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Essex: Plumber sentenced to unpaid work after carrying out ‘illegal and dangerous’ gas fitting

A gas boiler.

A gas boiler.

A plumber who connected a gas boiler despite not being qualified has been ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

John Ranfield, of Lansdowne Close, Tiptree, helped install a downstairs cloakroom at a house in April 2013.

However while at the house he agreed to install a domestic gas boiler even though he was not on the Gas Safe Register, a legal requirement for anyone carrying out gas work.

Ranfield, 63, attached the boiler to the existing flue without carrying out the necessary checks and left the boiler with an unstable flame caused by incorrect combustion which could have potentially exposed the householders to carbon monoxide, Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard today.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted Ranfield, said the work was classed as “immediately dangerous” by investigators with an additional two “at risk” defects found.

Magistrates sentenced Ranfield to 150 hours of unpaid community service to be carried out over the next year and ordered him to pay costs of £500 after he admitted to three separate breaches of gas safety regulations.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Kim Tichias said: “John Ranfield should have known better than to accept a job he was not qualified, competent, or legally allowed to do.

“People can die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas explosions. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.”

To find out more about the Gas Safe Register visit its website or call 0800 408 5500.

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