Millions of British people are risking electrical home emergencies, boiler breakdowns, gas leaks and fires due to their reluctance to invest in essential health and safety equipment or maintain their appliances properly.
Research by mortgage and loans firm Ocean Finance found that approximately 7.5% of people in the UK do not own a smoke alarm, even though these vital tools alert people to the presence of fire and give them key time to escape. Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling of every floor of a property, especially in rooms that contain fire hazards, and should be checked regularly – once a week is recommended by the London Fire Brigade.
Echoing the results of recent HomeServe research, Ocean Finance’s survey also found that less than half (48%) of people own a Carbon Monoxide detector, with 47% admitting that they do not own a CO alarm and around 5% unsure of whether they do or don’t.
While CO alarms can save lives in the event of a release of Carbon Monoxide, this event can be prevented with annual gas appliance services, which involve Gas Safe-registered engineers checking that boilers and other gas-fired appliances operate safely and efficiently.
Despite this, 9.4% of respondents with gas appliances said these items have never been checked, while 28% of these respondents said it has been more than one year since their appliances were last checked.
Electrical appliances can also create dangers in the home; faults and defects can lead to electrocutions, or can cause an appliance cover to overheat or the appliance to create sparks, potentially leading to a house fire. But 36% of people with electrical appliances said they have not been checked by a qualified professional, with 31% saying they haven’t been checked in the last year.
Ocean Finance spokesman Ian Williams said people ought to take steps to avoid house fires, saying this is why it is “so important” for homeowners to get gas and electrical appliances regularly checked by professionals and for tenants to ask their landlords to arrange these checks.
It is “worrying” to learn that some Brits are not protecting themselves and their loved ones with smoke alarms and that even more people do not own carbon monoxide alarms, Mr Williams said.
CO alarms can cost as little as £15 and are available in many home improvement stores and even some supermarkets. Installing these devices is simple and requires no professional expertise. Accordingly, Mr Williams urged people to install the alarms in their own homes without delay.
Still having trouble?
Don’t attempt to touch any part of your boiler or central heating system if you’re unsure. Did you know? It’s illegal for anyone to use a gas appliance if they think it’s unsafe. It’s always better to be safe than sorry as you could make things worse.
Instead, call us on 0345 3192 247 and we can help. Our technical team will run through some simple troubleshooting to see if your problem can be resolved on the phone or they can book one of our friendly and knowledgeable Gas Safe registered engineers to get you back up and running as soon as possible.