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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

February 21, 2019

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Gas safety

Council warns takeaways are failing gas safety checks

Gateshead Council has warned restaurants and takeaways in the city are failing to get proper gas safety checks on their equipment.

chinese takeawayRecent inspections carried out by environmental health officers found many are breaking the law by getting domestic safety certificates instead.

Almost three quarters (70%) of takeaways and restaurants in Gateshead had the wrong gas safety certificates.

According to the local authority, many are choosing to use gas engineers who are not competent or qualified to issue commercial gas safety certificates.

Instead, many restaurants and takeaways are having their mandatory gas safety inspections carried out by people who are only qualified to issue safety certificates for domestic appliances.

“The onus is on businesses to ensure that the gas engineer they use is competent to undertake the work they need them to do, but this is clearly not happening,” said service director for development, transport and public protection, Anneliese Hutchinson.

“We are therefore urging local food businesses to ensure that they only use a properly registered gas engineer, and that the engineer is registered to work on the appliances and type of gas that they use.”

The warning comes as Gas Safe Europe, which produces products that ensure that some and gas alarms are working properly, has called for tighter safety rules after new standards were introduced in Scotland.

The Scottish Government announced earlier this month that every home in the country must have a smoke alarm fitted in the living room or lounge, and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings.

The changes also mean every kitchen must have a heat alarm, and the alarms will have to be interlinked so they can be heard throughout the property.

There must also be a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm where there are fixed combustion appliances.

“Research has shown that around 15% of CO alarms are defective before they even get out of the box and a further 45% have been found to fail within three to four years – despite the 10-year warranties given by the manufacturers with their alarms,” said Gas Safety Europe Managing Director, John Stones.

Just because the battery is working does not mean you are safe. Without a fully functioning CO sensor, the alarm is not going to warn a homeowner or tenant that they are at risk from deadly CO.

“There are currently more than 30 million CO alarms in the UK that could be providing consumers with a false sense of security and putting lives at risk.”

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