Gas safety is a serious business with poorly maintained gas appliances causing gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Shock statistics show one in six homes across the country has an unsafe gas appliance – and with the potentially fatal consequences landlords must take their responsibilities seriously.
This week marks the seventh annual Gas Safety Week – organised to raise awareness of the dangers and remind landlords and homeowners of their responsibilities.
All private landlords have to make sure the gas supply and appliances they provide to their tenants are safe. And every home that has gas must have a valid gas safety certificate.
Gas safety certificates can only be given by registered gas engineers and are valid for 12 months. In order to give a gas safety certificate the engineer has to check:
- the gas supply
- gas appliances
- gas flues
Landlords must keep copies of the inspection report and certificate and should keep records of any works carried out.
If the gas engineer notices any problems the landlord has to fix them. If a landlord fails to do this or fails to provide a gas safety certificate it is a criminal offence. The Health and Safety Executive can prosecute.
The Gas Safety Week campaign, co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register has issued these six simple steps to staying gas safe – which apply to landlords and homeowners alike.
- Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
- Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.
- Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. Landlords – give your tenants a copy of your current Gas Safety Record.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.
Read more about the danger of carbon monoxide and your responsibilities.
- Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
- Fit an audible carbon monoxide detector. Fitting a carbon monoxide detector in your home will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
The organisers have also developed an interactive resource, allowing landlords, tenants and homeowners the opportunity to look at the gas safety statistics for their area, giving them the opportunity to sign up for a free email service offering reminders as to when appliances need to be checked.
In all 7,632 companies and organisations – including the RLA are backing the national safety campaign.
For more information regarding gas safety read the RLA’s guide here.
The association also runs a half-day utilities safety course (gas, electrical and water supply) , informing landlords of their rights and responsibilities and the legislation dealing with these issues For information and to book click here.