Gas Safe Register has marked its third year anniversary by launching new statistics that reveal public safety remains top priority.
In a statement the organisation said: “An estimated quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by around 7,500 cowboy gas fitters who do not have the skills or the qualifications to do the job safely.
These fitters are a prime target of the Register. In the past three years, nearly 2,000 cowboy gas fitters have been investigated, which has resulted in £500,000 worth of fines being paid by illegal gas fitters.
Seven have been imprisonment for carrying out dangerous gas work.
In a bid to keep Britain gas safe, the Register promises to increase the number of investigations of illegal gas work by 50 per cent, investigating another 3,000 cowboys in the next three years.
Commenting on the government report, Gas Safe Register’s chief executive, Paul Johnston, said: “Gas safety is a life or death matter that affects the entire nation and we welcome the government’s call for CO alarms to be fitted in all homes.
“However, when it comes to gas safety a CO alarm is only a second line of defence.
“Badly fitted and poorly maintained gas appliances can kill, so it’s just as vital that the public remain vigilant of cowboy gas fitters and get their appliances checked annually.”
Since 2009, Gas Safe Register has inspected the safety of nearly 120,000 gas jobs, carried out by legal registered engineers.
The total number of safety checks has increased by 25 per cent in three years – the equivalent of 24,000 more homes.
The Register has built a rigorous risk profile – like a credit rating – so that more inspections are targeted in the areas showing higher risk.
Therefore, those engineers and businesses that continually work safely and apply their competence are left alone to get on with their work, while Gas Safe Register focuses its efforts on those engineers that are higher risk.
A recent survey of Gas Safe registered engineers revealed that engineers satisfaction with the Register has increased in the last quarter of 2011 – two thirds of engineers (66 per cent) rated eight out of 10 for their overall satisfaction.
Two thirds (66 per cent) of engineers have notified through Gas Safe Register’s service.
61 per cent of engineers have used Gas Safe Register’s technical helpline where they can get technical assistance whilst on a job. Gas Safe Register has also held its promise to maintain a fees-freeze for three years in a row.
- 2,000 cowboy gas fitters across the country have been investigated
- £500,000 worth of fines have been paid by fitters prosecuted for illegal gas work
- Seven illegal gas fitters have been imprisoned for putting lives in danger
- 120,000 gas jobs carried out by legal registered engineers have been inspected
- Two thirds of engineers (66%) rated their satisfaction with the Register at eight out of 10
- Eight out of 10 people are now aware of the register and the importance of gas safety