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WEAR VALLEY CRITICISED FOR GAS SAFETY ACTIONS

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The Health and Safety Executive has criticised Wear Valley DC for not doing enough to make a gas fire safe after it...
The Health and Safety Executive has criticised Wear Valley DC for not doing enough to make a gas fire safe after it leaked poisonous fumes into a family home.

A mother of three was taken to hospital after the fire leaked carbon monoxide into her home. She says her children were put at risk because the fire was not disconnected immediately after the incident.

A fitter only removed a knob from the heater and put a warning notice on it. But, when the HSE inspected the scene of the leak, the fire had been removed.

The Northern Echo (16 February, p9) reported that the council is accused of being ignorant of the law for removing the fire before it could be properly investigated.

The law dictates that accident scenes should not be tampered with until a full health and safety inspection has taken place.

The HSE wrote to the council calling for a rethink of its policies on gas fittings in its properties. HSE inspector Gerry Rutter said the council was not legally obliged to disconnect the fire, but he added: 'The gas fitter did not leave it as safe as he could have done or should have done.'

'I have written to the council urging it to make sure all employees follow guidelines of what to do when they find a dangerous applicance.'

The council refused to comment until it had received written comments from the HSE.

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