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New research has revealed that while most people (59%) check qualifications and ID for tradespeople, for those who don’t, gas engineers are the most trusted tradespeople (18%) ahead of electricians (16%), plumbers (16%) and joiners (12%).
Additionally, more than half (52%) of the 2004 people surveyed by Gas Safe Register admit that they have let a tradesperson into their home without checking if they are qualified.
Gas Safe Register has launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of hiring illegal gas engineers and is calling on engineers to help them spread the message.
Jonathan Samuel, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, says: “Recent statistics reveal that people are letting tradespeople into their homes without checking their ID. When it comes to hiring gas engineers, our message is clear, don’t cut corners and always use a Gas Safe registered engineer to know that they are working legally with the correct qualifications in place.
“We are calling on engineers to remind families of how to spot the signs of unsafe gas appliances, the symptoms of CO poisoning and to always check that their gas engineer is on the Gas Safe Register by checking their Gas Safe ID card.”
Psychology of trust
Consumer psychologist Dr Simon Moore comments: “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.”
The research highlighted the factors that make people trust a tradesperson:
Gas Safe Register is encouraging engineers to share with their customers the following top tips for safe gas appliances:
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 at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or by calling on 0800 408 5500.
‘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. If you suspect that someone is an illegal fitter or are worried about gas work carried out in your home, please contact Gas Safe Register.
Know the warning signs of unsafe gas appliances; Lazy yellow or orange colour flames on your gas hob, instead of a crisp blue flame; Dark staining/sooting on or around your appliances; Pilot lights that frequently blow out and Increased condensation inside windows.
Know the symptoms of CO poisoning; headaches, nausea, breathlessness, collapse, dizziness and loss of consciousness.
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 so that you have peace of mind that appliances are working safely and efficiently.