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Pimlico's Mullins backs mandatory use of CO gas analysers

Carbon Monoxide safety charity, CO-Gas Safety has joined forces with the UK’s largest independent plumbing company, Pimlico Plumbers, in calling for the mandatory use of specialist gas analysers for the inspection of gas appliances.
Pimlico
The London-based company and the independent charity has branded the current regulation as madness, which can lead to homeowners, tenants and gas engineers being exposed to lethal Carbon Monoxide (CO) fumes.

Since 1995 there have been 562 deaths caused from CO poisoning as a result of faulty gas equipment.

Charlie Mullins, managing director of Pimlico Plumbers who appeared in Channel 4's Secret Millionaire programme, said: 'The current regulation is madness and puts so many people at risk. It is total common sense to clarify the regulations and make this equipment mandatory. At the moment it's like sending a soldier into a minefield without a mine detector.''

Pimlico is setting a strong precedent in the industry by arming all of its Gas Safe-registered engineers with the analysers, which goes beyond the requirements of current regulation.

Although it is widely believed to be impossible effectively to complete a gas inspection without an electronic analyser, their use is not prescribed in The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

The specialist flue gas analysers provides accurate readings on gas fittings. The accurate measurements taken by the analysers can be recorded on the gas appliance's safety record and backed-up by a print out from the equipment, which can be attached to the record.

The call for regulation change was raised by Stephanie Trotter OBE, president and director of CO-Gas Safety at the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Gas Safety Group at the House of Lords also attended by Pimlico Plumbers.

The group provided a forum for key stakeholders to discuss the challenges posed by unsafe gas supply, as well as the policy framework supporting the gas installation industry.

'The reaction from the cross-party parliamentary group to our calls was positive, but I am not waiting round for any changes,' said Mullins.

'By giving my engineers the analysers we are adding to their safety and the safety of the people using the gas appliances they inspect. We are drawing a line in the sand to say this is how gas inspections should be carried out and hope the rest of the industry follows our lead,' he added.

'Since 1995 nearly 600 people have died that we know about from Carbon Monoxide poisoning and we know we only see the tip of the iceberg,' said Trotter.

'It does seem ridiculous a gas safety check does not require the use of equipment to test appliances from this invisible and deadly killer.

'It is also misleading for landlords who sometimes genuinely think a service has been undertaken when they have had a gas safety check done.

'CO-Gas Safety is delighted to have the support of Pimlico Plumbers for this change, which the charity raised over a decade ago.

'We are also thankful that Pimlico is leading the way by deciding to test for CO and record the readings although not required by law to do so.

'Perhaps now other firms will join us and we'll finally persuade government to change the regulations to save lives.

'Pimlico Plumbers is demonstrating the desire within the industry to improve regulation and standards and I hope that the precedent they are setting become the norm for the entire industry,' added Trotter.

Anyone wishing to find out more about Co-Gas Safety Charity can access the website at http://www.co-gassafety.co.uk/
16 August 2010

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