A good time to gas about carbon monoxide safety

Female cook preparing pasta dish with vegetables on stove
(Last Updated On: September 16, 2020)

Sovereign Housing Association is supporting Gas Safety Week this week by reminding residents of having an annual gas supply check by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

Nationally, one in six homes has an unsafe gas appliance.

A danger of not having your gas appliances checked regularly is that they can leak carbon monoxide (CO). Sometimes known as the ‘silent killer’, you can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but it can be deadly. CO prevents oxygen from being absorbed by the body and can cause death in just minutes. Every year there are around 60 deaths from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales.*

One of the largest housing associations in the country with 60,000 homes and 140,000 customers, Sovereign has a 100% compliance record – and has done for six years.

By law, all landlords have to do annual safety checks. Sovereign arranges the annual safety checks for its residents and their compliance record relies on residents allowing access to gas engineers.

Jo Martin, Head of Compliance Assurance at Sovereign, said: “It only takes about an hour to have a gas safety check and it helps keep you and your loved ones safe.

“We schedule appointments for all our tenants but our gas engineers need to be given access to carry out the checks. It’s really important people keep appointments or tell us as soon as possible if they need to change them.”

“Our shared ownership residents own their home so need to arrange their own gas safety checks and send us a copy of the certificate.

“The only time we won’t go into a home is if people are self-isolating, but we’ll then reschedule for 16 or so days later when they should be out of isolation.

“We keep our distance, clean surfaces before we leave and have PPE and sanitiser on our vans.”

Carbon monoxide is produced by all appliances that burn fossil fuels. Anyone with gas appliances in their home (including boilers, gas fires and cookers) is at risk as over time even small leaks of CO can cause an effect on the body.

Home owners can sign up for a free reminder text or email to book their annual check at the Gas Safe Register website https://www.staygassafe.co.uk/.

If you want to know more about the effects of carbon monoxide (CO), check out the NHS Choices website http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Carbon-monoxide-poisoning/Pages/Introduction.aspx.

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