SUNDERLAND has the region’s worst record on gas appliance safety, according to new figures.
Research released to mark the start of Gas Safety Week reveals at least 300 homes in Sunderland were discovered to have faulty gas appliances.
The research, carried out among Gas Safe registered engineers, shows more than half had found a boiler, cooker or fire so dangerous it had to be turned off immediately.
Around half of these problems were attributed to the fact that people had failed to get their gas appliance regularly serviced.
Gas Safe Register inspected 624 homes in Sunderland in the past four years and found unsafe gas appliances in one in seven – the highest rate in the North East.
In addition, Northern Gas Networks found more than 2,000 unsafe gas appliances at emergency call-outs attended in just the last year across the region.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service group manager John Allison said: “Our firefighters often have to deal with the devastating consequences of badly-fitted and poorly-maintained gas appliances or illegal gas work. These incidents can result in major injuries and sometimes fatalities.
“We are joining forces with Gas Safe Register to raise awareness of this important issue.”
Gas Safe Register chief executive Russell Kramer said: “The public also has an important role in gas safety. 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.”