It will kill you - that's a fact! The problem now is that the current economic downturn could result in an increase in fatalities linked to unsafe gas and electrical installations. Research carried out for the new Gas Safe Registry reveals over 4 in 10 people (41.4%) admit they are more likely to tinker with their electrics or fit a new gas appliance in the current economic climate. Only 15% said they would always use a trained, professional tradesman.

The survey highlighted a worrying discrepancy between people's perception of danger and their willingness to risk their family's safety. While 82% of those questioned considered it dangerous to fit a gas fire themselves, 1 in 10 were still prepared to do so.

Furthermore, the research found that regular servicing of gas appliances is not a priority in far too many households. Almost a fifth (19.05%) of households with a gas boiler had not had it serviced for at least three years and an alarming 13% of households had never had their boiler serviced or would only do so if there was a problem. The figures for maintaining gas fires were even worse ! Almost 1 in 3 (29%) never serviced their gas fire, or last had it serviced or maintained over three years ago.

This is worrying stuff! Incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained gas appliances are a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. They can also lead to gas leaks and explosions. On average, 25 people a year die from CO poisoning, and many more suffer health problems from CO exposure directly related to gas. In addition, some 40 people a year are killed or injured in gas explosions.

The Gas Safe Register public awareness campaign emphasises the real and everpresent danger for anyone who thinks DIY gas work can save them money. For the sake of a few pounds, they risk the lives of everyone in a property. As of April 1, if someone other than a Gas Safe registered engineer carries out gas work at your home, you could be risking the safety of your family and your property. A properly qualified and correctly registered engineer must carry out all gas work. It is recommended that a gas safety check is carried out once a year.

By law, only Gas Safe registered engineers should be employed to carry out work on gas installations or appliances - CORGI gas registration is no longer valid. The 120,000 engineers currently verified under the CORGI scheme have now to register with Gas Safe Register so they can continue to work legally from April. Registered engineers are identified with the new yellow Gas Safe Register logo, and every engineer will carry a Gas Safe Register ID card with their own unique licence number. Before any gas work is carried out in a domestic property, the ID card should be checked by the property owner.