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Dangerous gas devices found at 1 in 6 homes in East Lancashire
HOMES in East Lancashire are among the worst in the country for dangerous gas appliances, it has been revealed.
An investigation by a watchdog found around one in six homes in the BB postcode area were at risk from dangerous gas appliances.
Inspections carried out on 457 appliances revealed 67 – around 15 per cent – were unsafe as they had been worked on by unregistered gas engineers.
Of those, 29 were boilers, 25 gas fires and nine were gas cookers.
Now the Gas Safe Register is warning people to keep themselves safe from gas risks such as explosions, fires, leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.
It follows inspections of more than 8,000 homes across the north west over 12 months which found that eight per cent of appliances were dangerous.
Last December tragedy struck when former Gawthorpe High student Mark Allot lost his life due to carbon monoxide poisoning, while living in a canal boat moored at Salterforth Marina.
And an inquest in February 2009 heard how a similar fate befell 75-year-old Elizabeth Mulrooney at her Haven Street home in Burnley, from a coal fire.
Others like the Broughton family, from Earby, had a lucky escape. Tina and her son Jake and daughter Holly were ill for months after a faulty boiler turned their Victoria Mews home into a death-trap. Only the intervention of an engineer, carrying out routine maintenance, identified the problem.
Now the watchdog Safe Gas Register has established an online register at www.silent killer.co.uk to help people check if they live in a high-risk area.
Chief executive Paul Johnston said: “There have been a number of high profile gas incidents in the north west over the last year, but people may still think dangerous gas appliances can’t affect them.
“However, for the first time ever, people can now find out if that is really true. The gas map pinpoints the specific area you live in and will highlight whether gas appliances in your area are regularly found to be unsafe by our team.”
Last autumn bogus Baxenden gas engineer Stephen Jonathan was jailed for two years at Burnley Crown Court for ‘dangerous’ work carried out on boilers in Accrington.
Plumber Geoffrey Hewitt, from Bacup, was also fined £750 by magistrates in 2010, after he posed as another engineer and issued bogus gas safety certificates to householders in Burnley.