One of the questions we’re often asked here at h2flow is what things people should look out for in a plumber or heating engineer. The first thing we always say is to make sure you’re contractor is listed on the Gas Safe Register.
Until the 1st April 2009 plumbers working in the gas industry were governed by Corgi; the governing body is now called Gas Safe.
Gas can be extremely dangerous, not just due to its highly flammable and explosive nature: poorly installed and maintained appliances can produce carbon monoxide which can often go unnoticed. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it stops red blood cells from carrying oxygen, effectively starving the brain. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- loss of consciousness
Exposure to high enough levels of CO can cause irreparable brain damage or death, so if you suspect you may have a problem it is important open doors and windows, turn off any gas appliances and get fresh air.
The Gas Safe register is there to ensure its engineers are equipped with the knowledge to mitigate these risks. You can check to see if a plumber/gas installer is Gas Safe registered by asking to see their ID card which will have a photograph and their registration number. All registered gas installers are also listed online.
h2flow also strongly recommends fitting an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home to protect yourself and your family.