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Gas Safety Week 2019 – get involved!

August 27, 2019

Are you ready for this year’s Gas Safety Week? Taking place from the 16th – 22nd September 2019, it’s a great way of getting thousands of businesses of all shapes and sizes from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances. Read on to find out more about why you should get involved and the all-too-real reason behind the event.

Gas safety week

Why should I get involved?

Not only is it important to spread the gas safety message, but it can also look great for your business, showcasing your company as one that is dedicated to improving the safety of their local community and is keen to get stuck in. It’s really easy to pledge your support and gain access to lots of free promotional materials, including articles, posters, leaflets, eye-catching social media images and web banners.

What’s this year’s theme?

Each year, as well as the primary message of gas safety awareness, Gas Safety Week centres around a different theme. For 2019, the campaign is focusing on vulnerable people and how you can help to address their specific gas safety needs.

Who is vulnerable?

While there is no set definition, examples of a vulnerable person could include someone who is elderly or frail, has a learning disability, physical impairment – such as blindness – or mental health needs, including dementia. Children are of course also one of the most high-risk groups due to lack of awareness or education.

Why are they more vulnerable to gas safety risks?

Vulnerable adults are more likely to have poor levels of awareness around gas safety and would potentially struggle to correctly identify the signs of a faulty gas appliance, whether due to a simple lack of understanding or a disability preventing them from doing so. Similarly, they are perhaps just as unlikely to consider arranging regular gas appliance maintenance or inspections, unknowingly placing themselves at greater risks of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks or fire explosions.

The issue seems to be even more paramount amongst the older generation. We’ve all seen our grandparents huddled around a gas fire heater in the winter months and more than 260 over-65s are injured by gas appliances every year, accounting for the majority of deaths from gas fire heaters at home.

Vulnerable adults are also far more susceptible to rogue traders or unqualified gas engineers – a real issue currently facing the industry, with unqualified gas fitters carrying out a shocking quarter of a million illegal gas jobs each year. As a Checkatrade member, potential customers can be reassured that your business is reputable and served by fully qualified gas-engineers, with our in-depth vetting and company checks providing vulnerable adults with additional security and protection against the risks of rogue traders.

Trader showing their gas safety documentation

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How can you help?

Working within the heating and plumbing trade, you will likely encounter people from all walks of life on a daily basis. However, it’s important to consider a person’s individual gas safety needs and perhaps do things a little differently to ensure that they receive the best service, especially for those more vulnerable.

For example, with the number of rogue gas traders on the increase, first agree a password with customers over the phone, so that when your Gas Safe Registered engineer arrives at their property, they can easily confirm their identity. This would be even more beneficial for those who suffer from issues with their sight.

It is also important that you and your business work to promote the importance of gas safety and regular inspections to those who are perhaps most vulnerable, not just during Gas Safety Week but all year round. Working amongst your local community, you are often in the best position to speak to people and spread the word.

And don’t forget, one of the best and most efficient ways of protecting a vulnerable adult from carbon monoxide poisoning is of course to install an audible carbon monoxide alarm. Cheap to buy and easy to install, they have the power to make a real difference in the event of a gas fault and could even save lives.

Gas safe engineer working on boiler

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