Rachel Broad and Ian Fellows employed an unregistered gas worker to remove a boiler from their downstairs toilet, install a new gas boiler in their children’s bedroom upstairs, and install a duel fuel cooker in the kitchen as part of building work involving an extension of their property. Lee Lawrence from Amber Plumbing Solutions was displaying the Gas Safe Register logo on his website and business cards, falsely claiming to be registered.
Once installed, the boiler and the cooker started leaking. With the boiler not running for long before shutting down, and being smelly and noisy, Rachel and Ian stopped using it and were made to install ventilation into the room due to the smell. A Gas Safe registered engineer was then called in to make the property safe and provide a statement of the gas work that had been carried out.
It was found that the flue to the gas boiler was unsafely connected; the gas connection to the fuel cooker was also poor, with faulty connections all over the appliances. The registered engineer classified the gas work in accordance with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure as ‘Immediately Dangerous’. The boiler and cooker were condemned, resulting in electrics being left undone, with very little electricity throughout the downstairs of the house. The estimated total cost of the building work including the gas work was £50,000 to £60,000.
The homeowners who were looking to sell the house are no longer able to do so. The unregistered gas fitter was charged with a 6 month prison sentence, 12 month suspension, 180 hours of community service, fined £2,385 and £5,400 compensation.
If you’re carrying out home improvement, no matter how big or small, find out if it will involve gas work or impact on your existing gas appliances.
Stay safe when sub-contracting home improvements. Dangerous gas work can be deadly. Check your gas engineer is Gas Safe registered and qualified to do the work.