Gas Safe Register recently took part in a series of multi-agency raids on commercial properties in Oldham town centre, in a bid to tackle gas safety and a range of other issues, including illegal immigration, environmental health breaches and abuse of benefits.
Investigators worked with Greater Manchester Police, The Department
for Work and Pensions, UK Border Agency and local authority officers in
the licensing, environmental health and housing departments to uncover
suspected legal infringements.
Gas Safe Register’s role was to investigate the safety of gas appliances
in these properties following concerns raised that many were dangerous
and potentially leaking gas.
The raids ran over two evenings last month and targeted eight
properties, most of which were catering establishments. Inside four of
the five properties that had gas installed, gas could be smelt and had
to be referred to the emergency services provider, resulting in the gas
supply being disconnected. In the fifth property, three of the four
appliances were found to be immediately dangerous and were disconnected.
“By working with local authorities, these big multi-agency raids give us
the opportunity to inspect properties we wouldn’t have access to
ordinarily,” said Phill Brewster, investigations manager for Gas Safe
“These were not abandoned properties, all were being used
commercially. The fact that four of the five were found to have gas
leaking is very worrying. I’m just glad that we managed to intervene
before anyone got hurt."
The investigations team carry out around 1,000 inspections of gas work
every year and over half of these are identified as being unsafe.
However, most of these investigations come about as the result of
customers contacting Gas Safe Register with concerns that their
appliance is faulty.
If you know of any commercial buildings with unsafe gas work, please report it to the Register.