Blog - Miscellaneous

Exploding Cooker Injures Couple after Illegal Installation

A couple were injured after their cooker exploded in an incident caused by an unsafe installation.

John and Emily Reid had paid joiner Alex Irvine to undertake renovation work to their kitchen during March 2009. This work involved cutting out a kitchen unit and worktop in order to have a free standing gas cooker installed.

Mr Irvine informed the couple that he was not registered as a gas engineer but agreed to undertake the work to change the gas connection for a small fee. He cut the gas pipe attached to the old cooker, before connecting the pipe to the new cooker via a rubber hose.

A couple of weeks later, after cooking their dinner the couple heard a strange noise coming from the back of the new cooker. As they could not smell gas, they decided to investigate. Mr Reid put his hands inside the oven so that he could pull it away from the wall slightly. He accidentally caught the ignition switch, causing a large explosion.

The couple suffered personal injury in the incident, with burns to their face, arms and neck. Some of the burn injuries were so severe that they required skin grafts to treat. Their house was badly damaged and three of their neighbouring properties were damaged too. Three out of the four houses had to be completely demolished and rebuilt as they were so severely damaged.

An investigation into Mr Irvine who undertook the gas work found that he was not and never had been gas safe registered. It is illegal to undertake gas work whilst not registered and holding their certificate of competence.

It was found that the accident occurred because the gas hose had split after becoming trapped and kinked due to poor installation. Mr Irvine was prosecuted for breaking gas safety regulations and was sentenced to 300 hours community service this month.

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