Safe as houses? - National Grid launches Safer Homes Week

Safety

The week, which aims to raise awareness of accident prevention in the home, follows a recent survey which showed that less than 1% of people know who to call in the event of a gas leak in their home.

The survey, commissioned by National Grid, also found that nearly a fifth of people overload their plug sockets and two thirds admitted leaving appliances on, including cookers. More worryingly nearly half don't have their gas boiler serviced by a CORGI registered engineer with 60% unable to spot the signs of a faulty boiler, leaving them exposed to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning

Every year, more than 4,000 people in the UK die and 2.7 million attend Accident and Emergency departments after accidents in the home. Those over 65 are among the most vulnerable with just under 2,500 of the home accident deaths occurring in this age group.

So while you may feel safe in the comfort of your home, statistically your house is one of the most dangerous places to be. But National Grid's survey shows with a bit more awareness those risks could be significantly reduced and accidents can easily be prevented.

Jon Butterworth, National Grid operations director, said: "This is all about the power of action. Safety is paramount to the National Grid business and while we work 24/7 to maintain a safe and secure gas supply to homes and businesses, we want to make certain that the elderly and the wider population also feel safer in their homes. This is why we are working with RoSPA to raise awareness of the issue.

By providing simple advice, National Grid's campaign, which is supported by RoSPA, proves that simple actions can save lives.

RoSPA home safety manager Kairen Sanderson said: "We assume that our homes are the safest places to be yet more accidents happen at home than anywhere else.

RoSPA welcomes National Grid's work to raise awareness of this issue and to help tackle this tragic and unnecessary loss of life. There are a whole host of simple, preventative measures - often at no or low cost - that people can take to reduce their risk of injury, from gas safety to preventing falls and fires.

By taking action now the following safety advice will ensure you can feel safe at home:

  • If you smell gas call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999
  • Avoid trips, slips and falls by ensuring halls and stairways are always well lit and free from clutter
  • Reduce the likelihood of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty flues or equipment by having gas, oil or solid fuel heating appliances professionally serviced once a year
  • Reduce trips, slips and falls by cleaning up spills quickly
  • Change light bulbs safely, without the risk of falling by using a stable step-stool. Avoid using old chairs to climb on
  • Stay safe from fire by testing smoke alarms weekly and be sure all the family know how to escape in the event of a fire
  • Avoid fire risks by using guards with all fires and heaters and keep clothing, furniture and curtains away from all heat sources, including candles
  • Reduce the risk of electrical fires and electrocution by never using appliances with cracked plugs or worn cables
  • Avoid overloading electric sockets with too many appliances
  • Don't risk electrocution by taking electrical appliances into the bathroom. Water is a good conductor of electricity so you should never touch electrical appliances with wet hands
  • Avoid burns and scalds by always using the back rings on a cooker or hotplate first, and position pan handles so that they can't be pulled over. Keep hot drinks out of reach of children
  • Avoid bath time scalds (especially to children) by running the cold water first and carefully testing the water temperature with your elbow. Children should never be left unattended
  • Poisoning or chemical burns can be prevented by storing medicines and household chemicals out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a secure, high-level kitchen cupboard.
This press release relates to Cadent work.  It does not have Cadent branding on it, due to this press release being published prior to 1st May 2017, when this gas distribution business was part of National Grid’s group of businesses.
 

Findings of the National Grid Survey

National

4% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
57% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
29% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
43% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 60% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
19% of people overload electricity sockets in their home
37% of people admit to having slipped in the bath

East

5% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
53% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars (lowest in UK)
31% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
38% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 58% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
16% of people overload electricity sockets in their home
34% of people admit to having slipped in the bath

London

8% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower (highest in UK)
60% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
24% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
50% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 62% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
27% frequently overload their electric sockets. (highest in UK)
45% have slipped in the bath.

Midlands

4% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
56% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
28% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
36% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 62% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
19% frequently overload their electric sockets.
38% have slipped in the bath.

North East

4% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
59% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
31% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
35% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 69% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler (highest in UK)
20% frequently overload their electric sockets.
31% have slipped in the bath. (lowest in UK)

North West

3% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
55% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
27% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
36% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 63% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
21% frequently overload their electric sockets.
35% have slipped in the bath.

Northern Ireland

79% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars (highest in UK)
17% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home (lowest in UK)
75% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer (highest in UK)
No more than 46% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler (lowest in UK)
25% frequently overload their electric sockets.
54% have slipped in the bath. (highest in UK)

Scotland

2% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower (joint lowest in UK)
57% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
36% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
29% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer (lowest in UK)
No more than 57% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
16% frequently overload their electric sockets.
37% have slipped in the bath.

South East

5% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
57% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
29% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
35% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 63% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
16% frequently overload their electric sockets.
37% have slipped in the bath.

South West

6% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
55% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
28% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
31% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 62% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
19% frequently overload their electric sockets.
41% have slipped in the bath.

Wales

2% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower (joint lowest in UK)
58% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
32% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home
31% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 57% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
12% frequently overload their electric sockets. (lowest in UK)
44% have slipped in the bath.

Yorkshire

4% admit to having an electrical device plugged in near their bath or shower
60% admit to having mistakenly left on their oven, a hot plate, heater, iron or hair straighteners, or failed to extinguish candles, cigarettes or cigars
37% have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted in their home (highest in UK)
39% do not get their boiler serviced annually by a CORGI registered engineer
No more than 58% of people recognise any of the four key signs of a faulty boiler
20% frequently overload their electric sockets.
39% have slipped in the bath.

RoSPA

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a registered charity established more than 90 years ago. Its mission is to save lives and reduce injuries, and it aims to campaign for change, influence opinion, contribute to debate, educate and inform - for the good of all. By providing information, advice, resources and training, RoSPA is actively involved in the promotion of safety and the prevention of accidents in all areas of life - at work, in the home, on the roads, in schools, at leisure and on (or near) water.

Press enquiries: Roger Vincent or Jo Stagg on 0121 248 2134/35.

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. 

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

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

*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.

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