A number of property investors across the UK are potentially putting their property investments at risk of major gas incidents, such as a carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions by employing illegal gas engineers who are not properly qualified, new research shows.
Gas Safe Register, the nation’s only official legal gas registration scheme, found that 19% of people, including many property investors, who employed a tradesperson to work on a gas appliance did not check their ID card or qualifications.
Fourth years’ worth of data just released by the Gas Safe Register’s investigations team found that a worrying 65% of gas jobs carried out by illegal fitters were unsafe and one in five gas appliances were so dangerous that they had to be disconnected immediately.
Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, commented: “Our investigation team’s data shows how dangerous it is to let unregistered gas fitters carry out work in your home. We are therefore calling on people to ‘trust the triangle’ by checking for the Gas Safe Register logo on gas fitters’ ID cards, and help keep their families safe by only employing registered engineers who are qualified to work on the appliance in question.”
The study found that people are most likely to employ a tradesperson based on recommendations from friends or family members (53%), and trust them based on their personal presentation (41%) or how official they look (30%), rather than on their qualifications (11%).
Reflecting on Gas Safe Register’s latest findings, consumer champion Matt Allwright, who is best known for presenting shows such as Watchdog, Rogue Traders and The Code for Fake Britain, said: “Gas Safe Register’s data demonstrates that too many people are letting illegal gas fitters into their home and putting their families at risk. It is vital that people don’t just trust a friendly face but make sure fitters are Gas Safe registered and qualified to work in their property, as the consequences of an unsafe gas appliance can be fatal.”
To help improve gas safety standards across the UK, Labour MP George Howarth has tabled an early day motion (EDM) calling on landlords and social housing providers to use the latest in modern technology to improve gas safety in homes across the UK.
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