Dismal home gas safety record in Portsmouth prompts call for action

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ONE in seven homes in Portsmouth have dangerous gas appliances.

Research by the group Gas Safe Register shows the city has one of the worst records for gas safety, and reveals at least 970 homes in Portsmouth escaped deadly gas incidents in the past year.

Gas Safe Register has inspected 1,056 homes in Portsmouth since 2010 and found unsafe gas appliances lurking in one in seven homes.

The group has joined forces with Hampshire Fire and Rescue to mark Gas Safety Week, which runs from today until Sunday.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue assistant chief officer, Neil Odin, said: ‘Our firefighters have to deal with the consequences of badly-fitted and poorly maintained gas appliances or illegal gas work.

‘These situations can be fatal, so it’s an issue we take very seriously.

‘We’re joining forces with Gas Safe Register to raise awareness of this important issue in the hope it will prevent tragedies happening.’

Researchers carrying out inspections found 57 per cent of homes in the south-east had a dangerous gas boiler, cooker or fire that needed turning off immediately.

Around half of appliances were deemed dangerous because people failed to have them serviced and they had been left in a poor state.

Gas Safe Register chief executive Russell Kramer said: ‘Over the past three years there have been 31 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries that have resulted from gas-related incidents.

‘However, listening to our engineers tell us about the situations they face on a daily basis and hearing just how many life-threatening incidents they prevent, it’s surprising there haven’t been more.

‘An engineer can only help keep you safe if they are invited into your home to check your gas appliances.

‘It’s therefore your responsibility to make sure you stay safe by regularly getting your appliances safety checked by a registered engineer.’

As part of Gas Safety Week, safety officers and firefighters will be out and about in Arundel Street, Portsmouth, on Saturday from 8am to 2pm to advise the public on how to stay gas safe.

Mr Russell said Portsmouth residents could sign up to a free gas safety check reminder service online at StayGasSafe.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.

‘We want to make it easy for people to stay gas safe,’ he said.