New fire threat warns top safety chief
Stealing gas and electricity by meter tampering is putting us all at risk – even if we know nothing about it
Sudden fires next door, explosions in the street, smoking cables in busy bars or shared hallways of flats. That’s the future for all of us, warns one senior UK Fire Chief if we don’t tackle the alarming rise in bypassing energy meters to get free gas and electricity.
Bypassing meters puts many lives at risk
“I think a lot of people first get involved with energy theft because they think it’s simple and safe,” says Bedfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Paul Fuller. “In fact it’s a very hazardous thing to do. Gas and electricity are highly dangerous products. Interfere with them and you’re putting many lives at risk as well as your own. Most people probably never think they could be responsible for serious injuries and deaths.”
Tampering with electricity just as dangerous as with gas
Paul has been Bedfordshire’s Fire Chief for over 15 years and has seen first-hand the terrible consequences of energy theft. “The perception is that it’s less dangerous to tamper with electricity than gas, but that’s not true. Whether it’s electric shocks and smoking cables or gas leaks and explosions, you are exposing many people to a huge amount of danger.”
The risk is everywhere: in shops, at work, eating out
“If you can bypass meters domestically it’s also possible in a restaurant or factory or office,” warns Paul. “We don’t know the full scale, but huge figures are involved. About 150,000 instances of energy theft each year, adding up to over £440 million lost. Knowing the risks and dangers this causes, I urge anyone who suspects energy theft to get on the reporting line now!”
If you are concerned about energy theft, you can report it anonymously to stayenergysafe.