Brits are putting their lives in danger as they are far too trusting of tradesmen, employing workmen based on their appearance and behaviours rather than qualifications and skills to do the job, according to new research carried out by the government’s Gas Safe Register.
With the majority of people admitting they are generally trusting of people, when it comes to determining who to trust, the most common things they look for are politeness, good eye contact, confidence, good clothing and a nice smile. One in four people also admitted they decide whether someone is trustworthy within the first five minutes of meeting them.
The alarming figures are a concern to gas safety officials as they believe millions of people are letting unscrupulous tradesmen into their homes. Depending on the type of work being carried out, they are putting theirs and their families’ lives at risk. In fact the research went on to reveal that one in five people – the equivalent of 14 million people – said they had been let down by a tradesman.
Although seven in 10 people said they would look for an ID card stating the tradesman’s competencies when looking for a trustworthy tradesman, worryingly Gas Safe Register’s own data revealed that when it comes to gas work only one third of people actually do check if their engineer is qualified, safe and legal.
Gas engineers ranked the highest for the tradesmen people trust the most, followed by gas/electricity meter readers, carpet fitters, and electricians. Builders and plumbers were considered the least trustworthy.
In the past three years, 22 people have died and there have been nearly 1,000 injuries related to gas incidents such as carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, gas leaks, fires etc. On top of this Gas Safe Register estimates that around a quarter of a million illegal jobs are carried out every year by fitters who do not have the correct qualifications and cannot be trusted.
Gas Safe Register – the official list of qualified and legal gas engineers in the UK – is launching a new safety campaign called Trust the Triangle to remind the public that the only sign of a trustworthy gas engineer is that they are registered with Gas Safe and have the Gas Safe ID card which sports the triangle logo.