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How can you tell a legal from an illegal gas fitter?

A plumber from Farnborough has found himself in hot water with the law after carrying out illegal gas work, which was subsequently found to be unsafe.

Mr Fergus Leask, trading as Eldan Plumbing, had installed a gas boiler after telling the homeowner he was Gas Safe Registered. The homeowner became suspicious after Mr Leask failed to produce a gas safe certificate. Not only was Mr Leask not registered, but the boiler was deemed ‘at risk’ when inspected.

Mr Leask was fined £1230 and ordered to pay costs of £350 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, for carrying out gas work without being gas safe registered and Regulation 3(7) for falsely pretending to be gas safe registered.

Luckily this time, no one was hurt by the faulty installation, but the fact remains that this could have ended very differently. The CIPHE is giving the following advice to those employing an engineer for gas boiler installations and breakdowns.

Use the right websites
Do a Google search for a gas engineer and it’s likely you’ll have 100’s of results to choose from, but how do you know who is the best? A flashy website is not always an indication of someone’s skill as an engineer and how do you know they hold the qualifications they claim?

If you are searching for an engineer online, the best place to start is on the find an engineer tools on the Gas Safe website or the CIPHE’s website. You can then rest assured that your engineer has the right registrations, skills, qualifications and experience to do a good job:

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/

http://www.ciphe.org.uk/consumer/find-a-plumber/

Verify your engineer
If you already have an engineer in mind then it’s really easy to double check they are Gas Safe Registered. The vast majority of heating engineers are qualified, professional and honest, so they really won’t mind if you ask to verify their credentials before they start work. To do this, ask your engineer for their engineer's licence number and go to https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer/#checkanengineer. This online tool not only helps you to see if they are registered, it also allows you to double check that they are qualified to do the type of gas work you need them to undertake.

And if they are claiming to be a CIPHE member too, you can simply check by typing in their CIPHE membership number into our online verification tool.

 So the next time you need some gas work done, just remember that taking a few minutes to double check your engineer can save you a lot of time, hassle, money and heartache in the long run.