What's in this article?
We've all heard horror stories about botch-job boiler installations; however, engineers who aren't Gas Safe registered are still putting over one million households a year at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and various other dangers1.
Whether you need someone to fix a faulty gas appliance in your own home, or you're a landlord looking to install a brand new boiler before the tenants move in, you must make sure that the engineer you hire is Gas Safe registered. Only then can you be certain that they will have the knowledge, experience and equipment required to complete the job safely and to the highest standard.
So what exactly does being Gas Safe registered mean, and how can you tell that an engineer has the necessary accreditations?
A bit of background info
Engineers on the Gas Safe Register have received the proper training and qualifications required to install and carry out work on gas appliances such as boilers, cookers and fireplaces. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has an official list of over 70,000 engineers and more than 120,000 businesses in the UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey who are Gas Safe registered2.
Bear in mind that it is against the law to undertake any sort of work on a gas appliance if you're not Gas Safe registered.
The Gas Safe Register ensures that these engineers and businesses maintain the high standard of work expected of them. It also gathers information against individuals or organisations that have carried out sub-par work to give to the HSE.
Using a Gas Safe registered engineer - what's in it for you?
Although you might want to try and save money by fixing your boiler yourself or asking someone who isn't Gas Safe registered to take a look at it, you need to consider how much of a gamble you're taking. Here's why:
- Engineers who aren't Gas Safe registered won't have the knowledge needed to correctly carry out work on gas appliances. When fitting a boiler, for example, a carbon monoxide leak could arise from something as simple as a lack of ventilation. A Gas Safe registered engineer would know to look out for this and any other issues.
- From fires to explosions, a gas appliance that hasn't been fixed or installed properly poses many risks, including carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that could leak out of your appliance and endanger the lives of everyone in your household as they breathe it in.
- Using a Gas Safe registered engineer will give you peace of mind that the work has been carried out by someone who knows exactly what they're doing. You want reassurance that you, your family or your tenants will be completely safe.
Learn all about combi boilers in our what is a combi boiler guide.
How to spot the genuine article
Getting on the Gas Safe Register isn't easy; engineers must undergo a series of stringent checks. You can therefore have complete confidence that any Gas Safe registered engineer you choose will be professional, trustworthy and reliable.
Yet just because someone says they're Gas Safe registered doesn't mean they are. It's therefore important to check an engineer out before they begin work, using the list that appears on the official Gas Safe Register website.
Look out for a company or engineer that displays the yellow triangle, which is the symbol of the Gas Safe Register. You should also ask to see their ID card, which provides various details about the engineer, from the qualifications they hold to the work they can do.
The card also contains their ID number, which should be listed on the Gas Safe Register, and the date the card expires (engineers have to register annually). Make sure you check both of these; a professional with all of the right accreditations shouldn't have any issue showing you their ID card.