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 Wales & West Utilities wants to help people across the Swansea area stay safe and be aware of people calling at homes saying they are checking gas works in the area.

The company, which runs the gas emergency service in Wales and the south west of England, has been made aware that over the past few days someone has called at properties in the Swansea area claiming to be checking gas pipe upgrade work. This is not being done by Wales & West Utilities, so the company wants to remind people of the safety steps to help them stay safe from uninvited callers.

The lock, stop, chain and check exercise is being promoted to help people stay safe and secure in their homes. The simple steps to follow to avoid bogus callers are: 

 1. LOCK - Always keep your back and front door locked even when you are at home or just popping out briefly.

2. STOP - If there is someone at your door, stop and think whether you are expecting anyone. Make sure the back door is locked before answering the front door so that nobody can get into your house while you are distracted.

3. CHAIN - If you decide to open the door, put the door bar or chain on first. Keep the chain on while you talk to the person on the doorstep. When the door is closed, remove the chain in case you need to get out quickly. 

4. CHECK - If a stranger wants to come in and claims they are from a utility company, the local authority or any other organisation, always ask for their ID, even if you were expecting them - genuine callers will happily show you ID. Close the door and check the ID carefully. Call the head office if you are still unsure, but use the number from the telephone directory or a recent utility bill, not the one on the card.

Wales & West Utilities Director of Operations, Andrew Hopkins, reminds people to be vigilant and said: 

“We want to remind people that our colleagues, and those of our contractors, wear identification badges with pictures and people should ask to see these before letting anyone into their homes.

“All staff, whether they are working on an emergency to investigate a gas leak or on our gas pipe upgrading programme will always carry identification badges. They will be expected to show these when asked and will be happy to do so. Householders can ring us on 0800 316 0478 any time of day or night to confirm a caller’s identity and genuine employees will not mind waiting while these checks are carried out.”

Wales & West Utilities provides the gas emergency service across Wales and the south west of England. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.

The company is also carrying out multi-million-pound 30-year mains replacement programme, across Wales and the south west of England, which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years.