A third of adults do not check if the engineer working on their property’s gas appliances is doing so legally, according to new research.
The findings come as the Gas Safe Register nears completing almost 2,000 investigations into illegal gas work in properties across the UK.
The study also revealed that many people believed they had sufficiently checked their engineer’s credentials by asking the engineer rather than checking with the Gas Safe Register.
Of those who did check their engineer’s registration, many looked for confirmation in the wrong places, such as logos on websites and uniforms (28%) rather than with the Gas Safe Register directly
When asked why they had not thought to check if their engineer was working on their home’s gas appliances legally, the research revealed that there is a lack of understanding and an assumption that all engineers are registered (40%) so people didn’t realise they had to check (29%).
Some of those who let in an engineer without checking their registration information blamed being in a rush (15%) or forgetting to ask (18%), putting their safety at risk.
British politeness also stopped 14% of adults checking if their engineer was on the Gas Safe Register as they claimed they were ‘too embarrassed to ask’.
Jonathan Samuel, CEO of Gas Safe Register, said: “Anyone working on gas appliances who is not on the Gas Safe Register is doing so illegally. Gas appliances can be dangerous if they’re not looked after, so it’s important to ensure they are serviced or fixed by someone who is legally registered and qualified to do so. You can look up your gas engineer’s registration number on the Gas Safe Register website, or call our helpline.”
Gas Safe Register offers the following tips when it comes to stamping out illegal gas work:
Don’t cut corners – only employ a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home. Gas Safe Register is the only official register for legally qualified engineers. You can find a registered engineer in your area by visiting the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or by calling on 0800 408 5500.
If you suspect that someone is an illegal fitter or are worried about gas work carried out in your home, please contact Gas Safe Register.
To help Gas Safe Register’s investigations team build their case: take clear pictures of the work that’s been done, keep paperwork including business cards and receipts given to you by the engineer and write a log of what work or conversations happened when.
Unsafe gas appliances can leak carbon monoxide (CO). Know the symptoms of CO poisoning; headaches, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, loss of consciousness, and collapse.
If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.