It may come as a surprise to many but there is a growing problem of illegal gas fitters in the UK, installing and working on gas appliances, potentially to the detriment of everybody that employs them. Working with gas is a dangerous occupation and by having an illegal or unregistered gas fitter work on your gas appliances or gas fires, you are putting yourself and others in your home at risk.
Why is Illegal Gas Fitting Dangerous?
Working with illegal gas fitters increases the chance that you will have an appliance or fitting installed improperly, creating a dangerous situation for everyone living in your home (and even those homes that are nearby). A study done by Gas Safe Register found that illegal fitters installed hundreds of thousands of appliances in just a single year!
When inspected, 1 in 5 of them was so poorly installed that they were deemed dangerous and had to be disconnected immediately and 3 of the 5 were shown to be installed incorrectly. Phil from Gastec Training said “When you are dealing with gas safety, you do not want to leave gas jobs or any other type of gas work to an unregistered and potentially unsafe gas worker.”
What can happen when gas is improperly fitted in your home?
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that is deadly. If there is carbon monoxide leaking into your home due to an improperly installed gas fitting, you are at serious risk of negative health consequences and death. In the last 3 years, there have been 22 deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK and over 1000 injuries reported.
- Gas Explosions
Gas leaking into your home creates the very real risk of creating an explosion which could harm or kill those in your home and even those that are in the homes next to you. Gas explosions happen when there is a sufficient gas-to-air ratio and it is ignited by a spark of some type in the home.
How Can You Ensure that Your Gas Fitter is Registered and Legal?
There are important steps you can take to ensure that the gas fitters working in your home are legal, registered and competently trained to do their job. By asking a few simple questions, you can protect yourself and all of those in your home from an illegal gas fitter. What are these questions you should ask?
Are They a Registered Gas Engineer?
All legal gas engineers working in the UK are registered to the Gas Safe Register, the only registration scheme for gas workers. Ask them if they are registered before letting them into your home.
Do They Have a Gas Safe Registered Card?
Gas engineers will be able to provide a Gas Safe Registered Card to anyone who asks for them to provide it. All their details will be on this card, including what types of services they can provide and their identification information, among other things.
Can I Confirm This on the Gas Safe Registered Site?
To confirm that this person is indeed a registered gas engineer, you can double-check all their information on the Gas Safe Register website.