HELEN’S STORY WARNS AGAINST ILLEGAL GAS WORK
Helen is disabled and lives in privately-rented accommodation which needed various work to be done, including electrical work and a new gas boiler and heating system fitted. Her 78-year-old mother recommended a local gas fitter who she thought was Gas Safe registered. Helen’s landlord employed this gas fitter to carry out the work on the 5th May 2010.
When the gas fitter arrived at the property Helen asked him if he was Gas Safe registered, which he replied he was. She didn’t think to ask to see his Gas Safe ID card:
“When a tradesman is recommended by someone you know, if you ask them if they are registered and they say ‘yes’ you take their word for it.”
When things started to go wrong, such as blown radiators and dodgy-looking electrics, Helen became suspicious of the gas fitter’s capability to do the job safely and correctly.
Once he finished the job he left Helen with a certificate which was signed by someone with a different name to him and had a separate licence number. As Helen had no idea who this person was she checked this out with Gas Safe Register who confirmed he was illegal and immediately offered to investigate the gas work. When Gas Safe Register investigated the property they found a gas leak in the pipework close to the boiler, which was classified as ‘Immediately Dangerous’; the most dangerous category of gas work.
Gas Safe Register also found nine other separate gas leaks in the pipework close to the boiler, and the electrics from the previous boiler were still live. They had to disable the boiler immediately, so Helen was left without heating and hot water for two and a half weeks.
“It’s worrying that people would portray themselves as something they’re not, especially when it comes down to something as potentially deadly as gas.”
“This experience has been a nightmare from start to finish. It’s been time consuming, messy and very unsettling. I would never, ever let recommendations be enough to make a decision on having gas work done in the future. I will always check Gas Safe ID cards from now on. It’s there to help protect the public from illegal gas work and to help keep us all safe”.
Helen’s experience cost her dear and it could have cost Helen her life. Dangerous gas work can be deadly. Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Make sure you know what to do to avoid illegal gas work.
Better Gas Safe than sorry. Always check the card.