Chepstow couple's lucky escape over gas leak

DANGEROUS GAS: Margaret and Michael Ayre didn’t know they had a gas leak

DANGEROUS GAS: Margaret and Michael Ayre didn’t know they had a gas leak

First published in News

A PENSIONER couple from Chepstow say a letter promoting gas safety may have saved their lives.

Margaret and Michael Ayre realised they had suffered from the symptoms it described for two years. A leak was then found at their home.

The letter, sent out by charity Care and Repair Monmouthshire, prompted the couple to call for advice.

The Bulwark couple had been waking up feeling ill for over two years and despite going to the doctor no cause had been found, they said.

Mrs Ayre said: “We had been waking up feeling sick and dizzy for a while but we just put it down to our age.”

But reading the Be Gas Safe letter made the couple think differently, so two weeks ago they called Care and Repair.

The Monmouthshire agency, which enables older people to remain living independently, advised the couple to contact their gas provider and within the hour an engineer was at their home and detected a gas leak.

The small leak was coming from a loose nut in the gas metre and after the engineer fixed the problem, the couple felt instantly better.

In such low level exposures symptoms include drowsiness, headache, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath.

But one of the main dangers is that the gas is flammable.

Mr Ayre said: “Since the leak has been fixed we wake up in the morning feeling fresh and raring to go.”

Mrs Ayre explained they wouldn’t have phoned had they not have received the letter and the consequences would have been “very serious”.

She wants to share her story to help raise awareness.

Care and Repair Monmouthshire are working in partnership with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) to highlight the risks of gas leaks by sending out over 2000 letters.

CO Gas Safety charity director Stephanie Trotter OBE, said: “One of the main dangers of natural gas is that it is flammable but there needs to be quite a high concentration so the odour put into natural gas would normally alert people before the concentration became dangerously explosive.

“Lower leaks of natural gas may also decrease the amount of oxygen your body takes in when you breathe, making you feel unwell.”

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