Most Brits check what’s on TV, but less than half check if their gas engineer is working legally

Gas Safe Register and consumer psychologist Dr Simon Moore are urging families to not trust gas engineers on looks alone and always check they are registered.

New research has revealed that only two in five people (41%) who hire a gas engineer spend time checking they’re working legally before letting them into their home, potentially putting themselves at risk.

The findings from Gas Safe Register, the UK’s gas registration body for legally qualified gas engineers, reveal that when it comes to carrying out checks Brits are twice as likely to look up what shows are on TV (85%), read up on holiday reviews (74%), research what their next phone should be (74%), or look at what restaurant they should go to that night (69%).

With this in mind, Gas Safe Register has partnered with consumer psychologist Dr Simon Moore to understand more about why people would trust a gas engineer without checking they are working legally, as illegal gas work can result in unsafe gas appliances which can cause gas leaks, fire, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

More than half (52%) of those surveyed say they have let a tradesperson into their home without checking if they are qualified. The research shows that gas engineers are trusted more than electricians, plumbers, joiners and carpenters to work in homes without being asked to provide their ID.

The research highlights the factors that make people trust a tradesperson:

  • Personal presentation (44%)
  • How official they look (43%)
  • Body language (25%)
  • Personality (22%)
  • A friendly face (18%)

Consumer psychologist, Dr Simon Moore, said: 

“Our propensity to trust tradespeople is based on a variety of factors such as personal presentation, their body language and how official they look, and not always on their qualifications or credentials. This is a natural thing and is often how we cut corners to speed up our decision making. 

“Cutting corners on gas safety, however, can result in a much more dangerous situation than most other decisions we make. I have partnered with Gas Safe Register to remind families to not rely on their trust instincts and always check their gas engineer is on the Register and check their Gas Safe ID card before letting them carry out work.”

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive, Gas Safe Register, said:

“The research findings reveal that people are putting themselves and their families in unnecessary danger by allowing their gas appliances to be worked on by people who may not be legally qualified to do so.

“Don’t cut corners when it comes to gas safety. Always check that your gas engineer is on the Gas Safe Register by remembering to check their Gas Safe ID card on the front and back before letting them into your home to ensure they’re qualified to work on your gas appliances.”

How to ensure your gas appliances are not worked on illegally?

  1. Only employ a suitably qualified Gas Safe registered engineer when having gas work carried out in your home. Gas Safe Register is the official register for legally qualified engineers. You can find a registered engineer in your area by visiting the Gas Safe Register website or by calling on 0800 408 5500.
  2. ‘Don’t cut corners’ and always ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Make sure you check the back of the card, which will state which gas appliances they are qualified to work on.
  3. If you suspect that someone is an illegal fitter or are worried about gas work carried out in your home, you can report this online or contact Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500.

>To keep you and your family safe, follow Gas Safe Register’s top tips: 

  • Know the symptoms of CO poisoning; headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapse, dizziness and loss of consciousness.
  • If you smell gas or think there might be a gas leak, call the free 24-hour national gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999.
  • Never attempt to work on a gas appliance yourself, always seek the help of a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer who can work on your gas cooker, boiler or fire in a safe way.

To find out how many unsafe gas appliances there are in your area visit and to find or check a Gas Safe registered engineer visit or call 0800 408 5500. On social media, search @GasSafeRegister and #DontCutCorners.