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Liverpool Council is set to tackle rogue gas fitters who are putting their tenants at risk

A ‘first of its kind’ partnership that will make Liverpool one of the safest cities in the UK for renters.

Liverpool City Council has agreed a ground-breaking initiative to provide life-saving technology that will tackle the dangers of illegal gas fitters and keep tenants safe.

The announcement comes at the start of national Gas Safety Week (17-23 September) which sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

In a first of its kind agreement, Liverpool City Council is working with pioneering tech company – Gas Tag – to issue gas safety technology to the city’s 7,500 landlords who manage 30,000 private rented homes.

Liverpool City Council has worked with Gas Tag to provide access to the technology for free to registered private landlords in the City.  The City Council is also calling upon government to make this type of technology mandatory for all landlords.

Illegal gas fitters

Every year there are an estimated 1.1million rogue jobs completed by illegal gas fitters in the UK, putting households at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.

From the rogue jobs that the Gas Safe Register investigated, 3 in 5 are left in unsafe condition and 1 in 5 appliances were deemed so dangerous they had to be disconnected immediately.

Carbon Monoxide affects all ages, the most vulnerable being the elderly and the young which accounts for 50 deaths per year, and as many as 4,000 medical visits, according to the Department of Health.

Alarmingly, it is reported that CO poisoning is on the rise this year with over 500 cases identified in under 18s. So now, more than ever, it’s vitally important to get your appliances checked by a correctly qualified, competent Gas Safe Registered Engineer.

Now, for the first time we are seeing emerging technologies providing us with new ways to help stamp out rogue gas fitters, such as the Gas Tag system that checks engineers Gas Safe credentials in real-time.

This partnership also comes as a review of the private rented sector argues that a “property MOT” should be imposed on landlords to make sure homes are up to scratch. The Evolving Private Rented Sector report suggests the MOT could bring together current requirements such as electrical and gas safety certificates and help drive up standards in rented homes.

How does the technology work?

The concept is simple. The Gas Tag is installed on the gas outlet in a property which tracks all the property’s gas appliances, services and installations – and can only be used by a qualified Gas Safe Registered engineer.

It’s the same technology as Oyster Cards on the London Underground so that when an engineer arrives at a property, they touch their mobile phone against the tag. That engineer is then geo-tagged and a live link to the Gas Safe Register checks their qualifications in real-time.

It stops rogue gas engineers in their tracks and provides landlords – and more importantly – tenants with peace of mind that the correct work has been carried out by a qualified engineer.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “We’re pleased that Liverpool is the first council in the UK to spearhead this innovative partnership. Thanks to pioneering technology, we can help landlords improve the levels of safety within their property.”

Paul Durose, CEO of Gas Tag said: “I’m delighted that Liverpool City Council has the vision and foresight to embrace this ground-breaking technology, making it the safest city in the UK – if not the world – for renters.

“Our mission is to drive rogue gas fitters out of business before they can put more lives at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning – or worse.

“By working together, we will make it as difficult as possible for illegal gas fitters to operate.”

company with a heating division and noticed that the quality of engineers’ work drastically improved when he sent out auditors to check the work after every job.

Stephen is a former senior business analyst for Barclays and previously ran his own business consultancy.

Gas Tag has been developed to ensure that the correct work is carried out on gas appliances at the appropriate time, by the right engineers. As soon as a physical Gas Tag is installed on the gas outlet in a property it tracks all the property’s gas appliances, services and installations – and can only be used by a qualified Gas Safe Registered engineer.

Some of Britain’s biggest housing associations have already snapped up the Gas Tag technology, helping to improve the safety of millions of tenants in their properties.

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