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30% take time off to deal with winter emergencies

A new survey by British Gas has revealed that 30% of Britain’s have had to take time off sick, use holiday time, or have had to turn up to work late due to an  a home energy emergency such as a broken gas boiler or burst pipes.

It is estimated that Britain’s take up to an average of 12 working days off to manage winter repairs to their gas heating system over a lifetime; 10% of those surveyed also stated they were concerned taking time off to deal with such problems could lead to them losing their job, missing out on a promotion or stop them from getting a pay rise.

Moreover, the survey discovered it was residents in London that were more likely to take time off to deal with an emergency, with 44% stating  they had to take time off to cope with an unexpected emergency at home.

The cost of emergencies

In addition, electrical faults are another common reason for taking time off work with 21% of people forced to stay at home to deal with the problem, and it is estimated it costs £512 million a year in repairs.

The survey also estimates UK workers can lose anything up to £100 in lost income and face average bills of £542 a time to repair winter damage.

Commenting on the survey, Matthew Bateman, managing director at British Gas residential services, said:

 “The results of the research highlight that winter home emergencies can take a toll on people in terms of time and money, and worrying about how it impacts time away from their job. Every winter we increase the number of staff in our call centre teams so we have the resources ready to help customers who may be calling us with problems”.

Prevent emergencies

In order to help prevent household emergencies, British Gas advise householders to arrange regular checks of their boilers and bleeding the radiators. They also suggest insulating the gas pipes during the colder months and insulating the hot water tank.

In addition, Chris Brain, a British Gas engineer from Canterbury, states:

“This winter, frozen condensate pipes have been a big problem for customers with condensing boilers in colder areas of the country. Frozen pipes can result in damage to the boiler and even flooding, so people should ensure pipes on the outside of their home are wrapped with lagging, at the very least”.

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