If you are one of the millions of homeowners in the UK who have a gas connection, you should be aware of the Gas Safe Register. Having peace of mind in your home without having to worry about major and minor accidents caused by gas leakages is important.
The Gas Safe industry is working day and night to ensure that you are safe in your home.
What is the Gas Safe Register?
The Gas Safe Register is also referred to as the Gas Safety Register. This is an official gas registration body based in the UK. It consists of businesses and engineers legally authorised to work on gas and LPG appliances, including installation, servicing, repair, and maintenance.
The Gas Safe Register is governed and controlled by the Health and Safety Authority. By law, all gas installers must be registered in the Gas Safe Register to do any gas installations, repair, or maintenance.
What is the Role of the Gas Safe Register?
The primary role of the Gas Safe Register is to protect all homeowners, tenants, and businesses from major and minor accidents that may be caused by a faulty gas work system. These accidents happen due to incompetent gas work. The Gas Safe Register body investigates all reports of illegal and suspect gas work. The information is then passed to the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE then prosecutes engineers and businesses that are found to have conducted illegal work.
The Gas Safe body also runs campaigns to inform people about illegal gas work and its risks. These campaigns typically start during September when people typically have their boilers serviced in the run up to winter.
Recent research conducted by Gas Safe shows that over a million homes in the UK are put at risk by unsafe gas work and illegal installers every year. This body also found out that one in every five gas appliances is extremely dangerous such that they had to be disconnected immediately. This is because many homeowners fail to check whether the engineers are competent and Gas Safe Registered.
This is why the Gas Safety Register is increasing awareness about vetting engineers’ competence before hiring them.
Why is it essential to be Gas safe?
Being gas Safe is very important to you and your family. That is why you should always ensure that you hire an engineer who is registered by Gas Safe. A professional who is not Gas Safe may not be able to safely install or work on your appliances. This means that the job will probably be unsafe, which could put your family at risk.
Also, incompetent installations may damage your kitchen appliances, which could result in expensive repairs and replacements that were unplanned for. Worse still, your appliances may be made dangerous by the illegal installer. This may cause a risk of explosion or expose you and your family to carbon monoxide poisoning.
For these reasons, you should always hire a qualified, trustworthy engineer registered by Gas safe to avoid putting your family at risk.
What is a Registered Gas safe Installer?
An engineer who is Gas safe registered has a quality mark that allows him to work with gas and connected kitchen appliances. So, all gas engineers must be registered by Gas Safe to be qualified to work with appliances and perform any gas installations. The gas may either be liquefied petroleum or piped natural gas.
There are many appliances, and one engineer cannot work on all of them at once. Therefore, the types of appliances a professional can work on depending on their qualifications.
What is the Process of Gas Safe Registration?
The Gas Safe registration process is simple, and any engineer who wishes to be registered with this body must provide all the necessary qualifications and prove that they are competent.
If the engineer already has the necessary qualifications, he/she will proceed to the next step, which is to contact the Gas Safe Register and request to be registered. An engineer who is not qualified will have to undertake relevant training first to meet all the requirements.
The engineer will then take all necessary assessments provided by the Gas safe registration body. If the engineer is successfully registered, they will be placed in probationary registration status that takes three months. During this period, the engineer will meet several requirements under the direction of Gas safe professionals.
Key Requirements to be added to the Gas Safe Register
Before an installer is registered with Gas Safe, they have to meet several requirements. These include;
- Having relevant qualifications, SQV or NQV, or possess ACS or QCF awards for delivering up to standard work.
- Have fuel-based qualifications
- Have additional training to work on other fuels like oil and LPG.
- Up-to-date qualifications
- The installer should always be up-to-date with recent safety measures and requirements. Therefore, he/she must retrain after every five years to retain their license.
- Complete the three-month probation
All Gas Safe engineers are put under probation that lasts for three months. During this period, the installers must gain experience and sharpen their skills before they are licensed. Gas safe inspects and reviews all the work done by the engineers. Once an engineer passes the inspections, he/she is licensed and can start working immediately.
Importance of Being Gas Safe Registered
The Gas Safe Register ensures the safety of all homeowners, tenants, and businesses that have installed appliances that use gas. Many people die every year because of faulty gas and boiler installations, central heating systems, and carbon monoxide poisoning.
As an engineer, you put the lives of people in your hands. So, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are competent and qualified to conduct safe installations and repairs. Being Gas Safe registered ensures that you have the necessary experience and qualifications to work with gas and other kitchen appliances. You will also get more job opportunities because you will have met all the requirements and qualifications.
How to Check Whether your Installer is Gas safe Registered
Before you hire an installer, you must always check whether they are registered with Gas Safe. The easiest way is to ask the expert to hand you his/her card. Once they hand you the card, check it thoroughly to make sure that the professional is legal. The things you should check include:
- The card’s validity: you will know whether the card is valid by checking at the bottom below the installer’s name and photograph. Ensure that the card is not expired by ensuring that it is up-to-date.
- Qualification and competence: the card will also tell you whether the installer is qualified to perform safe installations. On the back of the card, you will find a list of all the work the engineer is qualified to do. You will also determine whether the professional is qualified to work on gas, LPG appliances and whether they can work in non-domestic settings.
- Gas safe registration number: you will find the installer’s license number at the top of the card next to his photo. This number should have seven digits and should also appear in the middle of the card. If you want to have better judgment, you can contact Gas Safe to check the engineer’s status.
Alternatively, you can visit the Gas Safe Register official website and go to the ‘check an engineer’ option. Here, you will find a search box where you can put the installer’s card number. The site will provide you with all the installer information, including his photograph and their qualification details. By doing this, you will know whether an installer is registered or not. Also, you will avoid hiring engineers who are not qualified.
In summary, each Gas Safe license card will show:
- The engineer’s photo
- The start and expiry dates
- License number- usually seven digits
- Security hologram
- The company they work with and
- The gas work and appliances they are qualified for
What is the Gas Safe Check Procedure?
Once you verify that the engineer you have contacted is Gas Safe registered, you can be confident that their work will be up to standard. All homeowners are advised to have their boilers and other gas appliances serviced annually. Therefore, any installer should conduct a safety check which involves:
- Checking whether all the gas appliances in your home are burning gas correctly and are on the right operating pressure and settings
- Ensuring all harmful waste gases are being removed from your home safely
- Checking whether there is enough ventilation in the kitchen and around all your appliances
- Checking if all the built-in safety devices are functioning well
The installer will also dismantle and clean the appliances and assess whether the components are functioning correctly. The professional should also note if there are components that need replacements. Also, he/she should carry out performance tests to assess whether the appliance is working efficiently and inform you of any issues that may need your attention.
In case any gas appliance is found to be at risk or immediately dangerous, the engineer will disconnect it immediately and advise you on what to do next.
How to Find a Reputable Gas Safe Engineer
Looking for a Gas Safe engineer may seem easy, but it is not. This is because millions of homeowners fall prey to illegal fitters every year. This is why you should be vigilant during your search to ensure that you find a trustworthy expert. Below are several steps to help you find a qualified installer.
1. Check whether they are on the Gas Safe Register
Gas Safe ensures that you find an engineer you can trust. So, if you want to find a registered Gas Safe engineer, you can log in to the Gas Safe website and select the ‘Find by Location’ option. You can then type the name or postcode of your town to find local installers. The website will provide you with a list of local engineers who are registered with them.
If you know the engineer’s details, you can check whether they are qualified for the job before they arrive. However, you need to know the 7-digit license number that is unique to every engineer. All engineers are issued with new ID cards annually, and the license number changes annually as well.
If you cannot find the engineer on the Gas Safe website, it means they are not registered. So, they are not qualified to work on your appliances.
Although an engineer is Gas Safe registered, you should check whether they are qualified for the job. There is a list of all the jobs the installer is qualified to do on the license card’s back. So, before you hire the expert, check whether they qualify for the job you have.
3. Get recommendations
Recommendations and referrals from family and friends usually come in handy during desperate moments. Therefore, always ask for help from people who are close to you. However, this should not be your only screening procedure for the competence of the installer. Once you get the engineer’s name and details, verify their qualifications, experience, and competence by checking whether they are Gas Safe registered.
4. Use Directories
If you cannot get reliable recommendations, directories should be your next stop. Usually, a higher percentage of illegal fitters advertise their services online and in local newspapers because these resources seldom complete the registration checks.
Therefore, you should look for reliable directories like the Yellow Pages, Checkatrade as they complete registration checks. Also, there are online government-endorsed tools that can help you find reliable installers.
Working with a registered Gas Safe installer is very important. This is because your installer will tell you whether your appliances are in good condition or not. Also, the expert will advise you on what to do in case there is a problem. Therefore, always work with installers who are Gas Safe registered.
In case you are worried about recent installations, you can contact the Gas Safe Register and file a complaint as soon as possible.
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