Monday, 24 September 2012

Illegal Gas Worker Found Guilty in Rochdale

The Health and Safety Executive has reported that a man from Rochdale has been found guilty of illegally carrying out gas work to three homes within his borough.

His actions came to light after he installed a new boiler and gas hob at a property. Fortunately, the home owner attempted to change the gas meter from pay-as-you-go to a conventional meter reading style not longer after the illegal gas work.

When the National Grid engineer visited the property and observed the illegal gas work, he quickly noticed that the condition of the gas hob was 'immediately dangerous'.

Gas is an extremely dangerous substance; it is highly flammable, colourless, odourless and tasteless. A concentration of just over 1% in air will knock a person unconscious after only a few breaths and kill after 2-3 minutes.

The rogue gas contractor was named as Paul Gregory of Hollin Lane, Middleton. He pleaded guilty to five breaches of Gas Safety Regulations and received a fine of £2,279 and a requirement to undergo 300 hours of unpaid work.

He worked his scam by creating a fake Gas Safe Register number on documents and claiming he was a qualified, accredited member of the organisation.

The other two jobs he carried out were landlord gas safety certificate jobs, which must be undertaken annually.

The Gas Safe Register report that a quarter of a million illegal gas jobs are carried out every year by people without the skills or qualifications to work with gas.

Gas work is never a DIY job, it is simply too dangerous and if any mistakes are made it can easily cost the life of both the inexperienced worker and anyone nearby without warning. Always hire a contractor and ensure that they will do a good job.

BPM Maintenance is a property maintenance company with highly experienced, qualified, accredited gas engineers that you can trust. Each can provide all the relevant information regarding their professional registrations; rather than just a fake id number. For all gas work and gas safety certificates in Bath, just phone us today for a free quote on 4401225462598 or email us at

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

3 Common Autumn Maintenance Scams

It is a sad fact that there are significant levels of rogue contractors eager to take advantage of the unwary, both in Bath and all over the UK. One of the key methods to ensure you don't become a victim is to check that your contractor is accredited with the relevant organisations such as Safe Contractor, Trading Standards or trade specific organisations such as FENSA for glazing. In this article we will look at three of the most common scams that many of these 'tradesmen' will try, so you can recognise and reject any that attempt to play it on you.

  1. Some contractors will tempt a client with greatly reduced prices, lower than any of their competitors, then insist that they must carry out an 'inspection' before doing their work. This inspection will then turn up serious and expensive problems that would prove highly dangerous if left untouched. The contractor will then try and charge thousands of pounds to correct these flaws. Make sure you are shown all the relevant evidence that supports their claims for example a detector that shows you have a carbon monoxide leak etc. Often the company that originally fitted whatever turned up 'broken' in the 'inspection' can recommend a reputable contractor that will offer an honest dependable service you can trust.
  2. Some tradesmen will show up at your door when they notice you are in need of a service such as roofing or gutter cleaning. They will claim they will do the work at a low price as they are in the neighbourhood or have extra materials left over from another job. However the rogue contractors will then request for the money up front and disappear with it, leaving behind no contact details as it was they that approached you rather than vice versa. Again, always beware of prices that seem too low; if it appears to be too good to be true, it often is.
  3. A third, more sinister approach, is for a pair of contractors to work together to burglarize a home. One will distract the home owner, often an elderly resident that lives alone, offering various services such as decorating or yard cleaning. The other 'contractor' will enter the home and steal what they can.
One of the key guidelines you can draw from these three common scams is that you should always research a company before purchasing their services. Search for the company name on the internet, visit their website and check for accreditations. Always enter a trade agreement on your own terms; ensure that you are the one approaching the contractor for their services and not the other way around.

If you ever need a highly reputable, experienced maintenance company in the Bath, Bristol or North East Somerset area with a large portfolio of work servicing a large and varied range of domestic and commercial clients, try BPM Maintenance. We offer skilled, efficient work with friendly, accredited and qualified tradesmen who will help you reach a fast and thorough solution to any of your building problems.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Plymouth Student Union Letting Agency

Quite an interesting piece of news from the Plymouth Herald; the University of Plymouth Student Union has set up their own letting agency in response to the high number of problems their students have had with accommodation. The service is designed to focus on maintaining good conditions in the properties and improving student quality of life. The student formed agency also has its own property maintenance programme to promptly solve any problems that do arise.

Personally, I think this is a great idea and it takes straight after organisations such as the Cardiff Student Union letting agency which recently won an award from the London Times.

Here are some of the advantages we at BPM Maintenance can see in the scheme:

  • The student union agency offers a very reasonable service to students with no agency fees, which can run into hundreds of pounds with an independent agency. 
  • The strong links with the university give students peace of mind; knowing that their accommodation is in the hands of people who have their best interests at heart, rather than pursuing profit.
  • Offers an alternative to existing organisations such as Unite, which provide pseudo halls of residence that may not appeal to all types of student.
  • Material and information supplied is tailored for the students of that university rather than students or clients in general.
  • Student union services such as this provide excellent work experience for then university students organising it.
Some possible downsides:

  • The service may provide excellent experience for the students, as they will likely have very little relevant existing experience in the field. This may lead to mistakes and error which are part of the natural learning process, but could be detrimental to an already vulnerable sector (finance wise).
  • High staff turnover due to the organisation being run by students; unable for individuals to build long standing relationships with landlords in the area and gain associated knowledge of properties for long.
  • Students combining letting work with studies could lead to low quality.