Britain’s gas hotspots

New figures identify the most dangerous postcodes in the country.

To mark Gas Safety Week, 16 – 22 September, Great Britain’s gas safety authority – Gas Safe Register - has launched an interactive gas map, which identifies the most dangerous postcodes in the country. The map, www.staygassafe.co.uk, reveals how many unsafe gas appliances have been found lurking in an area, how many unregistered gas fitters have preyed on the public and how many gas incidents and emergencies have happened – it is the first time that gas data has been compared across postcodes.

• One in six British homes inspected had an unsafe gas appliance
• Birmingham has the highest number of unsafe homes
• Brighton has the lowest number of unsafe homes
• Gas fires are the most dangerous gas appliances in homes
• Gas emergency services have visited over 120K incidents in one year

The data, compiled by Gas Safe Register, which has inspected just under 100,000 homes in Great Britain in the last three years, found that one in six homes - the equivalent of 4.28 million households - had an unsafe gas appliance. Appliances in one in 25 homes were immediately dangerous and if left unchecked were at risk of causing a gas fire, explosion, leak or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The map also pinpoints over 120,000 unsafe gas incidents, attended by the national gas emergency networks, including National Grid plc, Northern Gas Networks, Scotia Gas Networks and Wales &West Utilities.
Alarmingly, one in three gas customers in Great Britain- around 7.69 million households - admit they’ve never had their gas appliances checked or maintained. This is despite eight in 10 people (82%) recognising that they should do it in order to protect themselves from gas dangers.

Gas Safe Register’s inspections further found that gas fires are the most dangerous gas appliances in homes. One in three gas fires checked by the Register were unsafe, compared to one in 11 boilers and one in 13 cookers. Just like boilers, gas fires and gas cookers need to be checked and maintained regularly to remain safe.

Birmingham was identified as the most unsafe city, with the highest number of homes found with dangerous gas appliances - one in three households were unsafe (34%). This was closely followed by Cardiff (31%), Edinburgh (31%), Norwich (28%) and Ipswich (28%). In comparison, Brighton is the safest city, with just one in 20 (5%) homes found to be dangerous. This is followed by Liverpool (6%), Southampton (6%), Northampton (7%) and Hull (8%).
The public is also being caught out by cowboy unregistered gas fitters, pretending to be legal engineers. One in 10 people admit they took it on trust that their gas engineer is legally registered and never checked if they were. Nearly 3,000 illegal gas jobs have been investigated by Gas Safe Register since 2010, of which nearly two in three (61%) left victims’ homes unsafe and one in five were so dangerous that the Register had to turn off the gas appliance immediately.

 

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