If it is that time of year, when you need your central heating system checked and serviced, there are only a select few that can legally do it for you. Incredibly there are more than 21 million households in the UK that use gas for central heating, cooking and hot water.
So what does that mean? Unfortunately, in some cases unqualified members of the public try to play on the fact that they are eligible to complete a full boiler service. Not only is this illegal, but incredibly irresponsible because they are putting the homeowner, tenant and any surrounding neighbours in significant danger.
So Who Can Check Your Appliances?
Fortunately, to avoid such things happening, the Gas Safe Register was created as a hub for qualified heating technicians. Since its establishment, the Gas Safe Register has become the leading government registration scheme for professional gas engineers in the UK, Isle of Man and Guernsey.
There are currently more than 120,000 registered technicians on the Gas Safe Register so there is certainly no excuse to not use a qualified professional.
Only Gas Safe Registered engineers are allow to service, repair and install central heating systems and cooking appliances. To make things clear, anything with a gas connection must be checked and installed by an engineer on this register.
All gas safe registered technicians carry an ID card. It is worth getting into the habit of asking your engineer to present it to you on arrival to be 100% sure.
Who Needs Gas Checks?
Any private landlords, letting agents or housing associations need to have the gas appliances checked annually by law. This also includes any associated pieces of equipment such as pipework and flues.
On completion of the inspection, the user will receive a copy of the gas safety certificate. This states whether the heating system has passed or failed inspection, noting any worthwhile repair recommendations.
Why Have Gas Checks Completed?
Unfortunately, there are more than 250,000 illegal installations completed every year by rogue fitters. This can have a significant impact on your safety, any dependants and surrounding neighbours.
A poorly fitted gas appliance can produce gas leaks, explosions, avoidable fires and produce Carbon Monoxide (CO). Approximately 15 people die from CO poisoning every year because of a poorly fitted gas appliance. To reduce the chances of CO poisoning, you can fit a CO alarm relatively cheaply. You may purchase an alarm from any recognisable DIY store and pick one up for less than £20.
Only qualified gas technicians can work on gas appliances. Qualified technicians can be found on the government registration scheme that is the Gas Safe Register. Any gas safe registered technician will carry a Gas Safe ID card. This should be presented to you before any work is completed. If your chosen technician does not present it to you, simply ask them to. If they are unable to present a valid ID card, avoid their services and consider your options.
Private landlords, letting agents and housing associations need to have gas safety inspections completed annually without fail. On completion, a copy of the pass or fail safety certificate will be provided for your records.
Unfortunately, there are more than 250,000 illegal gas installations every year. These can lead to significant injuries, illnesses and deaths. There are approximately, 15 deaths a year because of CO poisoning. All of which can be avoid through the use of a working CO detector.
Author Bio: This guest post was written by Reis Ashraf, Owner and Gas Safe Registered heating engineer for RA Heating and Plumbing. He is a local Plumber in Milton Keynes that supports the immediate surrounding areas and villages.