We always try to stress the importance of ensuring that any tradesman that performs any type of work on your boiler is registered Gas Safe.
Unfortunately, not everybody is getting the memo.
Thankfully there are things you can do to avoid the horrors of an unsafe boiler installation.
A Growing Problem
Every year, around a quarter of a million jobs on gas appliances like boilers are performed illegally by non-Gas Safe tradespeople.
These tradespeople are usually recommended by friends and family as friendly and, more importantly, cheap.
But these rogue traders are often untrained, unqualified and entirely unable to perform a boiler installation in a safe manner.
The Dangers Of Unsafe Boilers
The dangers of having an unsafe boiler can be catastrophic.
When a boiler is not properly installed, it can leak carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is known as “the silent killer”, because it is colourless, odourless and can cause serious illness and death.
There is also the danger of a gas leak, fire or explosion if they have done a bad enough job.
Unfortunately, the past 3 years has seen over 1000 injuries and 22 deaths due to shoddy gas work carried out by illegal rogue traders.
Who Are These Rogue Boiler Installers?
There are a few ways you can spot a suspect tradesman.
Usually they will be sole traders or operate in a small business with only a few employees.
They tend to advertise in local papers and online, where there are no checks performed to see if they are qualified and registered to do the work they are advertising.
They tend not to advertise in larger publications that do perform these checks. This includes directories like Yellow Pages and Thompson Local.
According to BBC Watchdog, these rogue traders also tend to fit the profile of a general tradesman, often offering other services alongside gas fitting. 90% offered plumbing services, 81% were also bathroom fitters, and 43% were even willing to perform electrical jobs.
How You Can Stay Safe
It’s very easy to ensure that your boiler is installed by a professional, Gas Safe engineer.
When booking a boiler installation or check, always ask if they are on the Gas Safe Register. If they are not, they are not qualified to perform any work on your boiler.
You can get a list of registered Gas Safe engineers in your area by heading to the Gas Safe Register website.
Once your engineer arrives, check their Gas Safe ID card. It should have their name, photo, the business that they are registered with, a license number and a security hologram.
On the back of the card are the types of work this engineer is qualified to perform. Ensure that they are listed as qualified to perform boiler installation.
You can get more details on checking Gas Safe ID cards here.
Remember, it might feel rude to ask someone to prove that they are Gas Safe, but every Gas Safe engineer knows that lives could be on the line if you don’t.