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Honiton gas fitter put lives at risk through illegal work

An unregistered gas fitter has been fined for illegally servicing a boiler at a Honiton home that was later classed as “immediately dangerous”.

David Dawes, of Pugh Farm, Monkton, near Honiton, serviced the boiler at a property in Chestnut Way on a number of occasions after it was fitted in 2005. The last service he carried out in November 2013, however, happened seven months after his registration with Gas Safe had lapsed, meaning he wasn’t permitted  to carry out the work.

He was prosecuted on 27 January after his work was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Dawes’ lapsed registration came to light when the homeowner asked a properly registered gas engineer to service the boiler.

He found a number of defects with the boiler flue and classed it as “immediately dangerous”, meaning it posed a serious risk to life or property.

Mr Dawes pled guilty to three breaches of gas safety regulations and was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay costs of £418.

HSE inspector Simon Jones said: “Only engineers registered with Gas Safe can legally carry out gas work, and it is fortunate no one was harmed as a result of Mr Dawes’ illegal and dangerous servicing.

“His poor work servicing the boiler put his customers’ lives at risk. If gas appliances, such as ovens, cookers and boilers, are not properly installed, there is a risk of fire, explosion, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning.”

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