Research from Fair Fix, the boiler engineer experts, reveals that the number of life-threatening gas leaks reported by gas safety engineers in Great Britain has increased 17% in the past year.
Fair Fix has analysed the number of gas safety issues reported by gas safety engineers in Great Britain in the year 2021-22 (latest available data), what the most frequently reported faults are, and how the frequency of each changed compared to the previous twelve months.
The latest figures show that in the last year, 2,958 dangerous gas fittings were reported by gas safety engineers. This is 7.7% more than in the previous year.
Gas leaks, which are incredibly dangerous and often life-threatening, account for 67% of all reported issues. Worryingly, this marks an increase of 17.1% compared to the year previous.
70% of these gas leaks were reported within owner-occupied homes, while 30% were found within rental properties.
The data also reveals that one-in-five (21.7%) gas leaks are found to be related to issues with the boiler.
What to do in case of a gas leak
The biggest warning sign that there might be a gas leak in the home is, perhaps predictably, a gassy smell – often putrid like rotten egg. Sounds as well as smells can also be a giveaway, such as a hissing or whistling sound emitting from gas pipes; or a gas alarm – which is similar to a carbon monoxide alarm – going off.
If you have even the slightest reason to think your property has a gas leak, the first thing to do is vacate everyone from the property as quickly as possible. Do not light matches or lighters and do not test the gas hob. Any spark could easily cause a large explosion.
If you know how, and you think it is safe to do so, you should shut off the home’s main gas supply on your way out. This is usually achieved by turning the gas safety valve on the gas metre. But again, if you don’t know how to do it, or think it’s too dangerous to stay in the property long enough to turn it off, simply leave it and get out.
If there are people living in the same building or in adjacent buildings, you should inform them of the situation if you can and if it is reasonably safe to do so.
Once everyone is safely out of the property you need to call a gas engineer and/or emergency services. Whoever you call first will likely inform you as to who you should call next. Once you have done so, wait outside the property until a professional tells you it is safe to reenter.
Founder of Fair Fix, Tyrone Ekrem said, “Gas leaks are extremely dangerous and they present a direct threat to life. Unfortunately, they are also becoming more common, for reasons that are quite hard to fathom. We can only assume that people are neglecting their boilers and gas appliances and not having them regularly serviced.
If you fear a gas leak, or if you realise you haven’t had a gas safety check in a while, always call in a professional as soon as you possibly can. Nowadays, you can get a concrete time frame for a certified gas engineer callout and have them around in as little as 24 hours with the help of platforms such as Fair Fix.
Whether it’s a case of regular maintenance or emergency prevention, this fixed timeline gives peace of mind and enables you to arrange your day to day with as little inconvenience as possible.”