What is the Gas Safe Register?
The Gas Safe, or Safety, Register is the UK’s list of qualified engineers who are legally authorised to work on gas appliances. If any tradespeople carry out gas work who are not on the register, they can face fines and even prison time. Incompetent gas work is dangerous, so the Gas Safe Register acts to protect homeowners and tenants, by investigating any reports of suspect gas work. This information is then passed on to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive), who can then prosecute businesses or individuals who have been found to be carrying out this illegal gas work.
Gas Safe recently conducted research into the problems caused by unqualified tradespeople, and found that the problem is common and widespread, with more than a million homes in the UK being put at risk every year. They also discovered that around 1 in 5 gas appliances (including cookers, boilers, gas fires, gas meters and pipework) are found to be so dangerous that they have to be immediately disconnected. Gas appliances that are faulty or have been incorrectly installed can cause a number of problems like gas leaks which can cause fires or explosions, and also carbon monoxide poisoning.
How do I know if my engineer is on the Register?
Very few homeowners actually check that their engineer is on the Gas Safe Register. There is no need to feel embarrassed about asking to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card as engineers are used to being asked for it. It is best to do this before he or she enters your home and starts working on your gas appliance. On the ID card you’ll want to check the expiry date, security hologram and also if the engineer is qualified to do the sort of work you require (not all gas engineers are qualified to work on all gas appliances).
What happens at a Gas Safety Check procedure?
All gas appliances should be serviced once a year, and this service should include a gas safety check. This ensures that the appliance is burning fuel correctly, on the right settings and at the right operating pressure. It also makes sure that harmful waste gases are being safely removed to outside of your home. And it ensures there is sufficient ventilation around your appliance, and that all inbuilt safety devices are working properly. During a full service, your appliance should also be dismantled and cleaned, with any worn components being replaced. Performance tests should be carried out to test the appliance’s efficiency. The engineer will then inform you if there are any issues that need attention.
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