British Gas engineers detected a shocking 26,000 unsafe or dangerous gas and electric appliances during home visits in the first eight months of this year.
The most common faults were found in boilers and old cookers, with some appliances going 20 years without being inspected.
Research conducted by British Gas to mark Gas Safety Week (14th – 20th September) found that the average adult hasn’t had their gas appliances serviced by a qualified and gas safe registered engineer in more than 18 months – despite a fifth believing they might be faulty or dangerous.
Another fifth said they didn’t even know that annual boiler services are recommended, with a third saying they had no idea that being able to smell gas can be an indication that something is unsafe.
Potentially-fatal carbon monoxide leaks are commonly associated with faulty central heating boilers, but a quarter of homeowners surveyed admitted they don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm in their home.
Nearly six in 10 didn’t know that the pilot light on the boiler going out is an indicator of something being wrong, and only 35 per cent were aware that a yellow flame on their cooker or boiler could signify a problem.
This limited understanding could explain why nearly half said they never check the pilot light in their boiler to see if it’s gone out or changed colour.
But according to the OnePoll research, there are other reasons why Brits aren’t servicing, repairing or replacing their gas appliances when they should; three in 10 said they simply don’t have the time, and nearly half said it’s too expensive to pay for professional help.
A further four in 10 simply forget to get them checked, and 37 per cent know they need to do it, but keep putting it off.
With half of those polled saying they NEVER worry about the safety of the gas appliances in their home, British Gas is using Gas Safety Week to help raise awareness and understanding – specifically of the importance of having carbon monoxide detectors installed.
Elliot Barham added: “Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that has no taste or smell and long-term exposure can be fatal. Fortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable – as long as you have an alarm fitted, to warn you of any leaks.
“Our engineers are in and out of homes around the country every day, checking that customers’ electricity is safely wired, testing all gas appliances and checking customers have carbon monoxide detectors installed.
“We’re urging customers to keep prioritising their gas safety, even while social distancing restrictions are in place. Our engineers are taking all the necessary precautions on home visits, including wearing protective clothing and asking customers to wait in another room while they work.”
For more information, visit the British Gas website.