§ 81. Sir B. Janner
asked the Minister of Technology if he will list the additional safety precautions introduced by Gas Boards during the past two years with a view to minimising the increasing number of accidents caused by gas explosions and leakages in domestic premises, following the introduction of North Sea gas.
Mr. Alan Williams
Whether there is anything unusual in the number of accidents remains to be established in the light of the fuller information my right hon. Friend called for, as he told the House on 26th January.—[Vol. 794, c.236.] The gas industry has always sought, by many measures, to maintain high standards in safety matters. A fully documented 24-hour emergency service by radio and telephone was set up by all boards some years ago and the procedures are continually under review.
The following is a selection of more recent steps taken in this field:
- 1. Special steps have been taken with appliance manufacturers to discontinue sales of portable flueless fires and conventionally flued water heaters for bathrooms. A mandatory requirement for oven flame protection on all newly approved cookers is being introduced with effect from 1st April, 1970.
- 2. Codes of Practice, approval requirements and installation standards are continually reviewed and revised.
- 3. In co-operation with manufacturers, contractors associations, professional institutions and others a Confederation for the Registration of Gas Installers has been set up to promote the observance of the highest standards of fitting and maintenance of gas installations and to provide registers of approved contractors.
- 4. In connection with conversion to natural gas the following pre-conversion examinations of appliances and installations are standard practice:
- (a) Soundness tests.
- (b) Identification of sub-standard installations and ventilation.
- (c) Cleaning of all water heating and central heating appliances.
- (d) Ensuring that appropriate warning labels/operating instructions have been affixed to appliances.