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The north of England’s gas distributor, Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is urging people in Newcastle to have their home gas appliances checked as part of this year’s Gas Safety Week.

To mark the national initiative NGN has teamed up with Gas Safe Register and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to offer a number of free home safety checks for shoppers at Newcastle’s intu Eldon Square shopping centre. By working together, the three organisations hope to raise awareness of the risks of badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances such as cookers, fires and boilers.

People will be able to register for a free assessment and the installation of a Carbon Monoxide Alarm if they meet specific qualifying criteria.

CO is often referred to as the silent killer as it has no smell, colour or taste making it difficult to detect, resulting in around 50 deaths in the UK each year as well as many hundreds  of people needing medical treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is the fifth annual Gas Safety Week, which this year runs from the 14 to 20 September and aims to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances.

Experts from NGN, Gas Safe Register and the Fire and Rescue Service will be hosting information stands at intu Eldon Square on Wednesday 16 September where people will be able to ask for advice and sign up for the home safety checks.

Tom Bell, Head of Social Strategy at NGN said: “Poorly maintained gas appliances can be really dangerous and we take the safety of customers very seriously. We want to make people aware that a few simple checks can have a big impact on improving the safety of their appliances to prevent gas leaks, fires, explosions and CO poisoning.

“It is recommended that gas appliances are checked every year to ensure that they are in good condition and this should be done by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.”

Kevin Gardner, Area Manager for Community Safety at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can literally make the difference between life and death in the event of a fire or a carbon monoxide leak, so we’d urge as many people as possible to visit the information stands in intu Eldon Square.”

The information stand at intu Eldon Square can be found outside Boots, near the escalators on the first floor and near the Apple store on the ground floor.

NGN delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North of England and provides the region’s rapid response service for customers who smell gas at home or work.

For more information go to www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk