With Gas Safety Week (15 – 21 September 2014) upon us, B&ES (the Building & Engineering Services Association), who operate the free consumer advice service the Heating Helpline, and TrustMark, the only Government-endorsed ‘find a tradesman scheme’, have issued a timely reminder to homeowners to steer clear of bogus gas installers. There are thousands of them working in the UK carrying out over 250,000 jobs each year; apart from putting lives at risk it is costing around £100 million a year just to rectify this unsafe work. And barely a week goes by without another prosecution brought against an unregistered gas fitter who has carried out illegal work.
Roderick Pettigrew, Chief Executive of B&ES, commented:
“Every week families and especially OAPs fall victim to bogus gas fitters who don’t have the skills or qualifications to work on gas appliances, which is specialist work and potentially very dangerous.”
“Poorly installed gas work can cause explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal and can also cause serious long-term health problems.”
“Don’t simply rely on the recommendation of a friend or use a plumber that has done work for you in the past – anyone you are thinking of hiring to carry out gas work in your home must be Gas Safe registered and you should always ask to see their Gas Safe Register identity card and contact the Register immediately on 0800 408 5500 if you have any concerns or if you think the gas fitter is using a falsified ID card.”
An easy way to find a qualified, registered gas installer is to use the Heating Helpline free advice service. Not only are they all Gas Safe registered but they are also all members of TrustMark, which is backed by the Government.
Mr Pettigrew said:
“By employing the services of TrustMark registered tradesmen, homeowners can be assured that they are using a firm that operates to Government-endorsed standards, with a standard of workmanship that has been independently verified.”
Simon Ayers, Chief Executive of TrustMark, added:
“Gas Safety Week is a great national safety campaign and a seriously important message to drive home to all homeowners. Staying safe in your home is paramount so we strongly advise anyone who is considering having any work carried out on their gas boilers or gas appliances to only use reputable firms that have been assessed and qualified and are Gas Safe registered.”
“By using TrustMark registered heating engineers, consumers will have assurance and peace of mind that the work will be carried out to a consistently high professional standard and will be done in the best way to ensure a safe job to a quality standard.”
For more information about Trustmark visit: http://www.trustmark.org.uk. For advice on home heating and energy saving, including how to locate a qualified, registered heating engineer, visit: http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk or call 0800 810 8303.