Always use a registered professional
There was yet another story in the news recently about a landlord who had not done his duty to protect his tenants.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how Duran Akbulut had failed to have a gas boiler checked for safety by a suitably qualified engineer. The boiler was in a property that was being let out to a tenant, who raised concerns about a carbon monoxide leak. The National Grid investigated and switched off the gas supply. The tenant made a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive, which led to the prosecution. London-based landlord, Duran Akbulut, was given an eight week suspended sentence for gas safety failings.
Sadly, we hear of such cases in the news all too often. According to Gas Safe, the British public is wasting £100million a year to rectify illegal gas jobs that put their homes and families in immediate danger.
One in five of the homes investigated by the Gas Safe Register were found to be ‘Immediately Dangerous’ and the appliances had to be disconnected straight away to make them safe. In all cases the work had been carried out by an illegal gas fitter.
This problem obviously isn’t going away. It seems that far too many people are not checking that the engineer they propose to use is registered with Gas Safe. This is very simple to do, just ask to see their Gas Safe Register ID card. You’ll be able to check if the engineer is registered to carry out the work he/she intends to do in your home. If they’re registered to fit gas boilers, it doesn’t mean they are automatically qualified to put in a gas fire. You can also check that a gas engineer is registered by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk or call the free helpline 0800 408 5500.
Carbon monoxide (CO) can be a killer – make sure you have a CO alarm fitted in your property if you use heating or cooking appliances that use carbon based fuels, such as gas, oil, coal and wood. The important thing to remember about carbon monoxide is, it has no smell.
A gas leak can lead to an explosion; the CIPHE urges anyone who smells gas at a property to take the following action:
- Never ignite a naked flame / strike a match, etc.
- Never touch any electrical appliance (including light switches).
- Put out naked flames.
- Open doors and windows.
- Keep people away from the affected area.
- Turn off the gas supply at the meter using the control valve.
The National Grid operates an emergency 24 hour telephone number if you detect gas, call it for free on 0800 111 999. Deaf or hearing-impaired persons can call via minicom / textphone on 0800 371787. If you smell gas, don’t delay, call the number!