A kitchen fitter left a gas pipe in a dangerous state during renovations at a home in Torquay, having falsely claimed to be Gas Safe registered, leaving his customers at risk of explosion.

Matthew Heath removed the kitchen hob in September 2014 but failed to cap the remaining gas pipe, meaning potentially lethal gas could fill the home in Horace Road, Torquay Magistrates court heard on 15 May.

He left the supply pipe uncapped and simply turned off the supply using the emergency control at the meter. This meant the supply could be turned on again at any time by mistake, creating a danger of a gas explosion.

A Gas Safe registered engineer was called to complete the job and raised the alarm at the situation left by Mr Heath. A Gas Safe Register inspector examined Mr Heath’s work and classified it as “Immediately Dangerous”.

The Health & Safety Executive found that Mr Heath’s company, Tremadden Kitchens, displayed the Gas Safe Register logo, although neither he nor his company were registered.

Mr Heath, of Widegates, Looe, pleaded guilty to three breaches of gas safety regulations and was fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £483 in costs.

HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Heath put his customer’s life at risk by carrying out work on gas pipes which he was not legally entitled to do. He also deceived customers by claiming his company was registered with Gas Safe.

“All domestic gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

Further information on domestic gas safety issues can be found on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/.