Gas Safe warns on new home danger zone

Unsafe gas appliances are most commonly found in homes that have changed hands recently, according to Gas Safe Register’s latest gas safety inspection figures. This has prompted warnings of a ‘new home danger zone’ for this year’s 800,000+ new homeowners who may be putting on the heating in their new home for the very first time.

Of properties where inspectors found faulty gas appliances over the past year, almost half (47 per cent) had new owners in the past five years, over one-quarter (26 per cent) had been bought in the two years before the inspection, and 17 per cent had changed hands in just the past year.

The findings are supported by new research carried out with 1,700 gas engineers, nearly all of whom (94 per cent) want greater priority on gas safety in the home-moving process.

Two-fifth of gas engineers say the first year of owning a property is a particular danger for home and family gas safety. Engineers attribute this to new owners being unaware of key information, including where to switch off the gas in an emergency, the safety record of gas appliances, and whether their new home has a working CO alarm.

Gas Safe Register has joined forces with TV presenter Dion Dublin, and major players in the homes sector, including HomeOwners Alliance, Neighbourhood Watch and RoSPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), to highlight the ‘new home danger zone’ and help everyone be more gas safety-savvy at home, regardless of whether they’re brand new to their property or have been living there for decades.

Get to know your gas
Dion Dublin says: “From buying and selling properties over the last 20 years, I know just how stressful moving can be, as well as keeping a property up and running – especially in the colder months. But the excitement of finally getting those keys and dreaming about your interior decorating plans can mean that less exciting aspects of a move – like health, wellbeing and safety – unintentionally take a backseat. No one wants something to go wrong with their new home, which is why I want everyone to get to know their gas better this winter.

“My one piece of advice? If you’re moving into a new home, there are things that you should be aware of and have the confidence to ask about. Never assume the gas appliances are safe and in good working order. It’s always better to get them safety checked during the moving process or as soon you settle in, rather than wait until something goes wrong later down the line.”

Gas Safe Register is also pushing for gas safety advice to be given more prominence in popular home-moving resources after it found that none of the top 20 home-moving guides found via Google mention any of the most crucial information that homeowners should know about gas safety.

The Register’s chief executive Jonathan Samuel says: “With the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, people may delay putting on their heating this winter. The clocks going back often prompts people to start to use their heating, so we are urging householders to get clued up on the gas safety basics now, especially if they’re approaching their first winter in a new home, or if price increases are making them consider avoiding gas safety actions they would usually take, like getting gas appliances serviced.

“We’re urging all householders – especially new homeowners and people who are currently in the home-buying process – to be aware of the signs and symptoms of unsafe gas appliances, and always making sure a Gas Safe registered engineer is used for any gas work, including for annual gas safety checks.

“It’s time to make gas safety a priority when moving home, so we don’t put our loved ones, new properties or even our new neighbours in danger.”

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