Gas engineers covering Chester and Ellesmere Port are expecting to clock up more miles than Santa during the festive season.
Last December there were almost 300 calls to the national gas emergency service from the two towns with many calls coming in on Christmas Day itself.
Now engineers from Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network, say they will again be hard at work clocking up the miles to keep customers’ energy flowing.
The man dressed in red and white will fly around 1,400 miles from Lapland to Chester yet the red and white vans driven by Cadent’s local engineers will cover 2m miles in their area which takes in half the UK.
Cadent keeps gas flowing to every home and business that uses grid gas for heating, cooking and power, with almost 2.7m in the north west alone.
Apart from its engineers who will be keeping the Christmas holidays safely ticking over, Cadent also co-ordinates the national gas emergency service answering one call every 20 seconds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including on Christmas Day, to the national 0800 111 999 service.
If there’s an emergency in its network area, such as a suspected gas escape, the same team will arrange for a Cadent engineer to attend quickly.
John Duckworth, the firm’s operations chief in the region, said: “We know we’re the last visitors you want to have in your house on Christmas Day but it’s good for you to know that we’re there if you need us, if you smell gas or suspect a gas leak.
“The number to call if you smell gas or suspect a leak is 0800 111 999.
“To ensure your gas is working safely, it’s vital to have all your gas appliances – cookers, hobs, fires and boilers – checked and serviced by a qualified, Gas Safe registered engineer.
“This will give you peace of mind and ensure everything is working as it should when temperatures really start to bite over winter.”
He continued: “Know the signs too of when your appliances aren’t working properly, including a lazy, yellow flame rather than a crisp blue one and black marks around the appliance.
“Poorly maintained gas appliances can lead to problems with carbon monoxide poisoning which kills 40 people across the country each year and hospitalises another 4,000. Symptoms to look out for include headaches, dizziness, nausea and breathlessness.”
Overall Cadent says it looks after a complex network of 80,000 miles of gas pipes running under roads and through fields in the north west, the midlands, eastern England and north London, serving 11m homes.