Warning over gas safety in Doncaster this Christmas

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Homes in Doncaster could be heading for an unsafe Christmas this year, warns local gas network company National Grid.

Nearly 350 – that’s one in six – gas boilers, cookers and fires that were inspected in the town were found to be faulty.

The findings come from emergency incidents attended by National Grid and inspections by Gas Safe Registered engineers. They have been collated by Gas Safe Register – the official list of engineers qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances.

Following the ninth annual Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness week, in November, National Grid is hoping people will take action before Christmas and buy themselves an audible CO alarm.

James Harrison, Head of Network, said: “We want everyone to have a happy, safe Christmas but faulty appliances could lead to gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning or even fires and explosions.

“Make sure all your gas appliances are serviced annually by a Gas Safe Registered engineer and, as a back-up, buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm. A carbon monoxide alarm may not be top of your Christmas shopping list but it could save your life.”

Every year some 40 people in the UK die of carbon monoxide, 200 are hospitalised and a further 4,000 visit accident and emergency departments with the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr Harrison added: “Our engineers will be working 24/7 over the Christmas and New Year periods responding to emergencies. Our contact centre at Hinckley, Leicestershire, is on standby to receive tens of thousands of emergency calls from the members of the public across the country over the festive season.

“If you smell gas or experience the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 immediately.”

National Grid are urging people to follow these simple steps to stay gas safe this Christmas:

* Make sure your gas appliances, such as boilers, fires and cookers, are serviced annually by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. A list of Gas Safe Registered engineers is available from the Gas Safe Register website at www.gassaferegister.co.uk. Sign up at www.staygassafe.co.uk for a free reminder service.

* Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm as a back-up

* Recognise the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning - it could save lives. They include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, eventually leading to collapse and loss of consciousness.

* Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.

* If you have a gas-related emergency, please call 0800 111 999 to report it

For more information about gas safety and carbon monoxide poisoning go to www.nationalgrid.com. Join the charity “Carbon Monoxide Awareness” and be part of their national campaign and help those living or working in your community to learn more about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Go to their website at: www.covictim.org