To celebrate Gas Safety Week , we put our plumber Dipak Patel on the spot and asked him a few quick ‘get to know you’ questions
When did you become a gas engineer?
I became a gas engineer 7 years ago.
Why did you become a gas engineer?
Whilst I was at university studying Business Studies I had a part time job in West London College, and my role was to enrol students onto plumbing and electrical courses. During this time I found the materials really interesting and started reading up. I then made the life changing choice to drop out of university and become a plumber/gas engineer.
When did you start working with Paramount?
I started working with Paramount 6 years ago, after working as a plumber's mate working in a commercial building. Shortly after I started working for myself and ventured out on my own. I carried out a job for Paramount and from there ended up being hired as their in-house plumber.
What do you think having in-house gas engineers brings to an estate and lettings agency?
They don’t ever need to rely on several plumbing firms to come in their own time. The advantages are you can get a job done there and then, liaising directly in the office, face to face with the team on a daily basis. The customer gets treated as a first priority and also gets a personal service. Our duty is to care about our customer, because it’s our company's customer, and that is what separates us from an outsourced contractor.
What are the common mistakes landlords make when it comes to gas and plumbing?
They underestimate the cost of good workmanship and quality materials. We try to educate and enhance their knowledge, but so often they will go for the cheap option. What we try to promote is that a slightly higher initial outlay does so often result in saving money further down the line.
What are the implications of not using gas safe engineer?
You can put tenants at risk, you can put landlords at risk and you can put the gas engineer or agent at risk. The training is very thorough, and without a gas safe card you should not and can not work with gas, or on gas appliances. Where ever there is a gas appliance, it is our duty to ensure that everyone around that appliance is kept safe through its use.
What do you enjoy most about working with the property management team at Paramount?
I like that I can deal with the team face to face every day, and that they trust in my opinion. We work on a personal level rather than consistently on a professional level as with other plumbing agencies – it is nice here to have colleagues. The team here have good knowledge of what we are doing, what the work entails and how long it takes. This means jobs are often qualified before they get to us. It is a two way street – both parts of the management office have to work together. I also love ‘fun lunch Friday’ where maintenance and management have lunch together as a team.
To find out more about Gas Safety Week visit https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gassafetyweek/