A man who worked on home appliances, despite not being on the Gas Safe Register, has narrowly avoided jail.
Brian Winters, 35, was sentenced to two suspended jail terms. after illegally signing Gas Safe certificates when he was not qualified to do so.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) determined Mr Winters had carried out work on several properties while pretending to be Gas Safe registered. He was only rumbled when a tenant of a rented property reported a gas leak to the National Grid.
Following a trial at the Old Bailey in London, Mr Winters from Cheshunt was found guilty of four charges of breaching regulation 3(7) of the Gas Safe Installation and Use Regulations 1998.
The judge handed him an 18-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Mr Winters was also given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years, and two community orders, in response to three other charges.
The Gas Safe Register
Only people registered with the Gas Safe Register are legally permitted to carry out work on appliances such as fires, boilers and ovens.
The register protects members of the public from unsafe gas work by ensuring engineers are properly qualified and carrying out regular inspections.
The register also works to raise awareness of gas safety issues, educate consumers and investigate reports of unsafe work.
Gas work warning
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive says that before any work is carried out, householders should check that their engineer is on the Gas Safe Register.
After the hearing, Monica Babb, HSE inspector, said: “Gas Safe registered engineers are regulated and have to ensure they can prove they are competent. This safeguard is removed when people choose not to register, putting people at risk in their homes.
“It is important that anybody who has gas work carried out checks their engineer is carrying a valid gas safe registered identification card.
Anyone can check whether an engineer is listed on the Gas Safe Register by calling or going online to query the validity of a card.
Source: Health and Safety Executive