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London street reveals gas safety nightmares

Gas Safe Register may have gone live this month, but Gas Safe experts visiting residents of one London street were greeted with unsafe gas appliances a great deal of ignorance when it came to gas safety awareness.
Staff from A.C. Wilgar, based in Orpington, Kent, carried out gas safety checks on gas appliances in the homes of residents in Imperial Square, Fulham as part of a live demonstration filmed for the Gas Safe Register website.

Residents of the Fulham street were asked how much they know or don't know, about gas safety, CO poisoning and using registered engineers.

A.C. Wilgar's findings were shocking with one boiler incorrectly installed, one fire not working at all and two other gas fires deemed unsafe to use and issued with warning notices.

The firm's founder, Billy Wilgar said: 'Residents that my team and I met at Gas Street had a variety of problems. One lady had employed a local fire shop to install a gas fire which had never been commissioned because it was faulty from the off.

'She had assumed that the fitter was registered because she had a fire shop, but never checked or asked to see the card.

'Another resident, and first time buyer, moved into his house and smelt gas. When we checked, we discovered gas was leaking from his fire on a back boiler, so immediately we capped the fire off.

'The appliance looked like it had never been touched which is also worrying, especially as the property was previously rented out for years, so legally the landlord should have had annual gas safety checks'.

Those involved in helping raise awareness of gas safety and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning at the Fulham street included Paul Overton- a father who lost his daughter from CO poisoning, celebrity TV doctor from ITV's This Morning Dr Chris Steele, plumbing merchant PTS and gas engineers from A.C. Wilgar Plumbing & Heating.

New research from Gas Safe Register revealed that when it comes to gas safety, the public are far too trusting. Kadence research carried out on 1,000 adults in March 2009 revealed more than half of UK's population said they took it on trust that their gas engineer was properly registered but never checked.

The research also revealed that four in ten people (41.4%) were more likely to tinker with their electrics or fit a new gas appliance in the current economic climate.

And, worryingly, only 15% of respondents said they would always use a professional tradesman, while one in ten people were even prepared to fit a gas fire themselves.

Gas Safe Register filmed residents' stories and participants' advice which can be viewed on Gas Safe Register's new website, under the 'learn' section
16 April 2009


By Owen Richards
16 April 2009 01:01:00
It is not surprising the public are not aware of the old Corgi or the new Gas Safe.

It is not advertised enough on tv or radio. Plenty of info in trade mags, but very little for the general public.
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