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Category: HSE

Unprofessional Cardiff Gas Engineers – No PPE.

Unprofessional Gas Engineers.

UNPROFESSIONAL GAS ENGINEERS – NO PPE.

(As per date of publication).

This is a personal experience I have endured with a local Cardiff Gas Engineers today.

I had an appointment yesterday for a consultation and re-scheduled all my appointments to fit in with the engineer arriving as I have a fault with low pressure and my combi-boiler cutting out at least twice a day.

(I do not like conducting my business in front of my landlord or contractors he sends out, even though I once specifically asked the landlord not to turn up because I had an important call, he purposely ignored my request and turned up anyway. He did not forget because I reminded him half an hour earlier and he agreed he would not, yet he still turned up).

The engineer yesterday was a no-show, they never phoned or texted they could not make it. So I lost a day’s work waiting for them (I do not like discussing my business in front of contractors).

Seeing as I was not paying for the call-out I was not going to chase them and thought no more of it until a day later, as the matter was not urgent or an emergency, and I attempted to go about my day, trying to catch up from the day before.

The Gas Engineer Broke The Law!

I gave strict instructions if they were outside my property to phone or text me as I have a problem with my hearing and cannot hear the doorbell if I am on my own.

However today my daughter was with me and she would hear the bell if it were pressed, (which was not), I will come to this in a moment.

So my daughter and I are in the middle of working when she hears someone walking up our stairs calling my name (I could not hear anything as I am partially deaf). She answers and goes to see who it was, and a man she did not recognize is on our stairs inside our property. He never rang the bell or knocked on the door, just walked in unexpectedly and unannounced.

Entering a property unlawfully is called trespassing and one cannot just enter uninvited or pre-arranged unless it is an emergency or in the case of the Police, a warrant. *The thing is I have a witness and I made an unofficial complaint to the building contractor the following day.

DISRESPECT

I then got up and realized it was the engineer. I immediately said you were supposed to come yesterday and he replied “oh, was I”, with no apology or anything…(totally ignorant and rude). I did not want to kick off and say “have you never heard of knocking”?

NO FACEMASK (Regulations at the time of publication of this article)

I noted he was not wearing a facemask and I said hold on I will go get my facemask to which he replied: “do you want me to put one on”.

It is actually mandatory to wear a facemask when visiting residential properties, whereby the resident is present: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gas-safety/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

I suspect they were trying their luck hoping no one was in.

The landlord should not have given them keys so I think this was planned because why else would they have had keys to the property if they knew 100% someone would be in?

There is something quite off with this now that I am thinking about it.

NO SOCIAL DISTANCING

The engineer told me to show how low the pressure gauge drops but that meant I had to be less than a foot away from him as my kitchen is a confined space with only room for one person. I was reluctant to go anywhere near him but had no choice to comply with his wishes.

CONTRACTOR COVID REGULATIONS

A contractor must wash their hands and sanitize them before touching anything and that did not happen. In fact, he even leaned on the banister touching freshly washed clothes with his outer clothing that could have potentially cross-contaminated any pathogens he may have carried on his uniform. My daughter after he had gone had to re-wash her clothes and sanitize all the surfaces he had touched including the boiler.

ANIMOSITY

At this stage, I did not want to make waves and went to put my mask on even though he should have had one on without asking me if I wanted him to or not. I felt had I insisted he wears his mask it would have caused animosity.

BEING PERSONAL

I explained the problem I was having to adjust the pressure twice a day every day and this is where it got personal. I have known this engineer for the length of time of my tenancy and over the years I have told him I suffer from OCD. I am not ashamed to say it and I am an advocate and editor for mental health on my online journal www.disabilityuk.co.uk and this is where my daughter and I picked up on his insensitive and rather rude remark and what he said: “are you sure you that you have to adjust the gauge twice a day or are you just saying it because you are high on your meds” he continued to say, although I did not hear him say it, however, my daughter did “I must be special or a lunatic”.

I have a witness to what he said.

People who have mental health issues should not be humiliated and made a mockery of, not everyone with mental health issues is going to be a patient of mental asylums in which I felt was what he was insinuating.

I am so tempted to name and shame him and the company he represents and give them bad press.

THE CONSULTATION

He insinuated I was making things up told my daughter to make track of how many times I adjusted the boiler without telling me and also insinuated that both my daughter and I were lying about the leaking radiator, which was not leaking in front of him. He did however state he would be coming back next week to fix the radiator that was hanging off the wall in another room.

MY WORK

Considering he turned up unannounced and I excused myself and said I had to get back to my work and he went “yer right” like I was making it up or something and he did not believe me.

PAST HISTORY

It was approximately a year ago that he came out to install my cooker I bought that could not be fitted at the time of delivery because I had a problem with my “Hot Zone” in the kitchen whereby another local Cardiff Electricians (I am not mentioning any names but I did tell my landlord about their incompetence at the time when he had to rewire my electrics) failed to notice the problem when they did an electrical inspection. When I mentioned this to the Gas engineer he too did not know what a “Hot Zone” was either until I sent him a link.

He told me I should not report the electricians and should not start making waves. I took that he was threatening me in some way.

Also when I mentioned that I may have had a leak in the pipes last week over the phone to the gas engineers director, he said floorboards would have to be pulled up and I corrected him and said a thermal camera would spot the leak which costs about £700 and he said no one in Cardiff has anything like that. Some people do not like being corrected and a gadget like that is an investment to any plumber and they should have it as part of their tools.

So for me not to have a cooker over Christmas and New Year 2019/2020 as I could not get it fitted because the electrics needed re-wiring was not a big problem to anyone other than me who spent £1,500 on take-outs over a period of two months for myself and my family as I could not cook any food. Who is going to compensate me for this? This is why I am documenting everything and I have receipts.

INTIMIDATION

I feel I am being humiliated and intimidated by these engineers as they are friendly with my landlord and anything I say to any of the contractors goes back to my landlord.

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

This type of disrespect, humiliation, and intimidation is causing emotional distress. Who can I complain to about rogue contractors and unprofessional traders? This is why I am unwell because people do not abide by rules and Covid Regulations and are very judgemental. Some people simply think they are better than you and will try to ridicule you as in the case today.

FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR

I will not mention this company other than they are not on the first page of Google for the search terms “Cardiff Gas Engineers” and have a hyphen in their domain name. But what I will do is document everything and go out of my way to help one of their competitors because they should not be making waves with me.

I have in fact most recently renewed the domain name www.cardiffgasengineers.co.uk and originally was going to make the domain into a directory of “Cardiff Gas Engineers” purposely to exclude them, but now I will help any company other than them.

People underestimate me and what I do and am capable of.

It is unprofessional to be personal to a tenant and make a mockery of their disability regardless of whether their disability is physical or mental.

I once had a detective (CID) demoted to police constable for entering my property unannounced and without a warrant, and I still suffer PTSD from that which has brought back memories. This is added to my emotional distress.

Also, one is not exempt from wearing facemasks, even though some may think they do.

It is not the first time other engineers working for the same company in question have visited my property without wearing facemasks and I have complained previously. But if I was to again I suspect I would be complaining about the partner of the business as I believe he is and also a friend of the landlord and I guess he feels invincible.

If he mocked me about my mental health and medication he would have also mocked my landlord who also suffers from mental health problems.

I feel if someone complains too much is then deemed as a nuisance, so I have to keep my mouth shut but have learned over time to document everything.

BREACH OF TERMS OF AGREEMENT

Imagine if my daughter and I were not home and he let himself in, my insurance would become void.

Another scenario could have been, my daughter or I could have been half-dressed coming out of the bathroom or bedroom as was the case with the detective many moons ago.

24 HOURS NOTICE

A landlord, the contractor, or letting agent needs to give you 24 hours’ notice before entering your rented premises unless it is an emergency. They cannot walk in unless they have notified you first when they are arriving and even then, they cannot just walk in if they know someone is present. The resident needs to agree and give consent.

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/repairs_and_inspections_access_to_your_rented_home

When you rent a property from a landlord it becomes your home. A landlord, contractor, or letting agent, should only enter the property without you being there, if you have given prior permission for them to do so, or if it is a genuine emergency.

While your landlord, contractor, or letting agent will need to gain access to the property to carry out inspections, repairs, and maintenance, the law says that they must give you 24-hours written notice.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11

https://www.plazaestates.co.uk/news/can-my-landlord-enter-my-house-without-me-being-home

REPORTING A LANDLORD IN WALES

Should you wish to make a complaint about your landlord and you live in Wales, you should contact “Rent Smart Wales”:

https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/contact/

https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/faqs/

REPORTING A GAS ENGINEER

If you wish to make a complaint about a Gas Engineer visit the following site:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/newschemecontract.htm

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gas-safety/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

FINALLY

Remember whatever you do there are consequences to your actions. If you report your landlord he /she may serve you an eviction notice. The same goes with engineers they may try to sue you, so you have to have the evidence documented and have a plan A and plan B before you start complaining.

LEAVING

Oh, I forgot to mention as he was leaving he said to my daughter I had successfully wasted his time. Even though he recognized the radiator needed fixing and said he would and I quote “have to book it in”, yet had no regard that I had to pay people yesterday to manage the chat widgets on my client’s sites and could not monitor them properly this morning as I was rudely interrupted, in fact, I had a missed chat today and my client noticed which does not look good for me. So wasting my time is fine?…

UPDATE

13/01/21

I made an indirect complaint to the contractor that came to work in my bathroom today, something different from the gas engineer’s job yesterday, knowing that my disdain will get back to my landlord. Even the contractor agreed the Gas Engineer was out of order and that I should make an official complaint. Let’s see what transpires next week when he has to return to fix the radiator in one of the bedrooms, I will be having words with him one to one, and I will record him in stealth mode if he bothers to turn up.

24/01/21

As you can imagine he failed to return.

#landlordsandtenants #renting #yourrights #rentsmartwales #mentalhealth #unprofessional #gasengineers #gasengineersppe #ppe #facemasks #washinghands #handsanitizer

Hand Sanitisers

Hand Sanitisers.

Hand sanitisers, love them or hate them, we all have to use them.

Being a sufferer of OCD I have tried and tested my fair share of hand sanitisers in my time. My brain seems to analyse where germs get cross contaminated and I use more hand sanitiser than the average person so I should have some knowledge which ones work and which ones don’t.

Ultimately my favourite brands are Dettol & Carex and I prefer the aloe vera versions as personal preference:

When buying hand sanitiser it best to stick to well known brands that are regulated by EU Biocides Regulation 528/2012.

There are many fly by night sellers on Ebay and Etsy that claim that their brands kill germs. I would avoid buying from these sellers at all costs, as most make their own concoctions and sell it under their own labels unregulated.

If a hand sanitiser brand does not have their own website dedicated to the product name I would leave them out.

You can never be too careful with germs.

If a company dedicated their time to making a product a household name they will spend money on advertising. If you have never heard of them or you buy an unknown brand from a stall in a market because it is cheap, you have to question what you are putting on your hands.

In hindsight these brands should be able to prove that the product matches the claims, so if a product makes a certain claim, such as it kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, then it should fulfil that claim.

Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/12/hand-sanitisers-sold-online-fail-which-tests/ – Which?

However I have recently received some samples from a company selling ‘Dr Brown’ Hand Sanitisers. I told them I would give them a review and even though I love the high street brands, I think if there was a shortage of hand sanitisers, I would not hesitate to use this company or if I had a lot of employees I would certainly give them a go.

I received both the citrus and lavender.

I found them to be slightly on the runny side rather than gel although there was an element of gel in the composition.

It definitely wafted alcohol and took a couple of seconds to evaporate but once the smell had gone it left a pleasant aroma behind that lingered. My favourite was Lavender out of the two.

https://www.bcbin.com/

To read more about which hand sanitisers have been tried and tested, I would check out the following blog, but again they emphasise Carex & Dettol as the brands to buy:

Final Thoughts:

Warning:

If you are a Gas or Electrical Engineer DO NOT USE ALCOHOL BASED FLAMABLE HAND SANITISERS around naked flames or sparks.

According to The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers have issued a safety alert, stating a build-up of static can create an invisible flame from the ignition source whereby the hand sanitizer on ones hands can then ignite. It is recommended you wash your hands in hot soapy water to get rid of all traces of hand sanitiser before commencing work.

https://pubs.spe.org/en/hsenow/hse-now-article-page/?art=6998

SHOP FOR HAND SANITISERS HERE:

All Carex Hand Sanitisers:

All Other Hand Sanitisers:

Can Landlords Delegate Annual Gas Safety Checks with a Tenant?

Annual Gas Safety Checks.

Can a landord delegate gas safety checks and maintenance with a tenant.

The answer is NO.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm

Landlords Obligations.

Regardless who bought or installed the appliance it is still the landlords responsibility to make sure the appliance is safe to use, as he has the responsibility of all the occupants in his property and adjacent properties to make sure there are no faults.

A gas engineer or landlord should not expect the tenant to pay for a Gas safety check on the tenants appliance if the tenant is paying rent to include maintenace and services.

If the appliance developed a fault and caused an accident the landlord would be liable and at fault for not having a gas safety check done. Not only is he/she safeguarding his/her tenants he is also safeguarding his property. The landlords building insurance would be null and void if he did not have a gas safety check on an appliance fitted by him/herself or the tenant.

Furthermore if a gas engineer tries to say that he will not be doing a gas safety check because it is the tenants appliance, then the gas engineer is at fault as all gas appliances have to be checked regardless who bought them.

For further information visit:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm

According to Gas Safe Register.

It is the tenants responsibility to do an annual gas safety check on their Gas Cooker, which contradicts the hse.gov.uk website FAQ.

This is the screenshot of the email I received from Gas Safe Register today:

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/contact-us/

GAS SAFE REGISTER

Gas Safe Register website also mentions they are governed by HSE screenshot below that it is the tenants responsibility to make sure their appliance is in good working order and have an annual gas safety check.

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/renting-a-property/information-for-landlords/

According to the Law:

Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the landlord is responsible to:

  1. to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling, including drains, gutters and external pipes,
  2. to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling for the supply of water, gas, electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences.
  3. to keep in repair and proper working order the installation in the dwelling for space heating and heating water .

Gas.

Gas safety is at a highest priority in rented properties. All gas appliances, fittings, installations, pipes and flues must be kept in perfect working condition.  This applies to communal and private areas, regardless of whether tenants have access.

All landlords are required to arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must earn a gas safe certificate or make improvements prior to letting to tenants. The certificate must be made available to every tenant prior to moving in and must be kept for at least two years.

It is absolutely illegal for anyone to knowingly use unsafe gas equipment. Treat the matter with highest regard ! Always require the gas safety certificate prior to renting a property.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11

Carbon Monoxide Alarms.

From 1 Oct 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 came into force, which means all private rented sector landlords have an obligation by law to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where solid fuel is used. 

For more information on licensed landlords in Wales please visit:

https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/home/

For information about Carbon Monoxide Alarms (I assume if the law has been passed in England then it should also apply to Wales Scotland and Ireland):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords/the-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarm-england-regulations-2015-qa-booklet-for-the-private-rented-sector-landlords-and-tenants

For Piece of Mind if I were a Landlord for the sake of £15 to £30 per household I would fit a Carbon Monoxide Alarm. It is just common sense.

FINAL THOUGHTS.

There is some contradicting information from other sources about the Gas Safety Responsibilities by a landlord and tenant and it seems a bit of a grey area accoording to: https://www.thetenantsvoice.co.uk/advice_from_us/repairs-overview/#how_does_the_law_assigns_responsibilities_for_repair_and_maintenance the landlord is not responsible for any electrical appliance that the tenant has installed in their property. Their maintenance is at the discretion of the tenant. But there is NO MENTION ABOUT GAS COOKERS which have been bought by the tenant??

🤔

In my opinion it should be the landlords responsibility to make sure all gas appliances are checked regardless who bought them. If anything went wrong the landlord is protected and so is his tenants.

There should be a clause in the tenants agreement if the tenant has purchased the appliance with a fixed fee added to their rent or the tenant needs to appoint a gas engineer of their choosing and provide a gas safety check certificate.

For the sake of Home Insurance the Home Owner should not rely on a third party (i,e the tenant) to carry out a Gas Safety Check and should arrange it him or herself with a Competent Gas Registered Engineer.

However as it stands one cannot leave the onus on the tenant, not all tenants are internet savvy and will not do the research as I have and MAY NOT KNOW THE LAW and if it is not written into the tenants contract, then this opens up a can of worms.

Furthermore EVERY Gas Engineers, Electrical Engineers and Gas, Electrical and Appliance Manufacturers and Retailers website’s should have LINKS and have information about:

  1. Hotzones
  2. Carbon Monoxide Alarms
  3. Gas Safety Checks and Landlord and Tenant Resposibilities and the law.

***I have contacted HSE for comment and am awaiting on their reply. I will update this post as soon as hear from them.

BEING SAFE IS PARAMOUNT.

All Landords, Gas & Electrical Engineers need to be trained about HotZones and Carbon Monoxide Alarms – So far I have opened a can of worms.

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