Avoid rogue heating technicians

Households across Scotland are being warned about the risks of employing an unqualified technician to carry out heating repairs with advice on how to spot a rogue installer.

Using a heating engineer who does not have the correct professional training could result in substandard or even dangerous work being carried out and also means that homeowners may find it difficult to claim on the insurance if problems arise later on.

For owners of oil or gas central heating, it is important to check if a technician is OFTEC registered for work with oil appliances or GasSafe registered for gas systems before they start work in your home.

Once you’ve confirmed that they hold OFTEC or GasSafe registration, the three most important questions to ask are:

1. Which heating systems are your qualified to service?

2. How long do you expect the work to take?

3. How much is it likely to cost?

Households can search online for a local OFTEC or GasSafe registered technician. It is also recommended that homeowners check a technician’s ID badge when they arrive to confirm it has the correct date and details.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, commented: “Summer is a popular time for heating repairs and servicing so many households in Scotland will be thinking about getting their heating system checked in preparation for next winter. However, it’s vital that homeowners don’t employ a heating technician without first checking they are suitably qualified to carry out the work. Rogue technicians may offer cheaper prices to undercut the professionals which can also be tempting when budgets are tight.

“But employing an unqualified technician could leave homeowners with a costly repair bill to fix the problems caused by poor workmanship which may even put them at risk of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning if the system has not been installed or serviced correctly.”

Malcolm added: “When it comes to heating, don’t take risks and always use a suitably qualified technician. If the deal you are offered by a technician sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. OFTEC registered technicians have been called out on many occasions to fix problems caused by non-qualified technicians. By taking the time to ask a few simple questions, households can be sure that the work will be completed correctly and safely the first time round.”

For more information and to find a local OFTEC or Gas Safe technician visit www.oftec.org.uk or www.gassaferegister.co.uk.