Ipswich among top 10 centres at risk from illegal gas work

Ipswich is among the top 10 centres at risk from illegal gas fitters , the Gas Safe Register has war

Ipswich is among the top 10 centres at risk from illegal gas fitters , the Gas Safe Register has warned. Picture: YUI MOK/PA - Credit: PA

Ipswich is in the top 10 towns and cities most at risk from illegal gas work, the Gas Safe Register has warned.

As the cold weather sets in and families may be cranking up their heating, the UK’s official gas registration body is raising awareness of the risks.

It is reminding people not to cut corners when it comes to gas appliance checks and to only hire a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Data from the organisation’s investigations team over the past five years revealed which major population centres in the UK are most at risk from dangerous gas appliances.

Ipswich was in sixth place on the list, with over two thirds (67%) of illegal gas work found to be unsafe.

Norwich was also in the top 10 list, along with central London, Nottingham, Sheffield, Outer London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

Gas Safe Register, with support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and charity Project SHOUT, is highlighting the dangers of using illegal gas fitters.

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It warned that having unsafe gas appliances can result in carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “The findings from our investigations shows how dangerous illegal gas work can be.

“Don’t cut corners and always check you are using a Gas Safe registered engineer so you’re safe in the knowledge that they are legally qualified to work in your home.

“To check your engineer is on the Gas Safe Register, visit our website and always ask to see their Gas Safe ID card when they arrive on your doorstep.”

Gas Safe Register’s research found that within the last five years, two thirds (66%) of gas work carried out by illegal gas fitters across the UK was found to be unsafe.

However, in the last year, this figure has increased to almost seven in every 10 appliances investigated (69% since April 2017).

During 2017, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the national independent watchdog responsible for the prosecutions of unregistered gas engineers, issued more than £800,000 in fines. Prosecutions over the year resulted in a combined 5 years of jail time.

Zoe Hadley, campaign director for Project SHOUT, a national campaign, said: “Research shows that over 16 million households in the UK could be at risk from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We are reminding everyone of the importance of making sure your gas appliances are checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer so they have peace of mind that their appliances are working safely.

“It is important to be aware of the dangers of using an illegal gas fitter and the dangers it can pose on your family”.