Nearly half the nation’s homes currently don’t have a CO alarm, which could leave more than 12 million households across the UK at risk from CO poisoning.
When it comes to staying safe at home, three-quarters of people agree that they worry about safety, and spend time ensuring that their home is as safe as it can be. But British families are more likely to fit a smoke alarm (83%), double glazing (76%) or window locks (70%) than have a CO alarm (54%).
Ahead of this year’s Gas Safety Week (18-24 September), Gas Safe Register and the Fire and Rescue Service are reminding families of the steps they need to take to make sure their gas appliances are safe.
Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, says: “We are encouraging families to ask a Gas Safe registered engineer to check that their gas appliances are safe and sound as a first line of defence from potential CO poisoning.
“Worryingly, nearly half (46%) of the people we asked didn’t know the signs of dangerous gas appliances – a key cause of CO poisoning. The signs that your gas appliance isn’t working safely are a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame, soot or staining on or around the appliance, or excess condensation in the room.”
Gary Oakford, Carbon Monoxide Lead for Prevention Coordination Committee, The National Fire Chiefs Council, says: “The National Fire Chiefs Council supports Gas Safety Week 2017 and its aim to raise awareness of gas safety. We have seen the immense value of improving public safety by raising people’s awareness of fire safety and having working smoke alarms in their homes.
“It is for this reason that we welcome the work by Gas Safe Register to ensure that the same approach is adopted for those with gas appliances in their homes by having working carbon monoxide detectors and getting an annual safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer.”
Gas Safe Register is providing three tips to help keep families gas safe at home:
- Check appliances annually – you can set up an annual gas safety check reminder at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk. Currently only 54% people get annual gas checks.
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. CO has no smell, taste or colour, and symptoms of poisoning include headaches; dizziness; nausea; breathlessness; collapse and loss of consciousness – all of which can be mistaken for something else.
- Only employ a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer – you can find a local registered engineer to carry out gas work in your home by calling Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or go to www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk.
Gas Safety Week 2017 is taking place from 18 September. Register your support for the Thunderclap here or search #GSW17 on social media.
This Gas Safety Week, Gas Safe Register is looking to create a video to raise awareness about CO poisoning and the best ways to look after gas appliances. If your child would like to take part, please email email@example.com.
 There were 27.1 million households in the UK in 2016. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/families/bulletins/familiesandhouseholds/2016. Research carried out by Opinium on behalf of Gas Safe Register revealed that 46% of people don’t have a CO alarm in their homes. 46% of 27.1 million is 12,466,000.
 KPI data from Gas Safe Register, conducted from April-June 2017. Sample size of 500 adults.