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    Cadent issues safety warning after new research reveals people would tamper with their own boilers to save money

    07 September 2023

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    Stephanie van Rosse

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    Louise Day

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    • Important new gas safety advice available ahead of winter
    • 30 per cent of people would only service their boiler every two years, rather than the advised annual service

    With households across Britain continuing to feel the pinch, Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network, has issued a stark safety warning as new research reveals that almost half of the population would attempt to fix their own gas boilers. Furthermore, the findings also suggest that 30 per cent of people are only getting their boilers serviced every two years, rather than the advised annual service, with almost ten per cent stating they will no longer service their boiler at all.

    With over a third of respondents citing cost pressures as the number one reason to attempt DIY servicing, or not using the correctly qualified professional, Cadent has shared some new guidance which outlines the importance of properly maintaining gas appliances.

    Dan Edwards, Head of Customer Centre Operations at Cadent, said: “These findings are not completely unsurprising as many customers delayed the maintenance of their appliances and put off firing up their boilers until the arrival of the cold snap last year. This behaviour could have very dangerous consequences for homeowners and so ahead of temperatures dropping this year, we want to encourage people to make sure they’ve had their boiler properly serviced by a qualified professional.”

    Dan continued: “Vitally, if something were to go wrong and it was discovered that you had not used the correct tradesperson, or even attempted to repair your boiler yourself, there could be long term and legal consequences attached to these decisions. With our Services Beyond the Meter programme, which helps customers in vulnerable situations with any immediate safety issues, we are seeing more and more people sadly struggling to repair and replace old and damaged appliances due to the ongoing cost of living crisis. However, when it comes to protecting your family and those living in your home, gas safety must remain a priority.”

    Jonathan Samuel, Managing Director of Gas Safe Register, added: "Our advice is always to use a Gas Safe registered engineer for any gas work on your appliances. Landlords have a legal duty to ensure gas appliances are safety checked annually, and this is the advice we extend to anyone with a gas appliance."

    Cadent, which operates the 24-hour, 365-day National Gas Emergency Service across the UK, has shared some advice in a bid to boost important gas safety awareness ahead of winter.

    If you ever smell gas, call the National Gas Emergency Service, immediately, on 0800 111 999*, day or night.

    Important tips for maintaining your gas boiler:

    1. Ensure all gas appliances and boiler servicing is carried out by the professionals – always call a Gas Safe registered engineer and get it done properly. Never risk doing this yourself if you are not Gas Safe registered, it’s a very specialist job.
    2. Book an annual boiler service with a Gas Safe registered engineer (and always ask to see their ID when they arrive at your home) to ensure it stays in good working order. Importantly, an engineer will also check all gas appliances in your property, including a visual inspection of your gas pipework and a tightness test to confirm there aren’t any gas leaks. You will need proof of your boiler service if you sell your home and, of course, for landlords this is a responsibility, as they must provide an annual Landlord Gas Safety Record.  
    3. There are some minor boiler issues you can troubleshoot yourself. For example, in winter, frozen boiler condensate pipes are very common and can be thawed with water – follow our boiler troubleshooting guide. Other common faults include low gas pressure, the boiler switching itself off and cold water and should be looked at by a Gas Safe registered engineer. For leaks, or a pilot light replacement, you should always contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to fix the issue.
    4. Make sure you leave vents unblocked, as these are there to help your gas appliance work safely and efficiently.
    5. Recognise the warning signs of an unsafe appliance so you can take action. For example, a lazy yellow flame instead of crisp blue flame; error messages; unexpected noises from your boiler; or dark and sooty stains around your gas appliance could mean it is unsafe and releasing carbon monoxide (CO). Know the symptoms of CO poisoning.

    *All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

    Link to gas safety animation 

    Cadent

    Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy. We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change. Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency. Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing.

    Future of Gas:

    Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

    Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

    Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

    *All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

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