Over the past two years The Guild of Builders and Contractors have been reviewing the safety of gas installations in new build and refurbishment projects.
The reviews have been initiated due to a number of fatalities caused by CO poisoning and explosions. A particular concern for the Guild is that there are some 50,000 gas fired boiler installations in new-build housing developments, with concealed concentric push-fit flues, that cannot be routinely inspected.
Over 1,200 installations that had been commissioned by Gas Safe Registered Engineers have been declared ‘immediately dangerous’ on inspection and over 25% of the at-risk gas fired boiler installations are in the rented sector.
Edward Goddard, The Guild of Builders and Contractors, said:
“Where the flue cannot be inspected because it is boxed in it should not be declared fit for purpose and given a certificate.
“We are of the opinion that no duty holder should accept Gas Safe Registration as proof of competence of any heating engineer carrying out the installation, commissioning or maintenance of a gas boiler unless considerable further steps and enquiries are made to ensure that the firm or person is competent.
“Gas Safe Register is too easily obtainable without comprehensive verification of experience and competence. The annual subscription payable to remain on the Gas Safe Register should cover for random checks to be carried out on installations, maintenance work or commissioning of gas fired boilers, including the associated flues, by the registered person.
“Fast track courses are a very poor substitute for comprehensive craft training.”