By Lisa Brand
According to the Gas Safe Register, five million homes across the UK are putting themselves at risk by employing unqualified gas fitters.
Nearly five million people in the UK are endangering their lives by employing unqualified gas fitters, and one in five people don’t even check the qualifications or ID card of the tradesperson they have employed to work on the gas appliances in their homes.
The Gas Safe Register’s Investigation team has released four years’ worth of figures which seek out unregistered and unqualified tradespeople who are working illegally across the UK as gas fitters.
Research shows that an astonishing 65% of illegal gas work conducted throughout the UK was discovered to be ‘dangerous and unsafe’ and some of the work even had to be immediately disconnected as it was so dangerous.
They also discovered that:
- 53% of people would hire a tradesperson who had been recommended by a family member or friend
- 41% would likely employ them based on their personal appearance
- 30% by how official they looked
- 11% based on their qualifications
You could be facing prison if you’re caught working illegally as a gas installer without the correct training or qualifications and if you aren’t on the Gas Safe Register. You could also be putting peoples lives at risk by dangerous work if you have not had the correct training which could result in fires, gas explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning and worst case, death. Don’t cut corners. Ensure you have the correct training and qualifications before you work on gas appliances. It’s not worth the risk.
The UK’S areas of the most illegal and unsafe gas work carried out on gas appliances
Yorks & Humber
East of England
What Is the Gas Safe Register?
The Gas Safe Register is the only authorized registration group for the UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey who endorse the standards of gas safety. They hold the official list of businesses and gas engineers who have been certified to carry out gas work, once they have been Gas Safe Registered and proven their competence in their training and skills with their qualification.
Who They Are
The Gas Safe Register is the only legitimate list of gas engineers who are officially registered to be able to work legally and safely on gas appliances such as boilers, fires, cookers, gas appliances etc.
All qualified gas engineers by law must be registered on the Gas Safe Register, which replaced CORGI in 2009 as the gas registration body in the Isle of Mann and Great Britain and 2010 for Guernsey and Northern Ireland. The official gas registration body is appointed by the appropriate Health and safety authority for each of these locations.
Once your business has been registered on the Gas Safe Register, you will be given a licence to work with gas (like when you are issued with a driving licence with the DVLA, once you have proved your ability to pass your driving test).
Once you have become Gas Safe Registered, you will need to renew your registration yearly, from the exact date that you registered previously.
The Gas Safe Register will check that you are properly qualified and competent in gas safety before allowing registration.
What They Do
They safeguard the public from illegal and unsafe gas work. They do this by:
- A team of national investigators who hunt down unqualified gas installers
- Regularly inspect engineers who are Gas Safe Registered
- Raise awareness by educating consumers about gas safety
- Investigate gas work which has been reported as unsafe
Watch this short video from the Gas Safe Register to learn how to safely check a Gas Safe ID Card:
How to Check the details on the front of the ID card
Always request to see the gas engineers Gas Safe ID card. Don’t ever hesitate to ask to see an ID card whilst an engineer is carrying out work in your home, and make sure you check both sides of the card; not just the front. It is extremely important that you check this information as gas work carried out illegally by an unqualified engineer is extremely unsafe and can be fatal. More importantly, if they have no ID - DON’T LET THEM IN!
- The photograph of the engineer who is at your house
- The start and expiration date (ensure that is hasn’t expired - if it has, contact the Gas Safe Register immediately)
- The exclusive and individual licence number, located at the top of the card (this is also embossed in the centre of the card and is a seven-digit number)
- The Gas Safety hologram (located at the bottom)
- The gas engineer is from the correct company that you contacted
How to check the details on the back of the ID card:
- The engineer has the correct qualifications to do the job that you have hired them to undertake
- They are up-to-date with their qualifications
Qualification requirements to become Gas Safe Registered
To remain on the Gas Safe Register, it is a requirement that all CCN1 Gas Core Safety and appliance competence qualifications are renewed every 5 years. If you would like to take this refresher course with Barrett-Bell, please click on the below link for more information. This course is aimed at operatives whose gas qualifications have expired within the last 12 months or are due to expire following the 5-year cycle:
To find out more about the Gas Registration fees, please click on the below link:
Staying Gas Safe
If you would like to train the right way and become Gas Safe Registered with Barrett-Bell, please take a look at one of our courses where gas safety is our main priority or call 01923 253 866 for more information.
Remember, it’s important that everyone stays gas safe in their homes and never cut corners where gas is concerned. Always use a Gas Safe Registered engineer to regularly check your gas appliances and make sure you can recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Loss of consciousness
If you suspect that you have a gas leak, or you can smell gas, call the free gas emergency number (24 hours) straight away on 0800 111 999.