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News Report Page 14 of 18
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Gas Safety Advice for Merseyside residents:- "Know the risks so you can stay safe this winter"

PROPERTY maintenance experts Liberty, which has its headquarters based in Knowsley, are working hard to raise awareness in the local community about the importance of gas safety in the home.

This comes just days before the new energy price cap for gas and electricity is implemented, and when soaring energy prices might make more people tempted to illegally tamper with their gas meter or take on highly dangerous DIY work to their gas systems as they look for ways to make savings on their energy bills.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause leaks, fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly and without warning, as you cannot see it, taste it, or smell it.

Liberty is urging people to take care of their gas appliances properly and look out for the warning signs of an unsafe appliance to keep their home and loved ones safe.

The property maintenance experts shared these top tips:-

Check for warning signs that could indicate that a gas appliance is not working correctly. Signs may include:- lazy yellow / orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out or too much condensation in the room.

Avoid blocking vents during cold spells. Vents are there to ensure your gas appliances work safely. Blocking them could prevent this.

Never DIY on a gas appliance. It is illegal to tamper with your gas meter and work on your gas appliances if you are not a qualified Gas Safe engineer. If you suspect there is something wrong with your appliance or it is not working correctly, call a Gas Safe registered engineer. You can find 1 at:- GasSafeRegister.Co.UK or call:- 08004085500.

Know the 6 main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:- headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse, and loss of consciousness.

Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm and make sure your friends and relatives have 1 too. Check they are marked EN50291 and display the British Standards' Kitemark.

Make sure you have your annual safety check. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you're a tenant, your landlord should arrange this for you. Set a reminder so you don't forget at:- StayGasSafe.Co.UK.

Look out for your local community. You may have a friend, relative or neighbour who is unable to arrange their own gas safety check or are unaware of what they need to do to keep safe. Help them stay safe by ensuring that they have their appliances checked and serviced regularly, if they are able to do so.

Check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing, eg:- natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and on the Gas Safe Register website.

Liberty's Regional Director Lawrence Gilsenan said:- "It is our job to make sure that people's gas appliances are operating safely and efficiently. In some instances, people do not know the signs and symptoms of faulty gas appliances and carbon monoxide poisoning. We hope to alert as many people as possible living in Knowsley and beyond of the seriousness of unsafe gas appliances and how they can keep themselves and their families safe."

North West health organisations urge everyone eligible to have flu Vaccine and Covid19 booster ahead of this winter

UKHSA North West and NHS England North West are urging everyone eligible for a free flu Vaccine and a Covid19 booster across the North West to take up the offer as soon as possible ahead of what could be a difficult winter with respiratory viruses circulating widely.

There will likely be high levels of transmission of both flu and Covid19 this winter, due to increased levels of mixing indoors for the 1st winter in 2 years, which could add additional pressure to the NHS.

Across the North West there was a 3.1 million record uptake of the flu jab in people aged 65 and over in 2021/22 though there was lower uptake among younger people in clinical risk groups and pregnant women and these groups are particularly encouraged to come forward this year.

All primary School children and some Secondary School children are eligible for the flu nasal spray this year, which is usually given at School. GP surgeries are also inviting children aged 2 and 3 years old (age on 31 August) for this nasal spray vaccination at their practices. Most young children will not have encountered flu yet. This means they will not have built up any natural immunity to this virus, so it is particularly important for them to take up the flu Vaccine this year.

In addition to the predicted flu wave, we have early indications that Covid19 rates are beginning to rise ahead of winter, increasing the threat to people's health.

For all those who are eligible, taking up both the Covid19 booster and the flu jab is an essential form of protection against the most severe respiratory viruses in circulation this winter.

As well as taking up the Vaccines, everyone is encouraged to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses this winter by practising good hand hygiene, wearing masks in crowded or enclosed public spaces and covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.

Dr Sam Ghebrehewet, Deputy Director for UKHSA North West, said:- "Flu and Covid19 are unpredictable but there are strong indications we could be facing the threat of widely circulating flu, lower levels of natural immunity due to less exposure over the last 3 winters and an increase in Covid19 circulating with lots of variants that can evade the immune response. This combination poses a serious risk to our health, particularly those in high risk groups. If you are elderly or vulnerable because of other conditions you are at greater risk, so getting the flu jab is a sensible, potentially life saving thing to do. We are extremely fortunate to have Vaccines against these 2 diseases Most eligible groups have been selected because they are at higher risk of severe illness. Younger children are unlikely to have built up any natural immunity to flu and therefore it is particularly important they take the nasal spray Vaccine this year. So, if you are offered a jab, please come forward to protect yourself and help reduce the burden on our health services."

Tricia Spedding, Head of Public Health for NHS England North West, said:- "The flu and Covid19 Vaccines provide the best protection from getting seriously ill from these viruses and also reduce the risk of spreading them to others. Getting your flu and Covid Vaccines are 2 of the most important things you can do to keep yourself and others around you safe this winter. I would urge everyone eligible for either or both Vaccines to come forward as soon as they are invited."

Visit the NHS website to find out where you can get your primary doses of the Covid19 Vaccine, or where you can get the flu Vaccine.

Unmarried parents in the North West urged to review parental responsibility laws following a rise in births by unmarried Mums

FOR the 1st time since records began in 1845, babies born to mothers that are not married or in a civil partnership outnumbered those born to married Mums. According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were a total of 624,828 live births across England and Wales during 2021 (78,127 in the North East), of which 304,706 were born within a marriage or civil partnership. Meanwhile, there were 320,713 live births outside of a marriage or civil partnership, representing an interesting cultural shift and 1 that could have legal implications for a newborn's parents. Ultimately, this burgeoning trend could have serious consequences for unassuming families, many of whom remain unaware that their marital status could impact their children's futures, particularly in the event of a relationship breakdown.

Dal Heran, Head of Family Law at Wright Hassall, commented:- "From birth, the mother has automatic parental responsibility for her child and this responsibility is also granted to fathers that are married to the mother. However, if a child is born outside of marriage, then a partner must be registered on the birth certificate to be given parental responsibility; failing to do so can cause serious issues later down the line if the parents separate and a child contact dispute arises. There is also the issue of financial provision for children following a separation, which is currently governed by the Child Maintenance Service irrespective of whether parents are married or not. This is calculated by the gross salary of the paying parent against the number of children for whom maintenance is to be paid. That being said, unmarried parents are not afforded the same protection as those that are. The issue of where parents and children will live is usually settled in conjunction with divorce proceedings, so the same does not apply for unmarried parents during a break up. Given that unmarried couples do not have the same rights, this can lead to further difficulties, especially if the family home is not jointly owned and the parent who is to be the main carer is not the legal property owner. For this reason, it is always best practice to seek legal support from an experienced family law team if there is any uncertainty surrounding the issues discussed."


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