What does Gas Safe actually mean?
When it comes to your gas, it’s vital to choose a contractor you can trust – but how exactly can you tell if your engineer is qualified and safe to carry out gas works?
That’s where the Gas Safe Register comes in. Let’s clear up some of the confusion surrounding gas safety, and how the GSR can help keep you and your property safe.
What is the Gas Safe Register?
The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are legally qualified to carry out gas works in the UK; as well as the name of the official governing body which operates the register itself. The Gas Safe Register organisation works to prevent unqualified, illegal gas fitters from putting their customers in danger.
Since 2009, any business or sole trader working on gas heating and/or cooking appliances (including boilers, ovens and hobs) must be registered with the GSR. Anyone who provides gas works without registration is breaking the law.
How does Gas Safe registration ensure safe gas work?
Before companies can add themselves to the register, they must hold the relevant qualifications which prove they can work safely with gas appliances. These qualifications need to have been achieved within the last 5 years and must meet the UK’s standards for gas safety training,
The GSR also regularly monitors the organisations who are already Gas Safe registered, ensuring that the work undertaken by them is ‘correct and safe against the requirements of relevant gas safety legislation’.
How can I tell if an engineer is on the Gas Safe Register?
Every registered fitter is issued with a Gas Safe Register ID card, emblazoned with the GSR’s yellow triangle logo.
The ID card confirms the identity of the engineer and displays the types of gas appliances they’re qualified to work on. Always insist on seeing your engineer’s ID before letting them carry out work in your building.
It’s also a good idea to check the register itself to see if your engineer is listed – you can search for them via the GSR’s website at www.gassaferegister.co.uk/find-an-engineer or call the GSR directly on 0800 408 5500.
Do I need to choose a Gas Safe registered fitter?
Don’t underestimate the risks of hiring an illegal unregistered gas fitter, even if they claim to hold all the necessary qualifications. An unsafe installation or maintenance job can be fatal; natural gas leaks can cause suffocation, house fires and even explosions, while carbon monoxide leaks are toxic and completely undetectable without a dedicated alarm.
Fixing the work of an illegal fitter can be costly and time-consuming; your only option may be to pay a registered engineer to strip out your entire boiler system and reinstall it from scratch.
What about CORGI accreditation?
The Council for Registered Gas Installers (CORGI) served as the nation’s official registration body for gas works from 1991 to 2009. Like the Gas Safe Register, it served to protect the public from unsafe contractors by making qualification and registration a legal requirement of carrying out gas works.
In 2009, CORGI lost its status as the UK’s official gas regulatory body, with the GSR taking its place. Don’t be fooled by engineers who claim to be CORGI registered – they may well have been registered with them in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re Gas Safe registered today. Always ask to see their Gas Safe ID first!
I think my boiler/cooker might have been installed by an unsafe engineer. What can I do?
First of all, if you believe you may be in danger of a natural gas or carbon monoxide leak, you need to immediately do the following:
- get out of the building
- call the National Grid on 0800 111 999 to report a gas emergency
- seek medical help immediately
If you’re unsure whether or not your gas works are safe, get a registered fitter to take a look for you. They can tell you whether your gas system is installed correctly and running safely, or if it’s a health hazard and will need to be replaced.
The GSR works to investigate reports of unsafe gas works; whether they’ve been carried out by a registered or unregistered engineer. Their inspectors may even visit your property to review the works in person. Take a look at this page on their site for more information.
Replacing a dangerous appliance might come with a hefty price tag, but it’s a small price to pay to prevent a deadly situation. The moral of the story; always choose a Gas Safe registered engineer, and always look for the yellow triangle!
Harrow Gas Services are Gas safe registered. Call us on 07402 806032 to see how we can help you.