Gas Safe Register has launched a new campaign to highlight the amount of illegal gas work that is done across the UK and the danger this poses to householders.
Gas Safe Register has a team that actively searches out rogue fitters and has investigated almost 5,000 illegal gas jobs in recent years, finding that 3 in 5 were in an unsafe condition. A worrying 1 in 5 were deemed to be so dangerous that the appliance had to be disconnected immediately.
There were 55 prosecution cases obtained by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in 2015 following poor and in some cases deadly gas work. The prosecutions resulted in a total of 33 months in jail, 2,170 hours of unpaid work or community service orders and £748,283 in fines.
Rob Denman, Gas Safe Register, regional investigations officer, said: “It never ceases to amaze me the problems we are called out to investigate, where householders have unsuspectingly hired an illegal gas fitter to carry out work and have later encountered faults. These problems can range from boilers not being screwed to the wall correctly to flues not connected to the appliances correctly allowing carbon monoxide to escape into the room, where families are put at danger.”
As part of the campaign, Gas Safe Register is reminding registered engineers of the importance of ensuring the public know they should always be checking the identification of any gas engineer hired to complete work in their home.
Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Far too many people are letting unregistered gas fitters into their home and putting their families at risk. Gas Safe Register is working hard to stamp out illegal gas engineers and I urge all of our registered engineers to play their part in this too. We need to work together to keep the UK safe while protecting our registered engineers’ livelihoods through uncovering those operating under false pretences. The only way someone can be sure they are hiring a registered engineer is by asking to see their ID card.”
Recent researchi carried out by Gas Safe Register identified that just under half of respondents are too embarrassed to ask to see an ID card, leading them to fall victim to illegal gas fitters.
Do your part to spread these top tips to the public:
When arriving at a property to carry out gas work, remind the public to check ID cards by offering your ID card for inspection, even if you are not asked to.
If you suspect someone who is working illegally, report it anonymously to Gas Safe Register by visiting www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk/ReportIllegal or calling 0800 408 5577
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