Scottish households warned about home heating DIY dangers

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Households in Scotland should think twice before they attempt to repair their own heating system to avoid the potential dangers of a bodged job.

That’s the warning from local technicians following call outs to fix DIY heating disasters caused by homeowners who have tried to cut corners by not calling in an expert and doing it themselves.

The ‘DIY fails’ include trying to service or replace a broken down boiler, moving a heating oil tank to a new location, accidently blocking up flues and attempting to fit new radiators.

The call comes during spring when households traditionally take the opportunity to complete long overdue odd-jobs around the home.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, which represents the oil heating industry, commented: “Whilst spring is a great time to reach for the tool box, it is easy to get carried away and attempt to fix or repair jobs which really should be left to the experts.

“Some of our technicians in Scotland have raised concerns over the growing trend of DIY heating fixes. Undertaking this kind of work without appropriate training is fraught with risk, not just to you but also your family and neighbours. It can potentially lead to a fire or explosive hazard or the possibility of a serious fuel leak. There is also the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning which is notoriously hard to detect because it is a clear and odourless gas - but it can kill.

“A botched job can also leave you in the cold with a heating system that is even more costly and time consuming to repair.”

Households experiencing problems with their heating system are advised to always contact a local Gas Safe (for gas heating) or OFTEC (for heating oil and solid fuel) registered technician to deal with the issue professionally.

Malcolm added: “Following prolonged use over the cold winter months, now is a good time to have your heating system serviced to check it is working correctly and efficiently. By using an OFTEC or Gas Safe registered technician, you can be confident the work will be completed professionally and to a high standard.

“It’s particularly worthwhile for oil heated households that are continuing to benefit from a significant fall in the price of oil, helping them make huge savings. We recommend using some of this extra money to employ a professional technician to give you complete peace of mind.”

For more information and to find a local OFTEC or Gas Safe technician visit www.oftec.org.uk or www.gassaferegister.co.uk.