‘Stay safe and don’t be left out in the cold: get your gas boiler and other appliances checked out before winter’ – that’s the message from local gas network Cadent to residents across its East Anglia Network.
Cadent, which manages the 0800 111 999* National Gas Emergency Service number, is gearing up for an annual upturn in reports of suspected gas leaks as autumn temperatures dip and householders reach for the central heating controls.
From September Cadent engineers brace themselves for hundreds more call-outs during autumn and winter. Although numbers typically peak in January, this year the ‘Beast from the East’ saw calls soar during March. The number of gas escapes reported in March 2018 was 5602 compared to 3737 in August this year.
The company’s call to action comes during Gas Safety Week 2018 (17 to 23 September), the gas industry initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly-maintained gas appliances, including the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Dan Adcock, who manages Cadent’s Customer Centre, said: “We’re here 24/7, 365 days a year, as the national gas emergency service. If people smell gas, or suspect carbon monoxide, we’ll despatch an engineer to make sure everything is safe.
“That can mean switching off the gas supply so we strongly advise people to get their appliances checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Now is the ideal time to arrange that before the winter sets in.”
Visit Gas Safe’s website to find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your area and read these six top tips to staying gas safe. Cadent is also issuing handy tips for householders whose boiler pipes freeze during winter cold spells.
Chris Rison, Cadent, Head of Operations East, added: “Cold snaps can strike at any time during the winter, potentially freezing condensate pipes from boilers. If this happens to you, follow these guidelines:
- To thaw frozen boiler pipes, hold a hot water bottle, or heat wrap, around the pipe.
- Alternatively, pour hot, NOT boiling, water over the frozen end of the pipe.
- If the boiler fires up, it’s fixed. If it doesn’t, then pour hot water on the pipe again. If your pipes are still frozen, call your gas supplier (the name of the company on your gas bill) or a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Remember work on gas appliances should only be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, to find one in your area call 0800 408 5500 or visit: www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer.”
Cadent’s national call handling centre answers more than 1.6 million calls each year – which equates to one call every 20 seconds – from across the country.
As well as managing the 0800 service, Cadent runs four of the UK’s eight regional gas distribution networks. Its own engineers work day and night to keep energy flowing to 11 million properties in North West England, the Midlands, East Anglia and North London.
Not all reported escapes turn out to be gas escapes, but Cadent engineers will check every report and ensure everything is safe. In some cases, engineers will find a fault with an appliance and may need to switch off the supply to remove the risk of it causing harm.
For more information on keeping your property gas safe and what to do in a gas emergency visit www.cadentgas.com/emergencies-safety
* Calls to this number are free. All calls are recorded and may be monitored.