Jump in the number of dangerous gas appliances in our homes

The number of dangerous gas appliances in our homes has risen to hit a five-year high, reversing an earlier improving trend.

Tenants are more at risk than owner-occupiers with 1,674 dangerous appliances reported in rental properties compared to 1,037 dangerous appliances in homes where the resident was also the owner.

Given that just one-third of our homes are occupied by tenants, this suggests that gas safety is not enough of a priority for landlords, whether they are in the private or social housing sectors.

The figures come from the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurences Regulations (RIDDOR) and have been released by the Health & Safety Executive.

There were 2,474 dangerous fittings reported in 2013/14 and this fell to 2,384 in 2014/15, then to 2,362 in 2015/16 and reached a low of 2,299 in 2016/17 before last year’s significant increase of 412 to 2,711.

However, the number of gas related incidents resulting in deaths and injuries fell to its lowest level in five years with two deaths and 193 injuries. One person died and 154 were injured from carbon monoxide poisoning, which is usually associated with a defective boiler or fire which has not been properly maintained. One person died and 39 were injured by explosions or fires.

In all there were 129 ‘gas incidents’ reported in 2017/18, down from 154 incidents in the previous year and 211 in 2013/14. Carbon monoxide poisoning accounted for the majority of the problems (100), with explosions and fires accounting for the remainder.

By Patrick Mooney, editor