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Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the North of England’s gas distributor, is pleased to be supporting Gas Safety Week this week (18 to 24 September) – a national safety campaign to raise awareness about gas safety and the importance of taking care of gas appliances.

The seventh annual Gas Safety Week, organised by the Gas Safety Register, sees organisations from across the UK working together to encourage all gas consumers to make sure they have their gas appliances are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and protect against the dangers of unsafe gas appliances, such as fires, leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Tom Bell, Northern Gas Networks Head of Social Strategy, said: “As part of Gas Safety Week we are using the national campaign to inform people about our lockable cooker valve service.

“We understand that our vulnerable customers including people with dementia, Autism, those suffering strokes and many other conditions require extra safeguarding in place. A locking cooker valve helps vulnerable customers retain their independence at home and provides reassurance to family, friends and carers.”

This simple safety device is fitted to existing gas cooker pipework. When the valve is locked, the gas supply to the cooker is stopped. This removes the risk of the cooker being unintentionally turned on or left on. It also provides peace of mind to the carer or relative, that the cooker can’t be used when they leave the house or room.

The carer or relative can easily turn the valve on using the key when the cooker is required, therefore enabling the vulnerable person to continue to use their gas cooker safely.

Mr Hodgson, a resident of Chopwell who is carer for his wife, said: “Anyone that needs one would be silly not to get one, they could be a life saver. I feel reassured that my wife will be safe when I leave the house, all due to this valve. I can’t thank you enough.”

NGN are working in partnership with the other UK gas distribution networks to offer this free service nationwide, regardless of who the gas supplier is. There is no requirement to change gas supplier, nor inform the gas supplier of the device. Customers can currently apply online.

Anyone that smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide should call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.