Blog | Published on 5th Jul 2017

Gas safety awareness needs to be continually drip fed

By Stewart Clements, Director at the Heating and Hot water Industry Council (HHIC)

Awareness of Gas Safety and the associated safety measures, such as using a Gas Safe Registered installer, having appliances regularly serviced and checked, needs to be continually drip fed to homeowners, and I believe that we all have a role to play to play in that. As an industry, we have a responsibility to ensure that everything possible is done to improve safety and standards within the heating and hot water industry.

Closing the gas black market

Illegal operatives put lives at risk, and damage the reputation of the industry. The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) work closely with numerous industry stakeholders who are campaigning to bring those operatives onto the Gas Safe register, ensuring that they have the necessary skills required to keep homeowners safe.

Illegal gas workers may have some of the skills required to undertake elements of gas work, but without the full set, and the underpinning knowledge required to keep people safe, they are risking lives.

Being on the Register is a legal requirement if you are carrying out gas work, it’s that simple.  The Gas Safe Register spends a great deal of time investigating illegal gas work and supporting the HSE in bringing prosecutions, where appropriate, and if that encourages those working illegally, or thinking they might get away with it, to become registered then the result is that the industry, and the public, are safer.

Consumer attention

Turning our attention now to the consumer, we all hear the disturbing stories, we can all relate to the circumstances and the families involved, yet one in three homeowners trust a tradesman to do gas work based purely on the recommendation of a friend or neighbour without checking out their registration and qualifications first.

Raising awareness of the need to check credentials is something we as an industry can support; tradespersons who show their ID and Gas Safe cards as a matter of course; help instil the message to the consumer that this should be expected, and so, lowering the risk of them opening the door to a possible injury or fatality.

We all have a role to play, so in the run-up to Gas Safety Week, I ask you to think - What can you do?