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Unregistered gas work leads to fine for fitter

An unregistered gas fitter has been fined for illegal gas work that potentially endangered lives at a home in Staffordshire.

Self-employed trader Andrew Houghton, 47, of Bolton Drive, Morden, Surrey, installed a boiler at a home in Alrewas near Burton-on-Trent between 15 and 21 August 2013 without being Gas Safe-registered as the law requires.

Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard on 7 January that a subsequent inspection of the boiler by Gas Safe experts found a number of faults with the installation, including inadequate flues, an absence of a thermostat and a wrongly positioned condenser drain, and classified the boiler as “immediately dangerous”.

His illegal handiwork was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that Mr Houghton was not a registered Gas Safe engineer and therefore should not have carried out any work on gas fittings.

Gas Safe Register maintains the register of businesses and sole operatives that are competent to undertake gas work in the UK. Mr Houghton should have been assessed by and registered with the register for the work he did at the property.

Andrew Dennis Houghton pled guilty to breaching regulation 3(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He was fined £2,800 and ordered to pay costs of £868.

HSE inspector Wayne Owen said: “Mr Houghton potentially put lives and property in danger by flouting the laws that are designed to protect people from substandard and faulty gas work carried out by unregistered fitters.

“It is fortunate his illegal work did not result in injury or death. Anybody who carries out work on gas pipes or appliances without being on the Gas Safe Register is breaking the law. All gas engineers should be Gas Safe-registered and qualified to perform gas work.”

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