As Gas safety week approaches (15th-21st September 2014), we thought we’d share some ideas on how to spot illegal gas fitters. Gas is generally very safe but in the wrong hands it can kill. Beware illegal gas fitters, they are not only bad for the public, they give the rest of the industry a bad reputation too.
How do you spot an unqualified gas fitter?
Gas Safe Register has developed an accurate profile of those most likely to be involved in illegal gas work.
- More than half (57%) are sole traders and a third (33%) work in companies employing fewer than four people.
- As well as carrying out gas work, many also undertake plumbing jobs (90%), bathroom fitting (81%), kitchen fitting (67%), general building (43%) and electrical work(43%).
- Gas Safe Register believes a higher percentage of illegal gas fitters advertise their services online and in local papers as few if any checks for registration are carried out. In contrast, directories such as Yellow Pages and Thompson Local check for registration, so few illegal gas workers advertise their services as for example, ‘gas fitters.’
Watch the video below on how to check a Gas safe registered engineers card:
How to avoid unqualified gas fitters:
- Always use a gas engineer who is on the Gas Safe Register to fit, fix and service your gas boiler, gas fire and gas cooker. The public should never have a “DIY” attitude towards gas appliances.
- Never trust a gas fitter on first impressions or recommendations, even if it’s from a close friend or someone you trust. Always ask for the Gas Safe Register ID card (see video above). Even if the engineer is friendly, polite and talks the talk it does not mean he can walk the walk! Seeing the ID card is the only way you can guarantee that an engineer is legally allowed to work on your gas boiler, gas fire or gas cooker. Make sure the card is in date too, if it has expired the engineer is working illegally.
- Not all gas engineers are qualified to work on all types of gas appliance. Make sure you check the back of their ID card to make sure they are qualified to do the specific type of gas work you need. If they put in a gas fire for example, but they’re only Gas Safe registered for pipework and boilers, they are illegal.
- Check a gas engineer is registered by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call the free helpline 0800 408 5500
- After the gas work is done you can nominate your home for a free gas safety check.
- If you suspect an illegal gas fitter report them to Gas Safe Register anonymously. It is important to do this as you may be saving somebodies life.
If you need to stay qualified or simply want to learn new skills in the gas industry we have a wide array of courses on offer.