"Gas and cowboys can be a lethal mix and we'd urge anyone who needs gas work done in their home to not only make sure the trader carries a Gas Safe card, but that they check the back of the card where it states what appliances the gas engineer is qualified to work on."
Research recently commissioned by Gas Safe Register revealed that 250 000 gas jobs are done every year by cowboy traders who do not have the necessary skills or qualifications for the task at hand.
An estimated 7500 illegal gasfitters are behind these figures, putting thousands of lives and homes at risk every year.
One in 10 of the illegal gas installations investigated in the last nine months were immediately dangerous and appliances had to be disabled straight away to make them safe. Over a third of these were leaking gas, and almost half had faults that could lead to lethal carbon monoxide exposure.
Gas Safe Register's national investigations manager Phill Brewster said: "We want everyone to understand that different types of gas work require different qualifications.
“Just because someone is qualified and registered to work on one gas appliance, for example gas boilers, does not mean that they are automatically qualified to put in a gas fire.
"The work that engineers can legally do is listed on the back of their Gas Safe card – it is important to check this every time you have work done."