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Would you know the right number to call if you smelled gas?

According to a recent poll, more than half of West Yorkshire residents surveyed did not know which number to call to report a smell of gas, and around 15% said they would call the emergency services instead.

Northern Gas Networks (NGN) and West Yorkshire Police have teamed up this Gas Safety Week to urge members of the public to call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 if they smell gas, and NOT 999.

West Yorkshire Police currently receives over 1.2 million calls a year, 850,000 of which are non-emergency calls. A proportion of these are from callers reporting a gas escape.

As the gas distributor for the North of England, NGN maintains the safe operation of the gas network, and provides the region’s emergency response when a smell of gas is reported.

“Saving time in a gas emergency is essential,” said Ian Waddle, NGN’s Head of Customer Operations Support.

“Knowing the right number to call, and keeping that number saved into your phone could help to save lives.

“If you smell gas in your home, or out on the street, it is essential to call 0800 111 999 as soon as possible. The line is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week and our engineers will be there within the hour.”

Tom Donohoe, Senior Contact Manager for West Yorkshire Police said:

“Our teams do their utmost to answer calls as quickly as possible, both 999 and 101. Calls that are not a police matter can slow this process down significantly.

“We would ask anyone needing to report a gas escape to recognise that there is a more appropriate number to use.

“Doing this will ensure calls of a police matter are answered quickly and efficiently.

“In a police emergency situation, every second counts.”

As well as calling the National Gas Emergency Service immediately, there are practical steps you can take if you smell gas:

  • Open windows and doors
  • Put out any naked flames
  • Don’t smoke or strike matches
  • Turn off all your gas appliances and don’t use them until the engineer has visited
  • Turn off electrical appliances
  • Avoid turning any switches on or off
  • Keep other people away from the area

Gas Safety Week is coordinated by the Gas Safe Register, and is running from September 13 – 19th 2021. The week provides a platform for the gas industry, consumer organisations and individuals to focus on communications about gas safety in one week.

You can learn more safety tips via the Gas Safe Register website at https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gassafetyweek/stay-safe/

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, seven days a week.