Safety first, but make sure your neighbours know

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National Grid has launched a Safer Homes campaign after research revealed 46 per cent of older people have mistakenly left a gas or electrical appliance on or alight in their home and nearly a quarter of older people do not have visitors any more than once a month.

The survey also found that 94 per cent of people aged 65 and over don’t know what service to call if they smell gas or think they have a gas leak and nearly a quarter do not know the signs of a faulty boiler.

The research also highlights the danger of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Over half of people aged 65 plus do not recognise flu-like symptoms or memory loss as a sign of CO poisoning.

And one third admit that they do not always ask for identification from callers at their home.

National Grid have teamed up with TV presenter Jennie Bond and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to encourage people to keep an eye out for their neighbours and older relatives and to raise awareness of the issue of safety in the home.

Jennie hosts a video giving simple hints and tips which can be seen at {http:// www.nationalgrid.com/safety}

Harry Buchanan of National Grid said: “Being safe in your home is the most important feeling.  The results from our research showed that the elderly were putting themselves at risk. We would encourage people to keep an eye out for their neighbours and older family members and by following a few simple steps, could prevent accidents and make them Gas Safe.

> Check if your neighbour’s carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are working, that their boiler is serviced on an annual basis by a Gas Safe registered engineer, they know if they smell gas to call the free emergency service on 0800 111 999, and that they always check ID before allowing anyone into their home