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Torus supports Gas Safety Week 2023 – fighting for a gas safe nation

06 September 2023

Torus has pledged its support for Gas Safety Week (11 – 17 September 2023) and will be aiming to raise public awareness of gas safety, highlight the dangers of unsafe or unserviced boilers and gas appliances and encourage customers to allow access into their homes for their annual gas safety check.

Gas Safety Week is here to remind the public how to keep themselves gas safe, and organisations across the nation are working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

This year, Gas Safety Week focuses on celebrating the breadth and diversity of gas engineers and the essential role they play in keeping the nation gas safe. As well as reminding the public, about gas safety and tips to ensure they stay safe, including not attempting DIY on gas appliances and being aware of the warning signs of unsafe appliances, such as dark or sooty staining around an appliance.

A leaking gas appliance can also cause explosions. Boilers, fires and cookers that aren’t well maintained can produce carbon monoxide (CO) gas, that you can't see, smell or taste, but its effects can be fatal. A regular inspection will help keep you safe and could help to keep your fuel bills down.

As a landlord, we are legally responsible for the safety of our tenants. Annually, by law, we must visit every Torus property, whether you use your gas supply or not, to check heating systems, appliances and smoke detectors are safely installed and that any faults are fully repaired. We also check any solid fuel appliances e.g., wood burners and ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted and working correctly.

Barrie Frodsham, Torus Compliance Manager said:

“Poorly maintained gas appliances can cause fatalities and explosions and we don’t want this to happen to our customers. We take the safety of our tenants and communities very seriously and have a legal obligation to carry out an annual gas safety check on all our properties using our Gas Safe Registered engineers.

“It is vital that all our customers allow prompt access to their homes so that we can carry out these legal and important essential gas safety checks, to keep tenants, their families and neighbours safe.

“We just want our customers and communities to be safe and tenants who do not allow access to their home to carry out the gas safety check are in breach of their tenancy agreement which can result in Torus being forced into taking legal action, where tenants could incur court costs more than £1,000, or even lose their home.

“Those tenants who repeatedly fail to allow access on an annual basis for this mandatory gas safety check and service will be pursued accordingly for noncompliance of their tenancy agreement.

“There are really no excuses to not allow access for the annual gas safety check. It is a free service Torus provides to all its tenants, and the additional costs to Torus of having to repeatedly chase tenants to allow access is unacceptable.

“By allowing first time access, tenants will reduce the risk to themselves, family, friends and neighbours. They will also be entered into a free quarterly prize draw worth £100 of high-street vouchers, and any savings that are made by allowing prompt access will be used to reinvest in our properties and communities.”

Torus take a collaborative approach to complete the annual gas safety check in Torus domestic properties and this work is carried out by our trusted gas contract partner HMS and access supported by all Torus tenant-facing teams.

Jonathan Samuel, Chief Executive Officer for Gas Safe Register, said:

“We’re delighted to see so much support for Gas Safety Week 2023 - now in its thirteenth year. This year we are celebrating the breadth and diversity of gas engineers, their skills, and experiences, which help to keep the nation gas safe all year round. And we’re reminding the public of the importance of always using a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer to fix, fit or service gas appliances”.

Barrie added:

“We are aware that, as we approach winter, the cost-of-living crisis is still with us and concerns over the cost of energy is still on the minds of lots of people. However, we want customers not to be tempted to put themselves into more danger by doing their own DIY on gas appliances or tampering with gas equipment or bringing dangerous bottled gas into their home.

“Torus is also here to support those who may be struggling, with advice and practical support.

“Torus tenants should also not contemplate having a gas fire or solid fuel fire installed before submitting a permission form with full details of their request. This application will then be reviewed, and a decision will be made if the installation can go ahead. No work should be started until permission has been given in writing from Torus.

“We have encountered several recent incidents in which tenants have had an installation carried out, which has subsequently been found to be unsafe. It is important that tenants ask permission to prevent an unsafe situation arising and to make sure they comply with the term of their tenancy.”

Your gas safety check appointment

Remember, carbon monoxide kills. If you can let us in, please do. However, if you have any concerns, wish to change your gas appointment or have any questions please call 0800 678 1894 or email info@torus.co.uk.

Find out more about gas safety and your safety check here.

To keep you and your family safe, follow Gas Safe Register’s top tips:

  • If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999. You should also report if your Carbon Monoxide Alarm goes off.
  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning - headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapse, dizziness and loss of consciousness.
  • Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Never attempt to work on a gas appliance yourself, always seek the help of a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer who can work on your gas cooker, boiler or fire in a safe way.
  • Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctly e.g., lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
  • Don’t cut corners - only employ a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home.
  • Always ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure you check the back of the card, which will state which gas appliances they are qualified to work on.
  • Gas Safe Register is the official register for legally qualified engineers. You can find a registered engineer in your area by visiting the Gas Safe Register website at GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

Not a Torus tenant?

We want all our communities to stay safe, so if you live in your own home or privately rent, you should have your gas appliances checked every year. For gas safety advice or to find and check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively, call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.

Permissions

Torus tenants are responsible to clean, maintain and repair their own gas cooker and must get permission to carry out any gas works in their home, which must be done using a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. Permissions to carry out gas works can be requested by calling Torus Customer Hub on 0800 678 1894 or emailing info@torus.co.uk.

Struggling with your bills, rent or tenancy?

As costs of fuel and energy remain high, we want to reassure our customers that we are here for them. We have a range of dedicated teams ready to help:

  • If you are ever struggling to pay your rent, our Income Services Team can agree an affordable repayment plan and provide advice.
  • If you are struggling to manage your tenancy, contact the Torus Tenancy Sustainment Team, who can provide support.

If you need help with benefits, budgeting or debt advice, as a Torus customer, you can access free support from Citizens Advice. Contact them directly on 0808 279 7840. They are taking enquiries from Torus customers across all areas, so make sure they know you’re with Torus. If you need help with your referral, contact Torus Foundation on 0300 123 5809 (option 2) or email info@torusfoundation.org.uk. For energy and fuel advice contact Torus Foundation. Find out more at www.torusfoundation.org.uk/money.

Find out more about accessing support with rent and money here.

You can also find a full range of support relating to increasing energy prices here, plus a range of energy saving tips here.

Keep up to date with Gas Safe Register’s updates and advice throughout Gas Safety Week by following @GasSafeRegister on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and search #GSW23 and #GasSafetyWeek.

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