Small businesses failing to stay on top of gas safety

Almost a fifth of small businesses do not have a carbon monoxide alarm and around the same number are lax on gas safety checks, research finds.

New research from British Gas Business shows that while the majority of Britain’s small to medium-sized (SME) businesses know their responsibilities for gas safety, 18 per cent don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm.

Furthermore, around a fifth (21 per cent) of small businesses surveyed are not aware that by failing to have an annual gas safety check carried out they could be invalidating their insurance.

The survey of more than 500 SME owners also shows that more than three quarters (77 per cent) are aware that gas appliances need to be checked on an annual basis, with some 82 per cent having had a Gas Safe registered engineer visit their workplace to carry out gas safety checks in the last year.

In addition, almost four in five (79 per cent) say that not taking annual gas safety checks could put lives at risk, with only 3 per cent stating there would be no health risks.

Jonathan Samuel, managing director for Gas Safe Register says, ‘When we think about gas safety many of us would automatically think of gas appliances like boilers, cookers or fires in our homes but this survey shows it equally important to consider the workplace.

‘Some of the obligations and responsibilities may differ, but the risks from an unsafe gas appliance remain the same. We encourage businesses of all shapes and sizes to check their gas appliances and keep employees and customers safe.’

James Bennett, Managing Director of business services for British Gas Business says, ‘Without safely functioning gas appliances and a secure gas supply, businesses could put their revenues, and the safety of employees and customers at risk.’

The company advises businesses to install a carbon monoxide alarm at your business premises, and to look for signs of staining, soot or discolouration on, or around your gas boiler, fire, water heater or any other gas appliance, which can be signs of carbon monoxide.

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