Gas Safety Week 15-21 September 2014

GAS SAFETY WEEK 15-21 September 2014

Gas-Safety-Week-14-web-banner-728x90The fourth annual Gas Safety Week will see the whole industry coming together to bring gas safety to the forefront of people’s minds. Dangerous gas work can kill, so it is vital that gas appliances are safety checked at least once a year. If left unchecked, poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In the last year alone, 343 people were injured and 10 people died as a result of gas related incidents.

People can sign up to a free reminder service at www.StayGasSafe.co.uk, and use the interactive gas map to see how many unsafe gas appliances are lurking in an area.

Follow these simple checks to stay gas safe:

  • Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home. You can find a registered engineer in your area by calling Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk
  • Get your gas appliances safety checked at least once a year and serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes your gas boiler, gas cooker and gas fire. Sign up at www.staygassafe.co.uk for a free reminder service.
  • Check the front and back of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card, making sure they are qualified to do the specific type of gas work you require.
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm which will alert you if dangerous levels are present in your home.
  • Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.

For more information or to find Gas Safe registered engineer visit www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.

Follow Gas Safe Register on Twitter @GasSafeRegister and find us on Facebook.

Download the Gas Safety Week 2014 leaflet.


Ten people died from gas related incidents in the UK last year and 343 non-fatalities were reported (Source: HSE RIDGAS statistics 2012/13 (provisional))


Gas Safe Register is the government approved registration scheme for gas engineers in UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey. The register of over 122,000 gas engineers aims to protect the UK’s 23 million gas consumers from dangerous gas work. It is a legal requirement for any gas engineering business or self employed gas engineer carrying out domestic and commercial gas work to be registered, and comply with the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998.

Gas Safe Register assesses the competence of engineers on the register by inspecting a sample of the gas work they carry out to make sure they are safe to work on gas.  Gas Safe Register is focused on gas safety and campaigns to raise awareness of gas safety risks, including those associated with using illegal gas workers.

Gas Safe Register deals with all aspects of the downstream gas industry covered by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. It covers both piped natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Gas Safe Register replaced the CORGI gas registration scheme in Great Britain and Isle of Man on 1 April 2009 and in Northern Ireland and Guernsey on 1 April 2010.

Read This First

Read This First! Homestamp’s Comprehensive Guide to Renting Property!

***UPDATE 2014***

If you are looking to rent property from a private landlord – don’t forget to use Read This First.

Homestamp’s  comprehensive guide to renting property includes advice on on both landlord and tenants rights, private renting in general, housing benefit, tenancy deposit schemes, crime and fire safety advice, plus much much more.

Read This First 2014 has been updated to include the latest information – especially on welfare and benefits changes, finance and illegal money lending advice.

Also available to download is the Read This First 2014 ‘Important Checklists’. This way you can keep a record of properties you have looked at and use the checklist in helping you reach a decision!!!

PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR TENANTS TARGETED IN WEST MIDLANDS LOAN SHARK AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR TENANTS TARGETED IN WEST MIDLANDS LOAN SHARK AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

The England Illegal Money Lending Team, which works in partnership with local Trading Standards departments around the country to tackle loan sharks, is launching an awareness campaign to reach private rented sector tenants throughout July 2014. In the West Midlands the campaign will be run in partnership with Homestamp, a partnership consortium with a direct interest in private sector housing, comprising of Local Authorities, the private rented sector, Universities, Police and Fire Services.

Whilst anyone can be a victim of a loan shark, this month’s campaign will focus on helping those who live in private rented accommodation.  These tenants might not be aware of support that is available to them from local authorities and charities if they are struggling to make ends meet.  Quite often councils, agencies and Credit Unions can provide bonds or deposits but few people realise this and can get into debt to move home and start their new tenancy on a back-foot. The team is advising people never to use a loan shark for rent or a deposit, and fear that this is a currently hidden and under-reported problem.  The team will also be working with private landlords to help them provide support and advice to any tenants who have got into financial difficulty with loan sharks prior to taking on a tenancy.

In the West Midlands, the team is working with Homestamp, to:

  • Put articles in local newsletters aimed at landlords and tenants
  • Advertise at customer service centres where Housing benefit forms are collected
  • Run a poster awareness raising campaign in hostels
  • Use DVDs to educate hostel residents about the dangers of illegal money lenders
  • Train homeless teams, hostel staff and Housing Benefit sections so they can spot the telltale signs of someone who is a loan shark victim
  • Launch “A Free Guide to Renting Private Property” to ensure that tenants know their rights and have all the information they need to avoid getting into unmanageable debt, especially with illegal money lenders.

Illegal money lending is an issue all across the country with an estimated 310,000 individuals affected.

Loan sharks will typically appear friendly at first but their behaviour can quickly change with some resorting to threats, violence and intimidation to enforce their debts. They operate illegally, without the correct permissions from the Financial Conduct Authority and rarely give paperwork, keeping borrowers in the dark as to how much they are paying back. Some will even take items such as passports as security or even bank cards with the PIN in order to withdraw directly from borrowers’ accounts.

Lord Toby Harris, Chair of the National Trading Standards Board, said: “The process of moving home can be expensive and loan sharks take advantage of this, striking just when people feel under real financial pressure. It is crucial that people know that, even if they’re renting privately, there is help available to them if they get into financial difficulty. Loan sharks are illegal, predatory and should never be considered as an option.

National Trading Standards are committed to tackling loan sharks and we look forward to making a real difference for private tenants across the country over the next month.  If anyone suspects an individual of loan sharking or has been a victim themselves then I would urge them to call the hotline or email reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk.”

Mary Latham, Chair of Homestamp, said:  ”It is important to get this message out to both landlords and tenants and to ensure that they know how to safely and anonymously report suspected Loan Sharks who are operating in their area. Many people live in fear of these people and it is that fear that enables Loan Sharks to thrive. Homestamp partners are happy to help to remove the fear and prevent these people from thriving in our communities.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said “During the month our aim as a national team is to make a difference locally.  Whether a community is urban, inner city or rural we understand that loan sharks lend to those in private, social and council tenancies and indeed home owners.  Our aim is to tackle any current illegal money lending issues whilst sending a preventative message to all – loan sharks are not a safe or cheap way to borrow money, even if you’re doing so to move home.

We would urge anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark, or knows of someone who has to contact us in the strictest confidence on 0300 555 2222. Lines are open 24/7 and callers can remain anonymous if they wish.”

For updates on the campaign visit www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject or twitter: @loansharknews

TO REPORT A LOAN SHARK:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline: 0300 555 2222

Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 600003

Email: reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

Private message on: www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject


NEWS ARTICLE

New crackdown on loan sharks offers lifeline to private housing tenants - Birmingham Mail - 6 July 2014

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