Gas Safe Engineers
In the UK, it is a legal requirement that all gas engineers must be registered on the Gas Safe Register. Any work involving gas, such as installing or maintaining gas appliances (boilers, fires, ovens, hobs or freestanding cookers for example), requires a fully qualified Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out the work. All Gas Safe engineers carry identity cards, which can be requested by homeowners before any work is started.
Most of us don’t think about our heating systems or plumbing, until a problem occurs, but when something does happen, it’s important to get a good and recommended engineer to repair and fix the problem. Anything involving gas should only ever be looked at by a Gas Safe engineer. If you require a new gas appliance to be installed, you can still shop around for competitive quotes, but always make sure the fitter is Gas Safe Registered. In the event that you smell gas, however, you will need an emergency Gas Safe engineer, and so should call the National Grid emergency line. Always remember to turn off the gas supply at the meter, and do not smoke or turn lights on or off.
Gas Safety Checks and Services
All of the gas appliances in your home, including gas boilers, cookers and fires should be safety checked every year, and serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Any gas appliance that is left unchecked or un-serviced could become dangerous and leak carbon monoxide, putting you and your family at risk. A gas safety check will involve a Gas Safe registered engineer inspecting your appliances and ensuring that they are working correctly and safely. They will also check that ventilation routes are clear and free from blockages and that all harmful gases are being removed safely. Some homeowners may be entitled to a free gas safety check from their gas supplier if they meet certain eligibility requirements. Contact your gas supplier to find out if you are entitled to a free gas safety check.
A service of your gas appliance is a more comprehensive inspection and will usually involve the engineer taking the appliance apart to carry out performance tests. In addition to making sure the appliance is safe to use, a service will also maintain its efficiency and performance. Appliances should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Signs that your appliance may need servicing include:
- black marks or stains on the outside of the appliance
- increased condensation in the room
- the appliance is not working properly
- the pilot light keeps going out
- the appliance is burning with a lazy yellow flame instead of a crisp blue flame
If your appliance shows any of the above symptoms then you should arrange a service with a Gas Safe engineer as soon as possible. If the engineer finds a fault with the appliance then they will follow the Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP) and recommend the best practice course of action.
When a gas safety check or service is carried out, always make sure you keep a record of the engineer’s report for future reference. This isn’t a legal requirement so you must request a copy from your engineer.
Landlords and Tenants
In addition to homeowners, landlords and tenants also need to be aware of the Gas Safe Register. Landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe gas appliances in any of their properties. Whether the property is a room to rent, an entire residential property or a holiday letting accommodation, all gas appliances must be safe, and serviced regularly by Gas Safe engineers. Tenants renting a property or room must be aware of their Landlord’s gas safety responsibilities. All gas appliances should have an up to date service record and always insist that a carbon monoxide detector is placed in the property.
Gas Safe Engineer FAQs
What is a Gas Safe Engineer and why do I need one?
An engineer who is Gas Safe Registered has been checked to ensure that they are competent and qualified to work legally and safely with gas. All Gas Safe engineers are listed on the Gas Safe website. It’s vital always to employ a Gas Safe installer or fitter to carry out any work on gas appliances in your home, as by using an engineer who is not qualified will risk the safety of your family and your property. Poorly installed or serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
What work can a Gas Safe-registered Gas Fitter carry out?
The work that a Gas Safe Engineer is qualified to do varies from installing a new gas cooker or a gas fire, through to carrying out annual service and maintenance on gas appliances such as boilers. A Gas Safe engineer may also be qualified to install gas pipe work from the gas meter to a new boiler. This can involve drilling through walls, lifting floorboards and installing the necessary ventilation in an exterior wall. Each engineer has a range of qualifications which allow them to carry out certain types of gas work and these can be checked on the Gas Safe Register website.
How do I check whether my gas engineer is Gas Safe?
All Gas Safe registered engineers and companies are listed on the Gas Safe Register website (www.gassaferegister.co.uk) and all registrations need to be renewed each year. Each engineer carries an identity card with their Gas Safe registration details and licence number displayed. To check whether a gas fitter is registered simply put their licence number into the Gas Safe website and their details, along with a photograph will be displayed.
What is the difference between Gas Safe and CORGI?
The Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI in April 2009 and is now the legally required register for all gas fitters in the UK.
Can I carry out any gas DIY myself?
No, any DIY involving gas should not be attempted as you may put yourself and your family in serious danger from gas explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you need a gas appliance such as a boiler, fire, cooker or hob, installed, repaired or serviced, then a Gas Safe engineer must always be employed to carry out the work.