Britons putting themselves at risk of illegal tradespeople

7th Mar 2016

New research carried out by the Gas Safe Register has revealed that some homeowners are employing tradespeople based on their appearance and behaviour rather than qualifications.

The Gas Safe Register listed politeness, good eye contact and confidence amongst the traits people look out for when it comes to determining trust.

Whilst 7 in 10 people did say they would look for an ID card when looking for a trusted tradesperson, the Gas Safe Register’s own data showed that when it comes to gas work just one third of people actually do this.

The research also looked into the most trusted types of tradespeople; with gas engineers taking the top spot. Gas/electricity meter readers, carpet fitters, and electricians ranked just below this, with builders and plumbers coming in last.

So why is it so important that homeowners check the ID and credentials of the tradespeople they hire to carry out gas work in their home? Not only is it illegal for tradespeople who are not Gas Safe Registered to carry out the work, the results can be harmful and even fatal. The same goes for any homeowners (who are not Gas Safe Registered) attempting to do gas work in their own property.

The Gas Safe Register have stated that in the past 3 years alone there have been 22 deaths and nearly 1,000 injuries related to gas incidents such as carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, gas leaks, fires and others.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “In the right hands gas is safe, but in the wrong hands badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can be deadly and can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and CO poisoning. With hundreds of thousands of illegal gas jobs being carried out every year in the UK, people are putting the safety of their families in the hands of people they don’t really know and whose competencies they certainly haven’t checked. We’re seeing far too many people prioritise cost over safety when hiring a tradesman.

“We are therefore urging people to trust the triangle. Look for the triangular Gas Safe Register logo on your gas engineer’s ID card, and make sure you’re getting your gas appliances checked every year.”

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