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Unregistered Fowey gas fitter ‘put customer’s life at risk’ by failing to properly seal new boiler

By CG_Steve  |  Posted: March 17, 2014

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A GAS fitter from Fowey put a customer’s life at risk by failing to properly seal a new boiler and prevent deadly gas leaks, a court has heard.

Ben Littleton, 24, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,159 in costs by Truro magistrates on Friday following a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Littleton, of Station Road, was not registered with Gas Safe and so not legally permitted to install the boiler in March last year.

His work on the boiler was checked by a registered gas engineer, who classed it as “at risk” and alerted the HSE.

Littleton also illegally carried out safety checks for landlords at two properties in the town.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones, said: “The gas work that Ben Littleton carried out posed a real risk to the homeowners from carbon monoxide poisoning as the flue that he installed was not properly sealed.

“Only Gas Safe registered engineers are legally able to work with gas, and Ben Littleton put lives at risk by ignoring the law.”

The court heard that Littleton had installed boilers at two homes, one of which had an incorrectly sealed flue which meant that gases, including carbon monoxide, could have re-entered the property posing a risk to the residents.

HSE’s investigation also found he had carried out gas safety checks for landlords on two rented properties in Fowey.

He faked safety documents by using a Gas Safe Register ID number belonging to a properly-registered company that had previously employed him.

Littleton pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Mr Jones added: “Members of the public and landlords trusted him when he said he was Gas Safe registered and when he used a false ID number on paperwork to deceive them.”

Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Every Gas Safe registered engineer has an ID card, which shows who they are and the type of work they are qualified to carry out. Customers should ask to see this and check the engineer is qualified to do the job in hand.”

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