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What To Look For When Hiring Gas Engineers and Contractors

If you are a large or small business in the UK and require the services of a commercial gas engineer, for pipework installations, pre planned maintenance, emergency repairs, or other gas related issues, then you will naturally want to be confident that you are hiring the best people for the job. 

This may require you to undertake a little extra research, rather than contacting whichever company appears at the top of the search engine results pages. It’s a legal requirement under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to hire gas engineers who are suitably qualified and registered with the official body Gas Safe Register.  

Therefore no matter how highly recommended, local, friendly or affordable a gas business or individual engineer may be, your first step should always be to check if they are on the Gas Safe Register. This is a national register of professionally qualified gas engineers that was established in 2009 to replace the previous CORGI system.

The Gas Safe Register has an online tool that allows you to check an engineer or gas contractors before you appoint them. If the company has a website, they should display the Gas Safe Register logo with their licence number underneath in a prominent place. You can type this number into the online tool and it will tell you if they are currently registered.

An individual engineer will display their licence number on their ID card, which you should ask to see before they undertake any work for you. The ID card will also display their photo and list the jobs that the engineer is qualified to carry out, so make sure that this is appropriate for the work that needs doing. 

This might seem to be an overly cautious approach, but unfortunately there are thousands of inappropriately trained and under-qualified gas engineers who are not on the register and are therefore operating illegally. They can be found advertising their services online and in local media, so don’t automatically assume that these are reliable sources of information.

If you hire an engineer who isn’t properly trained or qualified for the job, you could end up with poor quality work that will be time consuming and expensive to fix, or you may be misled into having costly and unnecessary work carried out. Above all, it could be a potentially dangerous situation.

Faulty gas appliances or pipework carry a risk of toxic leaks, fires, and explosions, which can cause serious injury or even be fatal. In a commercial business, any accident or leak of poisonous fumes is obviously hugely disruptive and costly, as well as danger to health and life.

If faulty gas repairs or installation work is found to be the cause of any incident, then the business may be prosecuted for being in breach of health and safety regulations if it did not appoint a registered gas engineer to carry out the work. Insurance policies may also be invalidated, with potentially severe financial consequences.

Therefore, always check the Gas Safe Register before appointing any engineer or contractor. Don’t simply assume that if the company is displaying the yellow and black logo on their website or marketing materials they are legitimate, as rogue traders may do this for cover. The crucial step is to obtain their licence number and check the register. 

Once you have established that a potential gas engineer or service is registered, you should then investigate further to check how suitable they are to carry out the type of work you require. For example, are you looking for a company you can establish a long-term working relationship with to provide a regular maintenance service?

In this case, look for a company with a large team of engineers, so that there is a good chance a callout will be promptly responded to at any time or day of the week. How flexible are they prepared to be about fitting in around your business operations or work schedule? A small firm may only offer limited call-out windows, for example.

Look or ask for evidence of the type of work they have carried out in the past, and if they specialise in any particular areas. Do they offer any information about how up to date their equipment is, and how experienced and well trained their engineers are? 

Check out their testimonials page or online review platforms such as TrustPilot to see what previous clients have to say about the company. If you decide to get in touch with them, consider how prompt and professional they are in returning your enquiry.

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