Not everyone who has an essential job to keep us all safe during the coronavirus pandemic is immediately obvious. Gas engineers have a vital job, ensuring that heating systems remain safe at a time when most of us are spending more time than ever in our homes.
A fault on a central heating system could lead to potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning, so advice from government, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Gas Safe Register is that it safety checks must continue during the coronavirus pandemic.
believe housing Gas Engineer Paul Douthwaite has shared his thoughts on working to keep customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
“From the moment I wake up in the morning, my working day is very different to how it was just three months ago. My wife currently works from home, while also caring for our daughter, and I must make sure that every decision I take during my working day is in the interest of my family as well as our customers.
“It takes around an hour to repair the boiler and carry out the necessary safety checks. Our planner also informed me that the home was due an annual gas service. So, while I was there, I also carried out the annual safety check and service.
“The next job in my diary is a fault with a toilet not flushing. Again, I contact the customer before attending and ask them to carry out some simple checks to see if they could repair it themselves.
“The elderly customer was very nervous about me having to enter their property and had been advised to shield from the public for 12 weeks from the start of the lockdown period.
“I spend around 20 minutes on the phone to her before I attend, trying to repair the fault. Then, once I realise it couldn’t be fixed over the phone, I reassured her that we are doing everything we possibly can to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. “The toilet was not flushing and it’s the only toilet they have, so again, it’s absolutely essential to attend.
“I have also noticed that an increasing number of our customers have felt lonely as they have been on their own for weeks without any form of human contact and felt rewarded that I was able to provide some emotional support for them in the short time that I was in their property, albeit from another room.
“Once my jobs for the day are complete, at around 4.30pm it’s time to head home. On a normal day, I would be greeted at the door by my daughter. But during these times, I have to explain to her that she can’t hug me when I come home. Instead, I have to take my uniform off and put it straight in the washing machine then shower before I can be within two metres of my wife and daughter.
“Working this way was very challenging at first, but it has quickly become normal. As a repairs and maintenance team, we have different goals every day and high standards when it comes to caring for our customers and staff. But I’m happy to say we are achieving those standards and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
If you have any concerns about a repairs appointment due to the coronavirus pandemic, please call 0300 1311 999, email email@example.com , or through our online form, to discuss how we can help.