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Recommendations aren’t enough to keep gas safe

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Recent research by both the Gas Safety Register and, a home services marketplace based in London, show that the majority of homeowners aren’t checking the qualifications and necessary insurances of the trade professionals they employ to work on their homes and thereby putting themselves at risk.

The statistics are worrying.  Plentific’s research revealed that only 54% of homeowners thought to check the Gas Safety Register before employing trades people to work on their gas utilities.

The Gas Safety Register’s own study, following four years of research, discovered that 65% of work carried out by unregistered gas fitters or those with insufficient training, was so unsafe that it required immediate disconnection.

Taking both these figures into account, it is clearly a matter of concern as ensuring a property’s gas utilities are properly maintained, by fully trained professionals, is essential in preventing serious hazards and accidents.

Plentific discovered that rather than credentials, it was personal recommendation or a good review on a trade professional’s website that many homeowners chose to rely on.

  • 57% of respondents believed that the most important thing to check before hiring a professional were previous customers’ reviews
  • 43% of homeowners – and 63% of those aged between 18 and 34 – put great store in checking a tradesman’s website rather than their qualifications

Stephen Jury of Plentific said:

“It’s shocking to think that the majority of homeowners aren’t properly checking the tradesmen they let into their homes to carry out renovation or repair work.

The fact that more homeowners check previous customer reviews over credentials such as the Gas Safe Register, could be surprising to some.

However, it shows how much influence people put on real-life testimonials and recent customer experiences.”

Similar concerns are highlighted in relation to insurance with almost four out of five homeowners admitting that they would hire a trade professional without checking that they had public liability or professional indemnity insurance.

As all home improvement or renovation projects come with a level of risk, hiring a trade professional who does not have the appropriate insurance cover could leave a homeowner financially vulnerable if things go wrong.

Plentific discovered that many homeowners aren’t aware of the risks involved; that if the tradesman is without his own public liability insurance, any costs arising from on-site injuries or damage to property will fall to them, not the tradesman.

Similarly, if work carried out, advice given, or specialist services are unsatisfactory, without professional indemnity insurance, the financial costs to put things right, again fall to the homeowner.

For advice on running your business and making sure you have the right sort of insurance cover click here.

ACS re-assessment every five years is essential for Gas Safe Registration, check out our Gas ACS courses here:

To keep everyone safe the fitter’s Gas Safe ID card should be inspected before work starts – and so should the back of the card, which will list the appliances on which the engineer is qualified to work.

Householders are urged to look for a Gas Safe registered engineer in their area by visiting or calling 0800 408 5500.

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