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Over 17,000 households will experience a domestic disaster this Christmas, according to British Gas

Christmas can be a stressful time of year and our homes are also under extra pressure – the heating is working overtime, our ovens are working flat out and extra guests mean that every room in the house is probably in use. As a result, British Gas predicts that more than 3,000 British Gas households will experience a boiler breakdown and will be left without heating or hot water. British Gas engineers will be working across the Christmas holiday to make sure we help our customers keep their heating and hot water working.

For British Gas service and repair engineers across the country, Christmas is about helping vulnerable customers such as the elderly, and those without heating or water. British Gas will have 900 engineers working on the day to help those who might be experiencing difficulties. It also expects to receive up to 7,500 calls to its call centres and will have 280 staff manning the phones to ensure problems are dealt with as quickly as possible.

Last year on Christmas Day:

  • British Gas received over 5,000 calls for help with an emergency
  • British Gas engineers visited 2,300 customers to help them with their boilers and central heating
  • British Gas engineers attended to 142 plumbing and drains jobs
  • British Gas engineers attended to 84 electrics jobs

Matthew Bateman, managing director at residential services comments: “A Christmas Day disaster can ruin the holiday - that’s why we’ve got 280 people in our call centres ready to speak to customers who might be having problems. For us, Christmas Day is about helping our vulnerable customers like the elderly, and those who have no heating or hot water. We will have 900 engineers working on Christmas Day to help customers who are facing real emergency situations.

“We also want to make people aware of a few small things they can do to help avoid disasters in the home this Christmas. Checking your boiler and insulating your pipes are just a couple of jobs you can complete to help keep your family safe and your homes warm and working this winter.”

Chris Brain, an engineer working on Christmas Day said: “Your boiler failing at any time of year is a real pain, but on Christmas Day it’s even worse. That’s why we’re here ready to go out to customers who may need an engineer on Christmas Day. We’ll be working closely with the call centre staff to ensure we’re able to get out to those most in need.”

To avoid disasters in the home this Christmas, British Gas has put together some simple tips and advice:
  1. Stay safe: Your boiler will be working overtime this winter, so make sure that you don’t forget to have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm fitted and that you test it regularly.
  2. Love your boiler: Check to make sure your boiler is working properly before Christmas Day. The older your boiler the more inefficient it will be. If you have a pressure gauge make sure the boiler is at the right pressure and top up as necessary.
  3. Insulate your pipes: Burst pipes area a huge issue for UK households during winter months. To help prevent burst pipes, ensure all pipes are properly insulated by using lagging, which can be bought cheaply from most DIY shops.

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