HSENI says ‘Put gas safety first this winter’

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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
Homeowners, renters and landlords in Newry and the surrounding areas are being reminded by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) to make gas safety their number one priority during this year’s Gas Safety Week, which got under way yesterday (Monday 16th September). Business owners and managers are also being urged to get behind the industry-backed initiative, which is aimed at raising awareness of gas safety and the importance of getting gas appliances safety-checked at least once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. HSENI said that approximately 180,000 homes in Northern Ireland now use gas as their main energy source for heating or cooking. As part of this year’s campaign, which is coordinated by Gas Safe Register – gas users are being encouraged to be more aware of the dangers and responsibilities associated with using gas. They are also being reminded to check that the engineer they are using is registered and that the only way to do this is to ask for a Gas Safe Register ID card. More than 1,300 Gas Safe registered engineers and almost 700 businesses from across Northern Ireland are also being urged to pledge their support for this important awareness-raising campaign. By law, only Gas Safe registered engineers can work on gas appliances, which if not serviced correctly, can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In the last year alone, 333 people across the UK were injured and four people died as a result of gas-related incidents. Richard Meredith, Head of Gas Safety at HSENI, said, “Thousands of homes and business have chosen gas as their energy of choice, and many more who don’t have gas supplied directly to their homes already use bottled gas to fuel appliances such as cookers and fires. “The benefits of gas are well-known, but badly-fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning. It’s important that everyone takes it seriously. “Having your boiler professionally serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer, just once a year, could significantly reduce the risk of leaks by detecting problems early. Now is the ideal time to do this – autumn is coming in and the temperatures are starting to cool, so the demands on your gas boiler and other appliances are likely to increase soon.” For more details, visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk/GasSafetyWeek
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