With two months to go until the expected lifting of lockdown measures in June, garden maintenance (29%), cleaning the windows (27%) and scrubbing the oven (24%) are ranked as the top three tasks that the nation is determined to tackle.
However, worryingly, when it comes to gas safety in our homes, only one in 10 (10%) are hoping to book in a safety check/servicing this spring for their gas appliances, with a third (33%) also admitting that gas safety checks often slip to the bottom of their to-do lists.
With a tendency to procrastinate on chores that we are not excited about, when it comes to the reasoning as to why there are still outstanding household tasks on their to-do lists this year, almost half (47%) admit they’ve put them to the back of their minds as they ‘can’t see’ them, and more than two fifths (42%) cite a lack of motivation.
Aggie MacKenzie, who has been keeping us clean, organised and tidy for two decades since appearing on Channel 4’s How Clean is Your House?, says:
“Personally, I love getting the less glamorous household tasks ticked off my to-do list! But if it brings you less enjoyment, now is the time to get the sensible sorted and a Gas Safety Check with a registered engineer should be top of that list. Booking in your annual service now will reduce disruption to your house in the long term. Get it booked whilst we are still at home, so that your summer can be that bit more carefree!”
In fact, tackling the more ‘tedious’ tasks can be good for us. Over two thirds (68%) of Brits admit to receiving a positive boost and a serotonin hit when they do tick these tasks off the admin list.
TV behavioural psychologist Emma Kenny, who is also supporting Gas Safe Register’s campaigning efforts, shares her thoughts on why we get a ‘buzz’ from being sensible. She says:
“Life in lockdown has felt overwhelming and fatigue has well and truly set in. It’seasy to understand why many of us have found it difficult to tackle those tasks we set out to do at the start of the year. Getting on top of your life admin – including those household tasks that we often ‘can’t see’ and put to the back of our minds - is great for positive mental health and wellbeing. Knowing that you have ticked off important tasks, such as having your gas appliances checked, so that you protect both yourself and your family is a small win, that makes a huge difference to all of your lives. Getting organised this way helps you to feel in control of your world, whilst ensuring the safety of the people that mean the most to you in it. The science clearly shows that when you feel that you are on top of your roles and responsibilities you feel happier, and more content, which is something everyone needs after the challenging year we have faced.”
This spring, Gas Safe Register is encouraging Brits to ensure that the servicing of gas appliances in their homes, which should be booked annually, is on the top of their to-do lists. From cookers, boilers to gas fires, many faulty appliances – left unchecked - can pose life-threatening risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning, a gas leak, and in some instances fires, or even an explosion.
This has proven to be as important as ever with the research showing a lack of knowledge amongst Brits around the signs of an unsafe gas appliance. More than 4 in 10 (42%) wrongly thought that smoke was a sign of an unsafe gas appliance, a third (30%) claimed the smoke alarm going off was a sign whilst 16% attributed mould and 10% a build-up of dust.
Gas Safe Register's Bob Kerr added:
“As it starts to get warmer and the further easing of lockdown restrictions are now firmly in sight, you probably haven’t given your boiler a second thought! But, after a heavy winter of use whilst we’ve all spent more time than usual in our homes, springtime is the ideal season to book in your annual gas safety check with a Gas Safe Registered engineer. As today’s research shows, with a lack of awareness around the signs and symptoms of an unsafe gas appliance, it’s even more important to make sure that your appliances are fit for use. You can find and check a local registered engineer to you on our Gas Safe Register website. There’s never been a better time to Be Gas Safe than Sorry.”
Aggie’s Spring to-do list before lockdown ends:
- Clean the windows
- Tackle the dust on the tops of kitchen cupboards and high-up/out-of-reach surfaces
- Book a gas safety check
- Cleaning the oven
- Painting/decorating the house
- Cleaning behind the fridge
- The showerhead/curtain/taps/screen/
- Pillows and duvets
- Garden maintenance and cleaning your greenhouse
- Rescue the barbie
Gas Safe Register’s six simple steps to help householders stay Better Gas Safe Than Sorry this Spring, are:
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer on our website or call 0800 408 5500.
- Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and condensation in the room.
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
- Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home, ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.
*Research conducted by 3Gem on behalf of the Gas Safe Register. 3Gem surveyed 2,000 respondents within the UK (aged 18+) in March/April 2021.