Around 1.1 million gas jobs including gas safety certificates are carried out every year by illegal fitters who aren’t properly qualified, putting householders at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions, a government body has warned.
Every month new gas companies pop up on search engines, but can they all be trusted?
Remember anyone can advertise on google and bing paid adverts, but who can you trust?
To keep you and your family safe and also to ensure they don’t run off with your money, follow these top tips:
- Only employ a legal Gas Safe registered engineer when having a gas safety certificate or any works related to gas carried out in your property. You can find a registered engineer in your area by calling Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting the Gas Safe Register website.
- Use a firm that advertises using a landline phone number and be very wary of those only willing to give you only a mobile number.
- Check that the company or engineer has a gas safe registration number.
- Seek references or reviews on their services.
- How long has the company been established?
- Ensure they have experience in the field of work required. For example, a majority of newly qualified gas engineers do not have enough experience to conduct a complete gas certificate. We recommend engineers to have at least 2+ years experience to have the competence to conduct safety checks.
- Does their website appear on Google search ‘natural listing’ and not by Paid Ads. Naturally listings take a long time to establish, where Google Ads are paid and can appear within 24 hours. Anyone can setup a website a promote a service on google paid adverts within 24 hours.
- Don’t just go with the cheapest, consider your ability to communicate with the firm and the quality of their work.
- Find out if they have Public Liability Insurance and Professional Indemnity Insurance.
- Check that they are not using a virtual office address . Some companies or tradesman use high profile postcodes, to register their company but are not actually based there. If something were to happen it could be impossible to trace them.
- Also if they claim to be VAT registered and charge VAT check their VAT number.
How do I know a tradesman or company is trustworthy?
If a firm is TrustMark registered, it is working to a code of practice set down by an approved Scheme Operator and standards that give you greater confidence and protection.
How do I know the firm is financially sound?
If the company you are using is a Limited company, their account details should be available online via companies house.
Report an illegal gas worker
If anyone is doing gas work in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man or Guernsey and they are not Gas Safe registered, they could be working illegally. If you have any information on businesses or individuals carrying out illegal gas work, you can report them to Gas Safe by calling 0800 408 5500.