New Gas Safe Register research has revealed grandparents could be inadvertently endangering their grandchildren when helping with childcare by significantly over-estimating how gas safe they are in their homes.
According to the research, 87% of respondents agreed that they feel more obliged to ensure their homes are a safe environment, given the caring responsibilities they now have for their grandchildren. Despite 46% claiming to be more clued-up on home safety measures than their adult children, when asked to identify the key signs that indicate gas appliances in the home could be faulty or unsafe, 16% were able to correctly identify all the seven crucial warning signs that could save lives.
With 86% of UK grandparents providing some form of childcare for their grandchildren during the week, this means that an estimated 12 million grandchildren could be at risk in homes, vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and even explosions.
To launch its new campaign, Gas Safe Register has teamed-up with veteran DJ and grandfather of two Tony Blackburn, to help the nation’s grandparents be more gas-safety savvy at home this winter, and beyond.
Tony said: “There’s no doubt that we grandparents play a distinct and important role in our grandchildren’s lives – increasingly indispensable when it comes to alleviating childcare costs, as well as being on hand to impart valuable pearls of wisdom and educating them on good music!
“We’ve experienced more of life and there’s great advantages to that when it comes to being ‘in the know’, but it’s never too late to learn something new, or learn more about something we think we know everything about – particularly when it comes to the safety of our homes and loved ones.
“I’m a stickler for making sure everything is working properly in my house – everything gets serviced and replaced if necessary but I realise I am in the fortunate position to do that, so my one piece of advice? Get clued-up on what the signs and symptoms of unsafe gas appliances can be. It could not only save your life, but those of your grandchildren and loved ones. Being in- the-know on the gas safety basics has never been more important.”
Rob Denman, head of professional and field services at Gas Safe Register, added: “Many grandparents play a vital role in the care of their grandchildren, enabling their own children to stay in work and provide for the family. But many are unaware that they could be unwittingly putting their grandchildren at risk of gas related incidents in their home, who have seemingly overestimated their confidence in being able to spot the warning signs of unsafe and faulty gas appliances in the home. What they think they know, and how that plays out in their homes is very different.
“Lazy yellow flames on your gas hob or oven instead of crisp blue ones, fault codes appearing on your boiler, pilot lights in your boiler that keep going out, or dark, sooty staining on or around gas appliances – are all signs that something could be wrong.
“We’re urging grandparents (and families more widely) to get clued-up on the signs and symptoms of unsafe gas this winter – and to have their gas appliances safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer – it really is better to be gas safe than sorry and it helps to protect you, your loved ones and your home.”