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Gas Safe and you

New research published by the Gas Safe Register shines a spotlight on the worrying fact that an increasing number of UK householders are failing to adequately check that the tradesmen that they employ, are qualified to do the required job safely and within the law.

Many respondents admitted that they were highly influenced by polite, well-dressed and confident tradesmen with good eye contact. One-quarter also acknowledged that they decided whether the person was trustworthy in less than five minutes. This fact is made even starker when you consider that one-fifth of those surveyed admitted that they had been let down by a tradesperson.

The concerning statistics are of great concern to officials in the gas safety industry, as they indicate that millions of householders are employing unqualified and often dishonest tradespeople in their homes - an action that could, in the worst-case scenario, put their lives and the lives of their wider families at risk.

While seven out of ten people stated that they would request ID before allowing a tradesman to begin work, it seems that only around one-third of those having gas work completed check the qualifications of their engineer.

When you are looking for someone to do work of this nature in your home, it is strongly recommended that that you ask for and thoroughly check both the ID and qualifications of the tradesperson you are considering hiring. It is essential to put aside any embarrassment you may feel in doing so; after all, the wellbeing of your family is well worth any potentially awkward moments.

Amongst those surveyed, gas engineers came top of the list of most trusted tradesmen, with electricity/gas meter readers, electrician and carpet fitters following hot on their heels. Those perceived to be least trustworthy include plumbers and builders.

Over the last three years, over 20 people have lost their lives and almost 1,000 have been injured in gas-related incidents, including gas leaks, CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning, and fires; in addition, an evaluation by the Gas Safe Register concluded that around 250,000 jobs are carried out by unqualified, untrustworthy fitters every year.

In light of these worrying statistics, the Gas Safe Register has recently rolled out a new campaign entitled Trust the Triangle, which aims to raise awareness amongst the public that all qualified and trustworthy engineers carry the triangle-logoed Gas Safe identification card.

Anyone unable to produce this card should not be employed to carry out gas work under any circumstances.