A plumber has been given a suspended prison sentence after he carried out an unsafe gas installation in a customer’s home.
Colin Jones, 59, undertook unregistered gas work while refurbishing a property in The Mede, Exeter.
He moved a gas meter to connect a new boiler to it, but a short time later the homeowners smelled gas and called Wales and West Utilities.
The supplier found two gas leaks – one on the gas meter supply pipe, and another on the gas pipe from the meter to the boiler.
The situation was deemed “immediately dangerous” because if the leaking gas had ignited there was a real risk of explosion.
Jones was prosecuted following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The plumber had connected the gas meter to a new gas boiler that had been fitted by a properly registered gas engineer, Exeter Magistrates’ Court heard.
Jones pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(3) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
He was given a 32-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £692 in costs.
Gas installation ‘dangerous’
HSE inspector Simon Jones said Jones put customers’ lives at risk by carrying out work on gas pipes and a gas meter that he was not legally entitled to do.
The leaking gas caused an “incredibly dangerous situation”, and it was “only by sheer good fortune” that the escaping gas did not ignite, he added.
The HSE reiterated that all domestic gas work must be done by registered Gas Safe
engineers to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 29, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown