Electricity and gas safety warning

Property maintenance can be a bit like marriage or some friendships - it needs constant attention to detail if things are to run smoothly. This column has often highlighted the need for owner/occupiers and investment landlords or their agents to use properly qualified tradesmen.

Property maintenance can be a bit like marriage or some friendships - it needs constant attention to detail if things are to run smoothly.

This column has often highlighted the need for owner/occupiers and investment landlords or their agents to use properly qualified tradesmen.

The message is timely, because a new survey from a national trade organisation representing 2600 electrical installation companies reveals homeowners are more reliant on local tradesmen than ever before.

The Electrical Contractors' Association reports that while two-thirds of East of England homeowners questioned admit they simply are not competent to carry out basic home improvement tasks, more than one in five said they would have a go at electrical work themselves.


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Angie Turner, ECA Eastern regional manager, commented: "It is amazing that while people no longer feel they have the skills necessary to carry out DIY basics, a quarter feel qualified enough to tackle home electrics. This is despite the fact that legislation was introduced last year to regulate domestic electrical safety.

"Virtually all domestic electrical work must now be notified to local authority building control departments. The easiest way of doing this is by using an electrician registered to self-certify, such as an ECA member."

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The survey findings are a major turnaround from a similar exercise carried out two years ago, when just over four in five East of England homeowners claimed to be good at DIY.

Properly qualified electricians can be located through the eca.co.uk website, which lists those registered as fully compliant with the new regulations.

tAnother professional trade organisation is warning homeowners to be extra vigilant when having works involving gas carried out. The Heating and Ventilating Contractors' Association says bogus gas fitters claiming to be CORGI-registered (as required by law) have been operating in various parts of England. Non-registered installers are breaking the law, and apart from putting the lives of customers at risk, can be heavily fined or even jailed.

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