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Warning that Coronation St gas accident is a real danger

A storyline on today’s episode centres around a deadly gas boiler – and there are warnings as around 10,000 gas boilers were illegally installed in Ireland last year.

Image: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TV SOAPS OFTEN reflect an exaggerated version of real life – but one storyline contains a real danger for Irish people.

The APHCI are warning that today’s Coronation Street storyline, which centres around a deadly gas boiler, is a real life danger that people should be concerned about. On the Coronation St episode, an unqualified Tyrone attempts to fix Fiz’s gas boiler and unwittingly leaves behind a dangerous carbon monoxide leak.

Dangerous

Chairman of the APHCI Sean Giffney said:

Today people will see the deadly effects of a gas boiler being left in a dangerous condition after it was serviced by someone who didn’t know what they are doing. Unfortunately, every day in Ireland unqualified and poorly qualified people are mishandling gas boilers and equipment that leaves innocent people afterwards exposed to considerable danger. The terrible reality is that because of the current state of the industry, this type of tragedy will happen to some Irish family.

A recent Consumer Association of Ireland survey showed that there were a minimum of 10,000 gas boilers illegally installed in Ireland last year. “This is hard evidence of an industry where illegal activity is rampant, add to that the problems of poor qualifications and very insufficient regulation and you have a recipe for disaster for many Irish families,” said Giffney.

Thee Commission of Energy Regulation’s (CER) figures show safety disconnections of customer installations were up by 133 per cent in 2011. In the wake of the Consumer Association survey and the CER figures, both the APHCI and the Consumer Association said the gas industry is “seriously unsafe” and that action would have to be taken before people die.

Pressures

CEO of the Consumer Association of Ireland, Dermott Jewell, said that the CAI conducted an independent survey of the number of gas boiler units that were sold in 2011.

Having compiled the data we found that there were at least 27,500 units sold. We understand this is significantly above the numbers of officially certified gas boiler sales which in turn now obviously raises serious issues for Irish consumers.

Jewell said that the CAI is aware of the financial pressures that are causing consumers to opt for the cheapest offer or alternative in the marketplace. “However, in this case, the cheap, illegal option could end up costing lives,” he said.

The CAI is urging everyone concerned to look at the state of this industry and the inadequate protections and checks that exist within it.

“There must be immediate action taken to put provisions in place to protect consumers and their families from what is – obviously – a significant and life-threatening health and safety problem,” he concluded.

Read: Vhi issues warning ahead of busiest day for treating accidents and injuries>

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