Dangerous appliances found in thousands of homesGas watchdog found risky appliances in inspections
26 October 2010
One in five homes investigated by the Gas Safe Register had a gas appliance which could cause carbon monoxide poisoning or an explosion.
Hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk of serious injury or death because they are using cowboy gas fitters, says the watchdog. And botched jobs cost the UK an estimated £100m to repair.
If you're concerned about carbon monoxide check out our essential guide to carbon monoxide detectors - we cover how to choose a carbon monoxide detector and where to install it.
By law, all gas workers have to be on the Gas Safe Register and if they're not, there's no guarantee that they're trained to do the job.
People who are concerned about a gas installation can call the Gas Safe Register, which can come to inspect the property. It's reported that, of the thousands of inspections it has carried out, one in five properties had an unsafe gas appliance.
The Gas Safe Register says that about 250,000 illegal gas jobs are done each year, though the figure could be higher.
The watchdog also published a survey which revealed that one in 10 people would ask an unqualified friend or relative to do a gas job.
Which? investigation into boiler servicing
One way to ensure your gas appliances stay safe is to get them serviced by a Gas Safe Registered engineer every year. However, it helps to know what to expect.
Home Editor Liz Edwards says: 'When Which? investigated boiler servicing we found that not all gas fitters were doing the necessary safety checks. To get a better understanding of what a boiler service should involve check out our video guide to getting a good boiler service. This covers the basic checks that a gas engineer should do, so you know what to expect.'
If you're concerned about gas work carried out in your home then contact the Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500.
Which? members can also search for recommended boiler engineers in their area on Which? Local - where members can recommend traders they've used.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader.
Follow @WhichNews on Twitter for the latest news, or @WhichAction to see how we're campaigning for consumers.