A former councillor is concerned that it’s only a matter of time before someone is hurt as a result of damaged gas boxes.
Bill Lewis has said the boxes on the sides of council owned homes could lead to electricity or gas supplies being tampered or damaged with. Many have been left open due to damage.
Tenants have been struggling for the past year to find out from the council’s legal department and energy companies who is responsible for the meters.
Justin Hill, a Bilton resident whose home has a broken gas box on the outside, said: “It’s a worry because youngsters kick footballs against the side of our house. We don’t have a problem with that, but we are worried that because the gas box has no cover, if it gets damaged it could cause a gas leak. We have a little baby in the house and we’re concerned about the danger that could cause.”
Mr Lewis said: “There had been instances when the handles of gas cut off switches had been removed resulting in the tenant being unable to switch off the gas supply should it be necessary to do so in an emergency. Clearly that is unacceptable and could lead to dangerous situations.”
Under paragraphs 3 and 5 of Schedule 2B, the Gas Code of the Gas Act 1986, the consumer is responsible for taking “proper care of the meter” and ensuring it’s adequately housed either within or outside the building.
According to the Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers, “it appears that the consumer is responsible for the maintenance of gas meter boxes”.