Gas Safety Checks
Natural gas is dangerous, explosive and poisonous in its natural form, with highly toxic gases formed and released when it’s burned. It is imperative that gas pipes, lines and connections are safe, secure and that these gases are safely vented through flues or that there is adequate ventilation within the surrounding area of gas burning appliances, to allow the gas to burn efficiently and the waste to be safely diffused.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claim that around 15 people a year die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, caused as a result of poorly or incorrectly installed gas appliances and/or flues, many more people suffer illness from the effects of CO poisoning, which can be life changing if not life threatening.
It is vitally important to ensure that all gas appliances, fittings and flues are correctly installed, maintained and serviced by competent and qualified Gas Safe Registered engineers, moreover, for landlords it is a legal requirement.
We regularly work with private landlords, building societies, banks and rental/lettings agencies, on individual properties as well as multiple lets, to ensure that their rental properties meet current gas safety regulations to full gas safety certification.
Landlord gas safety certificates
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 lays out the specific responsibilities of landlords, with relation to the installation, maintenance and use of gas appliances, fittings and flues within rental properties to ensure that they are safe for tenants to use. Landlords also have other responsibilities to tenants under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at work 1999.
Under the aforementioned laws and regulations, landlords of domestic properties have the following responsibilities:
- To ensure that all gas fittings and flues are installed, maintained, serviced and safety checked by qualified Gas Safe Registered engineers
- To ensure that all gas fittings and flues are in a safe condition
- To ensure that each gas appliance and any flues are safety checked within 12 months of installation and receive an annual gas safety check thereafter
- Records of each gas safety check are to be retained for at least 2 years
- A copy of the most recent gas safety check certificate must be issued to existing tenants within 28 days of completion, or to any new tenants prior to them occupying the property
- To ensure that any defects discovered to gas fittings, appliances or flues are marked, isolated and rectified before such equipment is used again
There are exceptions to these laws and regulations and the two principal exceptions that a landlord has no responsibility for are:
- Gas appliances that are the sole private property of a tenant
- Any flues which may be connected solely to any privately owned appliances
However, it has been our experience that the majority of landlords ensure that no privately owned gas appliances or fittings are to be installed to a rental property without their permission, or that of their legal representative and, that any such appliance or fitting must be installed by a competent and Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Homeowner gas safety inspections
When selling a house it is usual to provide the buyer (typically through their solicitor), with a certificate of gas safety, it’s always an idea to show valid certificates (or a copy), to prospective buyers, as proof that your property meets current gas safety standards.
Similar to landlord safety certificates, a Homeowner Gas Safety Inspection ensures that all gas appliances, boilers, gas fires etc are inspected for integrity and correct functionality. Appliances will be examined for gas leaks and safe operation, flues, fittings, pipework and connections will be checked to ensure there are no leaks and for correct operation and written evidence of their functionality will be given.
The Homeowner Gas Safety Inspection includes:
- Testing of gas pipework integrity
- Standing and working pressure will be tested (if test points are available)
- Flue flow test (where applicable), to ensure products of combustion (fumes) are vented to the outside
- Check flue or chimney for safe removal of fumes to the exterior
- Gas appliances checked for tightness
- Check for provision of necessary ventilation
- Check that appliances are burning gas correctly
- Spillage test on appliances
- Flame failure devices checked for operational satisfaction (to cease appliance if fault occurs)
- Investigate for unsafe operation and report any irregularities
It may be found that particular elements of a system are Not to Correct Standards (NCS), such a determination does not mean that these elements are unsafe, they are simply not to the most current regulation. However, if it is thought a problem may develop as a result, we generally advise that corrective action be taken.
Quite often a homeowner will request a boiler service whilst the safety inspection is undertaken, which we can complete for an inclusive price.