How to find a trusted gas engineer
You want someone local. Someone who can get out to you quickly. Someone professional. Someone affordable. It can’t be asking for too much, can it?
Yet, around 1.1 million gas jobs are carried out annually by illegal fitters who aren’t properly qualified to complete the work. We’re here to help you discover how to find a trusted gas engineer in your area. Read on for some key tips on finding a trustworthy and qualified tradesperson, as well as some warning signs for how to spot a rogue trader.
The big one – always check that they’re on the Gas Safe Register
Above all, the most important thing to do is check that your gas engineer is on the Gas Safe Register. Even if you’re taking a recommendation from friends and family, this is still essential. If they’re not on there, they’re not qualified to work on any gas appliance in your home.
If you know the individual engineer’s details, then you can check whether they’re qualified to complete the work before they even arrive. Find out by getting in touch with the folks at the Gas Safe Register. They have an online tool you can use called 'check an engineer', or you can call them on 0800 408 5500. You’ll need to know their unique 7-digit licence number (which is on their ID card). Engineers are issued with a new ID card annually, and each new card will have a different licence number.
If you don’t have the details of your engineer before they arrive, don’t worry. All Gas Safe engineers – including British Gas engineers – will carry their Gas Safe ID card. Don’t be afraid to ask to see it when they arrive at your home.
They’re Gas Safe Registered, but are they qualified for your job?
On your engineer’s Gas Safe ID card you’ll see their photo, an expiry date and on the back of it a list of jobs they’re qualified to complete. It's important to check what work they’re qualified to do before you use them. You’ll see jobs and appliances listed like gas boiler, cooker and water heater to name a few.
Ask friends and family for a recommendation
Whilst a recommendation shouldn’t be your go-to means of finding an engineer, it’s a good place to start. So ask friends and family in your local area who they’ve worked with recently. Once you’ve got the details, give the engineer a call to explain the issue you’re having.
Ask for their job list (as per their ID card) so that you can make sure they’re qualified to complete the task at hand. And request their Gas Safe licence number. After the call you can follow up with the ‘check an engineer’ tool and be totally confident that they’re trustworthy and experienced.
Use reliable directories
There are plenty of reliable sources out there. But there are also plenty of untrustworthy ones too.
If you’re unable to get a recommendation from your friends and family, then be sure to use reliable online resources next. The Gas Safe Register believes a higher percentage of illegal gas fitters advertise their services online and in local papers, as very few of these resources complete registration checks.
Directories such as Yellow Pages and Thompson Local check for registration, so fewer illegal gas workers advertise services such as 'gas fitters', 'gas boiler service' and 'boiler care'.
You can also use the TrustMark tool to find tradespeople. TrustMark is a government-endorsed scheme for all trades in and around the home.
And of course, British Gas will always have a friendly, reliable and qualified engineer nearby who will be happy to work on your home.
What to watch out for
Whether you’re suspicious of a rogue trader - or just looking for some key warning signs - we’ve compiled a few traits for you to look out for:
- They’ll likely advertise and undertake other key home jobs such as plumbing jobs, electrical work or kitchen and bathroom fitting.
- Many unqualified engineers use the Gas Safe logo. They’ll put it on their advertising materials, their paperwork – even on their van. It doesn’t mean they’re registered. The only way to know for sure is to ask for their Gas Safe ID card or call the Gas Safe Register as mentioned earlier.
- They may use confusing, technical jargon to try and throw you.
- They’ll ask for cash up front. A rogue trader will likely charge more than they’ve quoted and demand payment before the work.
If you’ve had a new installation in the past six months, then you can nominate your home for a free safety check from a Gas Safe engineer. Simply complete this Gas Safe form. If your nominated installation is selected for a free check, you’ll hear from the Gas Safe Register within six months to arrange the check. After the engineer’s visit, you’ll be provided with an inspection report detailing the gas work completed. You can then enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing the job was done well.
However, if you’re worried about a recent installation or job you’ve had completed, then be sure to raise a complaint with the Gas Safe Register. Your comments will be reviewed and an investigation held, which may include a visit to inspect the work carried out.
Remember, your trusted Gas Safe engineer will always be the best person to advise you on your individual circumstances. So whether you've got a boiler breakdown, a broken switch or a complete power failure, we have more than 6,000 highly-trained gas boiler engineers available who can help.
Just book a repair appointment online and choose a date and time for our engineer to come.
If you’re not a British Gas customer, you can book a one-off repair by calling our One-off repairs line. We'll give you a fixed price quote. That means that you'll only pay for what it's been quoted, even if the job ends up being trickier than we first thought, and you're under no obligation to have the work done. Our engineer will confirm the price before they start work.