It has now been nearly six months since the beginning of the national lockdown in March, and over this period of time there has been, undoubtedly, an increase in connectedness amongst our neighbourhoods and communities – from joining new local social media groups to helping out neighbours with everyday tasks and chores.
And these new connections show no signs of waning.
It is for this very reason, that to mark 10 years of Gas Safety Week and to highlight the importance of gas safety within homes up and down the country, we’ve created a new emotive short film to tell the story of what happens to an ordinary neighbourhood, when a gas explosion rips through a terraced house.
Set on a quiet suburban street, The Ripple Effect depicts the devastating physical, emotional and psychological impacts that an innocent gas safety slip in any one home can have on the wider neighbourhood.
So, why now?
Findings from new research that we have also released this week, reveal that despite an increased sense of responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our neighbours, when quizzed on gas safety, a significant number of householders have a lack of awareness of the signs and symptoms of unsafe gas, which could be jeopardising people’s ability to responsibly look out for our neighbours.
Fewer than one in 10 people (9%) reported being very confident of being able to spot the signs of unsafe gas and, when put to the test, just 5% could correctly identify the six main signs of a dangerous gas appliance. Just a third correctly identified escaping gas as having a rotten egg odour.
And with our new inspection data revealing that one in every five homes on the average British street, houses at least one dangerous gas appliance, it is why we are calling on neighbours to consider not just the health of those they live nearest to, but also their safety by warning of The Ripple Effect – the devastating impact that one innocent gas safety slip can have on the whole community.
Let’s Be Better Gas Safe Than Sorry this Gas Safety Week
Left unserviced and unchecked year-on-year, appliances such as cookers, fires and boilers, can pose life-threatening risks, which can lead to – in some extreme instances - fires and explosions. This is why it’s vital that people get clued up on how to stay gas safe within their homes – to help protect both themselves, their neighbours and loved ones.
Now, more than ever, I would encourage everyone who does have gas appliances within their home, to book in their annual gas safety check with one our Gas Safe Registered engineers.
In the meantime, please do follow our six simple steps to help our neighbourhoods stay Better Gas Safe Than Sorry:
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
- Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and condensation in the room.
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
- Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home, ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.
To help your neighbourhood stay Better Gas Safe Than Sorry this Gas Safety Week visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk/therippleeffect, and be sure to follow updates on how you get involved from our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.
In recent times we have seen neighbours playing a key role in keeping our loved ones safe and the positive impact this has had on the wider community. We encourage you to build on the new and existing relationships you have with your neighbours and continue to reach out to them during gas safe week. By looking out for each other, particularly the vulnerable and isolated, we can help to keep our communities safe outside and inside our homes. We urge you to chat to your neighbours and share the simple steps we can all take to help neighbourhoods stay gas safe.
John Hayward-Cripps, CEO Neighbourhood Watch Network