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19th May 2017
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Gas Safe Register is calling for private renters to be more gas safe as research reveals that 2.7million tenants are at risk from dangerous gas appliances. The campaign launched yesterday and is supported by Dominic Littlewood, (from TV shows Fake Britain and Cowboy Builders) and I believe that the KBB industry is not only in a great position to be able to support this initiative, but that it should be taking it one stage further.
Data from 122,000 safety inspections spanning five years reveals that unsafe gas appliances were found in 21% of rented accommodation and that 37% of landlords are unaware of their responsibility for checking appliances. Further, 19% of tenants are unaware that their boiler should be safety checked annually; 11% of this group don’t think their boiler has been inspected this year.
Despite landlords being responsible for ensuring that all gas appliances provided by them are safety checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer, 37% are unaware of their duty of care. In fact, 15% think gas appliance safety is the responsibility of their local council!
Homeowners are also confused about where responsibility lies. Only 49% realise it’s their responsibility, while 14% view gas safety as being down to the gas provider.
Of course it’s not just about gas safety; it’s important that our electrical appliances are checked too. On several occasions I’ve noticed people using vacuum cleaners and irons with leads that have clearly been sucked into and chewed up by the works or ironed over and damaged. These items are dangerous! I also often see a lead’s innards where the casing doesn’t quite meet the plug itself. This is dangerous too. And how many people are still using those 4-way adaptors, which can overload the system?
We in the KBB industry are in the perfect position to help get the safety message across and I believe we have a responsibility to do so. We’re talking to people all the time who are thinking of buying new equipment and when doesn’t this involve either gas or electricity? Even bedroom refurbishment is likely to include new lighting…
What’s to stop us mentioning the need to check all appliances that aren’t being replaced, when we’re discussing, selling, installing or delivering new items? We could even place a sticker on packaging or the new equipment itself, reminding buyers to have their old equipment safety checked.
What do you reckon?
28th October 2016