Are Your Customers Skipping Gas Safety Checks?

by | Jan 29, 2024 | Capturing Demand, Finding Work, Repeat Business

Gas heats about ¾ of the 26 million homes in the UK. For the most part, these systems are extremely safe and few gas-related accidents occur year-round. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be dangerous – and it certainly could be if not for the regular maintenance work of Gas Safe Registered engineers. 

While landlords might have a legal responsibility to have a gas safety check done each year for their tenants, homeowners aren’t quite in the same position. In fact, an alarming number (about one-third) are deciding to skip their annual gas safety inspection. 

Gas Safe Register has published articles talking about this concerning trend, and they’ve found a variety of reasons behind it. They include the simple cost factor as well as overconfidence in the safety of gas appliances that haven’t been checked in the past year.

For heating and plumbing businesses, there’s an opportunity here to educate customers about simple safety best practices. It’s a win-win situation for both the safety of their homes and the health of your business. 

We’ve put together this article to offer tips on getting your customers to not only fully understand but appreciate gas safety basics.

The current situation, and why educating customers is the answer

The portion of homeowners who skip their gas safety check are doing so due to a combination of factors. According to Gas Safe Register, chief among them are financial concerns and an overconfidence in the safety of their appliances and their knowledge of gas safety. In fact, only 0.2% passed the Gas Safety Challenge despite 98% thinking they would, and under a fifth were able to identify the seven warning signs. 

Financial concerns will always be an issue, but we believe that the bigger problem here is a lack of understanding when it comes to gas safety. If the public was more aware of the dangers of unchecked gas appliances and better informed of the training required to spot risks, they will be more likely to reallocate funds (where possible, of course) towards getting a gas safety check. 

Getting your customers to respect gas safety principles

As a Gas Safe Registered engineer and owner of a heating business, you are an authoritative source of information – and you need to leverage this to your benefit. 

That being said, customers are less likely to listen if it sounds like you’re trying to provoke fear and worry to book a few more jobs. Rather, we suggest you offer genuinely educational advice and frame the problem within a concern for their safety.

Here’s what we would suggest you do:

#1: Email your customers

Emailing your existing database of customers is a non-pushy, effective, and quick way to get the message across. 

Your email could include statistics about how many people are skipping their annual gas checks and the potential risk of doing so. You could even go as far as to reiterate warning signs they should know before offering a professional gas safety check. 

If you don’t have a consolidated list of customer emails, you could benefit from a software CRM platform to keep phone numbers, addresses, names and more all in one place.

Example email (free to copy, use, & adjust):

Hi [customer name]

We hope this email finds you well.

We just wanted to get in touch as our records show you haven’t booked a gas safety check in over 12 months.

As a homeowner, there isn’t a legal requirement to hold a valid Gas Safety Certificate – but it’s still highly recommended to do so.

Data from Gas Safe Register shows that about 33% of homeowners debate skipping the check. While gas-related incidents are rare in the UK, you may be putting your family, friends, and neighbours at risk by doing so.

If you would like to book a gas safety check with [company name], we’re offering a special discount of [offer].

Simply reply to this email or give us a ring at [phone number] to book a check.

Best wishes

[your name] & the team at [your company]

#2: Create flyers to post through letterboxes

This is much the same as an email, except you’re able to reach out to customers who may have not worked with you before. Include all the same information and simply slip them through letterboxes when you get the chance.

#3: Offer an incentive

You may decide to offer an incentive to get people to do their gas safety checks. A discount is the most classic example and always works. You could also play around with referral schemes if your customers know anyone who hasn’t had their appliances checked in the past year. 

#4: Send reminders

It’s always a good idea to keep track of those with whom you’ve done work in previous years, as you can send out regular service reminders to book a few extra jobs. Our software makes this incredibly easy to do (and even automate) – read more about that here.

But having a customer database comes in handy here as well. If you’re able to quickly and easily see who hasn’t booked a gas safety check in over a year, you can target those customers rather than sending out a blanket message to all. This allows you to be much more specific in your messaging, and more personalised emails are always more effective.

#5: Remind them of the shared responsibility

Gas-related incidents, especially in cities and housing estates where homes are in closer proximity, can affect more than just the homeowner. Skipping a gas safety check puts neighbours at risk – and that’s all before considering the friends, family, and children who visit the home. Gently reminding your customers of this responsibility is a good way to encourage them to book a checkup. Gas Safe Register has been doing something similar with their recent partnership with Tony Blackburn.

Running your gas business through Gas Engineer Software

Yearly gas safety checks play a huge role in the safety of gas in UK homes. Helping your customers understand this simple fact will go a long way in terms of reducing the risk of an incident as well as helping you book a few extra jobs. 

We’re here to help you along the way, too. From sending out automated service reminders to managing schedules and helping with paperwork, Gas Engineer Software is designed to help you seamlessly handle the flow of jobs through your business. All this means more time to focus on what you enjoy and what truly matters. 

Next steps:

If you’ve been thinking about implementing software into your workflow to save time, here’s what you can do next:

 

  • Visit our resources centre where you'll find more articles like this one and our free gas rate calculator.​
  • Start a free trial to see exactly how our software works for your business.
  • Book a demo with our customer success team. We’ll help walk you through the ins and outs of our software, how it’ll help you save time and money, and anything else that springs to mind.
  • Know an engineer who's still using paper? Help them and us out by sending our software their way!