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Illegal gas fitters could cost you your life
PEOPLE all across the country may be risking their lives every year unaware that they could be dealing with a potential killer. This killer has no guns and no ammunition and does not have a criminal record, but he is the biggest threat to both your’s and your families lives.
He is simply the unqualified gas fitter. The illegal tradesman who offers to either fix, fit or service your cooker, boiler or gas fire. Because what he leaves behind could be badly fitted, faulty equipment that could kill you while you sleep..
There have been tragic stories and sad statistics about people who used an illegal tradesmen which is why the industry runs Gas Safety Week every year in September to make sure that the rogue traders are kept out and residents are made aware of the risk they are taking if they ignore the advice.
The message is simple: Don’t let it happen to you. Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer. Check the card.
One in three of us trust a tradesman to do gas work based purely on the recommendation of a friend or neighbour without checking out their registration and qualifications first.
Remember that dangerous gas work can be deadly. Badly fitted and poorly serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Using an illegal gas fitter can end up costing you thousands of pounds to have fixed. Worst of all, it could put the lives of you, and your loved ones in danger.
It is against the law for anyone to do work on gas appliances in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man or Guernsey unless they are Gas Safe registered so if you think someone is working on gas illegally, report them to the Gas Safe Register and they will investigate.
How do I know if the gas fitter I’m using is illegal?
A quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out each year . If your gas fitter is not Gas Safe registered then they are illegal. If your gas engineer is qualified and registered to do gas work in your home they will be able to show your their Gas Safe ID card.
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.
If they work for a Gas Safe registered firm during the week and are doing private work in their spare time on the side, they are also illegal.
How do I check my engineer is on the Gas Safe Register?
All Gas Safe registered engineers carry a Gas Safe Register ID card showing the type of work they are qualified to do. Before you let your gas engineer into your home to work on your gas appliances make sure you check it.
You can also check your gas engineer is Gas Safe registered online, by texting Gas then the engineer licence number to 85080 or by calling free on 0800 408 5500 .
Protecting you from unsafe gas work is a priority for Gas Safe. If you think someone is working on gas illegally, report them and they will investigate. There are more than 120,000 engineers on the Gas Safe Register. To check that they’re continuing to work safely we inspect the work they’ve carried out. If you’ve had gas work done in the last six months, you can nominate it for a free gas safety inspection.
Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, which can be caused by unsafe central heating systems, gas cookers or gas fires.
That's why Gas Safety Week aims to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. Badly fitted and poorly serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions as well as carbon monoxide poisoning. Using an illegal gas fitter can put lives at risk, only a Gas Safe registered engineer should carry out gas work.
B&Q pledged their support again for this year's event and Gas Safe will hold events in 20 of their stores across the country.
Matt Sexton, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at B&Q says: “Gas Safety Week gives us the opportunity to put gas safety at the top of everyone’s priority list. Alongside Gas Safe Register, B&Q aims to raise awareness of the importance of taking care of your gas appliances and help people to be gas safe.”