With 22 deaths and nearly 1,000 gas-related injuries in the last three years, it’s vital that people make sure their gas appliances are safety checked every year, by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Anyone working on gas appliances while not being Gas Safe registered is working illegally.
Check your gas safe appliances every year
Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered
Check your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card
Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
In supporting the 2018 Gas Safety Week, we are reminding Branches, Safety Reps and Members in a joint awareness campaign with RoSPA, HSE and the ‘Gas Safe Register’ to alert people to the importance of Gas Safety in the home. In the UK, 21 million households use gas for heating, hot water and cooking. There are approximately 7,500 unregistered gas fitters actively working in the UK today with 250,000 illegal gas jobs done every year by unregistered gas fitters.
Badly-fitted and poorly-serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, explosions, fires, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Dangerous gas work can kill and 22 people have died and 1000 have been injured in the last three years through Carbon Monoxide poisoning and other incidents. Carbon Monoxide symptoms can be mistaken for flu, food poisoning, viral infections and tiredness. A carbon monoxide alarm costs around £15 to £20 – every home should have CO Alarms and Smoke Alarms – but they are not a substitute for regular servicing.
The ‘Gas Safe Register’ is the government approved registration scheme for gas engineers in the UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey. There are more than 120,000 Gas Safe Registered engineers. There are more than 60,000 Gas Safe Registered businesses. All gas appliances need regular servicing and a gas safety check every year (or in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions). All landlords and housing associations are legally obliged to ensure that all gas appliances and related pipes and flues within their rental properties are checked every 12 months for safety. They must issue a copy of the certificate to the tenant within 28 days of the test and give a copy to any new tenants moving in.
Not all gas engineers can work on all gas appliances. Gas Safe Registered engineers carry an ID card that shows the type of gas work they are legally registered and qualified to do e.g. cooker, boilers, gas fires etc.
Dangerous DIY – One in three people would fit a gas appliance themselves to save money. This is extremely risky and dangerous.
If you suspect an illegal gas worker report it to Gas Safe Register:
Gas Safe Register
PO BOX 6804
‘Gas Safe Register’ replaced the ‘CORGI’ gas registration scheme as of April 9, 2009. Corgi ID cards are no longer valid. You can check card ID details instantly online. Only ‘Gas Safe Register’ registered engineers can work on gas and fit, fix and service boilers, gas fires and most types of gas cookers in your home – it’s the law. Keeping the public safe from dangerous gas work is ‘Gas Safe Register’s top priority. If someone other than a ‘Gas Safe Registered’ engineer carries out gas work in your home, you are risking the safety of both yourself and your family, other residents, visitors and your property.
Simple search and identity check
Finding a Gas Safe Registered engineer is easy. You can find an engineer in your area online at the ‘Gas Safe Register’ website: www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk – or by calling the free helpline: 0800 408 5500. Every engineer on the Gas Safe Register carries an ID card with their own unique licence number. The back of the ID card lists what gas appliances your engineer is qualified to work on. The message from Gas Safe Register is clear: Before you have any gas work done in your home, make sure you ask for the ID card and check the front and back.
Gas Safe Register’s top ten tips: Great advice for Gas Safety Week 2018
1 Have all your gas appliances, including boilers, gas cookers and gas fires, safety checked annually.
2 Always use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to fit, fix and check gas appliances in your home – it’s the law and will help keep you safe.
3 Always ask to see an engineer’s Gas Safe ID card and check the back of the card to ensure they are qualified to carry out the specific type of gas work you need.
5 Recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
6 Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
7 Buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm for your home and make sure it is located near to your gas appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance. Carbon monoxide can leak from appliances and kill.
8 Only use gas appliances for their intended purpose e.g. don’t use a gas oven to heat a room or use a gas barbeque inside the house.
9 Always ensure there is enough ventilation for your gas appliances to allow them to burn correctly and make sure you are not blocking any air vents that provide an air supply to the gas appliance.
10 Anybody working with gas has to be Gas Safe Registered by law. To report someone working without registration, call Gas Safe Register on the free phone number 0800 408 5500.
Did you know?
• Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it, or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
• Gas Safe Register found almost 5 million people across the UK are putting themselves at risk by employing illegal gas fitters who aren’t properly qualified. 65% of all gas jobs carried out by illegal fitters were unsafe, with 1 in 5 so dangerous they had to be disconnected immediately.
• 3 in 4 victims of illegal gas work hired the worker following a friend’s recommendation and 1 in 4 found them through an advert, wrongly assuming they were registered. In all cases the householder did not check the credentials of the worker before the work was carried out – you should always check the official Gas Safe Register.
• Although there is awareness that gas appliances need to be safety checked annually, 43% of Britons don’t do it, and 10% have gas appliances which have never been checked.
Gas Safe Register
• Gas Safety Week Leaflet (pdf)
• Gas Safety Poster (pdf)
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer