Householders across the country are being urged to be more vigilant against rogue tradesmen who could be putting customers’ lives at risk by installing dangerous heating systems.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 40 people die needlessly every year as a result of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and a further 200 are hospitalised. All types of boilers can emit the colourless, odourless gas and households could be more at risk from poisoning if they use unqualified, cowboy installers.
In response OFTEC, the UK trade body for the oil fired heating industry, is urging householders to report any suspected dangerous oil installations via their website.
Malcolm Farrow, of OFTEC, said: “Every year many people across country put themselves at risk of CO poisoning by using non-qualified technicians to service their boilers. As households seek to cut back on costs we are concerned that more and more vulnerable people will be put at risk. If you suspect that you have been a victim of a cowboy oil heating installer then you can report it to us through our website.”
CO poisoning can lead to serious long term health problems and even death, and victims are often completely unaware of the cause. The main symptoms to look out for are tiredness, dizziness and prolonged headaches.
Malcolm added: “Cowboy installers give the industry a bad name and their unprofessional work can cause serious health problems to innocent victims. They can also cause you problems when you try to sell your home as the work may not meet current building control legislation. It is important to get your boiler regularly serviced but it is also essential that you use a registered GasSafe (for mains gas or LPG appliances) or OFTEC technician (for oil appliances) who follows strict safety regulations, including checking the levels of carbon monoxide as part of their service.”
If you are thinking about installing a new home heating boiler or are interested in servicing your existing boiler, please contact your local Barton Petroleum depot and we will be happy to provide you with advice.