According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), on average there are three successful prosecutions every week against bogus gas installers carrying out gas work in homes when they are not qualified to do so. Gas Safe – the gas safety watchdog body – estimate that over 250,000 such jobs are undertaken each year and 90% of these are not completed to the required standard. The Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) say that not only is this putting people’s lives at risk but homeowners are typically left out of pocket as such sub-standard work has to be rectified.
B&ES spokesman, Mark Oakes, comments, “Every week families, and especially OAPs, fall victim to bogus gas fitters who don’t have the skills or qualifications to work on gas appliances, which is specialist work and potentially very dangerous.
“Poorly installed gas work can cause explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal and can also cause serious long-term health problems; in fact one in five of the illegal gas jobs carried out by bogus fitters was so dangerous that the appliance needed to be shut down immediately because it could have caused an explosion.
“Don’t simply rely on the recommendation of a friend or use a plumber that has done work for you in the past – anyone you are thinking of hiring to carry out gas work in your home must be Gas Safe registered, and always ask to see their Gas Safe Register identity card and contact the Register immediately on 0800 408 5500 if you have any concerns or if you think the gas fitter is using a falsified ID card.”
An easy way to find a qualified, registered gas installer is to use the TrustMark website, the only trade competence scheme endorsed by the Government; here all the heating engineers listed are Gas Safe registered. By employing the services of TrustMark registered traders, homeowners can be assured that they are using a firm that operates according to industry best practice, with a standard of workmanship that has been independently verified.
For more information visit: http://www.trustmark.org.uk .