Landlord & Safety Certificates
What does a gas safety check involve?
Gas safety checks must be carried out by CORGI gas installers. CORGI (the Council for Registered Gas Installers) is the national watchdog for gas safety in the UK. The engineer will check:
• the gas supply pipework
• that all gas appliances are working safely
• that all gas flues are working safely and are suitable
• that gas appliances have adequate ventilation.
You should get a gas safety check carried out at least once a year. If you are a tenant, it's your landlord's responsibility to arrange this (see 'what responsibilities does my landlord have' below).
If you are disabled, chronically ill or of retirement age, you are entitled to free gas safety checks from your gas supplier as part of the Priority Service Register scheme.
What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
Landlords have a legal duty to get all gas appliances in their properties inspected on an annual basis. If you are a tenant, you must allow a CORGI gas installer access to your accommodation to carry out safety checks and, if necessary, repair work. Your landlord should give you adequate notice of the gas safety inspection.
Being gas safety conscious
If any of the gas appliances in your home belong to you, you should arrange for a CORGI gas installer to check them each year as well.
You also have a responsibility not to use any gas appliances that you know or suspect to be unsafe. If there is a gas leak, you should try and prevent any further escapes of gas, for example by turning off the gas supply. You should also report any gas leaks immediately (see 'what should I do in an emergency' below).
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What responsibilities does my landlord have?
Gas safety records
All landlords have to have a valid gas safety record for the gas equipment in the property they rent out. A copy of the record must be provided to the tenant. The record will list all appliances, including those owned by the tenant, although landlords are only responsible for the appliances that they own. Before you move into rented accommodation, you should always ask to see a copy of the current gas safety record.
Gas safety records are valid for 12 months and can only be issued by CORGI registered gas operatives. In order to give a gas safety record, the gas operative must carry out a gas safety check.
If the gas operative identifies any problems which affect gas safety, the landlord has to get them repaired. The gas operative will take the appropriate action to make the installation safe, which may include disconnecting faulty equipment. They can also ask the Gas Emergency Service Provider to cut off the supply to the property if necessary.
Remember to ask to see the identification of any gas operative who comes to do repair work in your home - all CORGI registered gas operatives are issued with an ID card which contains their registration details (see 'get repair work carried out' below).
Your landlord must keep a record of the date of the safety check, any problems it highlighted and any work that was done to rectify these problems. Your landlord should give you a copy of this record within 28 days of the safety check.
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What if my landlord doesn't comply?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing gas safety. You should get in touch with the HSE if your landlord:
• has not provided you with a valid gas safety record, or
• refuses to let you see records of safety checks, or
• doesn't do any work required.
Failure to follow gas safety requirements is a criminal offence and the HSE can issue a formal caution or recommend to the Procurator Fiscal that your landlord be prosecuted. If convicted, they may receive a fine or even a prison sentence.
You can call the HSE helpline on 0845 345 0055 or 0800 300 363 or contact your nearest office - details are available on the HSE website
If you live in a house or flat that is occupied by more than two households (an HMO or house in multiple occupation), your local council also has powers to ensure that your landlord complies with the rules on gas safety.
This link has more information on HMOs and how the council can take action against your landlord.
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What should I do in an emergency?
If you think there may be a gas leak in your home (for example, if you smell gas or your carbon monoxide detector goes off), there are several things you need to do.
• If you can, turn off the gas supply at the meter.
• Get out immediately, leaving the doors and windows open if possible for ventilation. Remember, don't turn any electrical switches on or off (this includes light switches and the doorbell) and don't smoke!
• Call the Scottish Gas Network emergency helpline on 0800 111 999 from your mobile, a call box or a neighbour's home. A Scottish Gas Network engineer will come out free of charge and disconnect either the leaking appliance or the entire gas supply if necessary. If possible, they will fix the problem straight away. Otherwise, they will isolate the faulty appliance so you can't use it and turn the gas supply back on again. You'll then need to arrange for a CORGI installer to come and fix the appliance (see 'get repair work done' below).
• Report the leak to your gas supplier (for example, Scottish Gas or Scottish Power). You can find the number on your gas bill, and also on the Energywatch website.
• If you think you've been exposed to carbon monoxide gas, you should go and see a doctor immediately and ask for a blood or breath test.
How can I minimise the risks?
Check for danger signs around gas appliances
• sooty marks
• yellow or orange flames instead of blue (although this probably won't apply if you have a 'real flame' gas fire)
• pilot lights that blow out frequently
• excessive condensation on windows.If you are on the Priority Service Register (see 'what does a gas safety check involve' above), your gas supplier will provide you with alternative cooking and heating facilities if your gas supply needs to be cut off for safety reasons.
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Get a carbon monoxide detector
A carbon monoxide detector is not the same as a smoke alarm. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide in the air by flashing a light and sounding an alarm.
Ideally, you should have a detector in every room that contains gas appliances. If you have a gas fire in the bedroom, it's particularly important to have a detector there. This is because carbon monoxide leaks are very dangerous when you're asleep, as you won't notice the initial warning signs, such as tiredness or dizziness.
There is no legal requirement for your landlord to install carbon monoxide detectors, but it's a good idea to ask for one anyway. If your landlord won't provide one, it may be worth considering fitting one yourself. You can buy them from most hardware or DIY shops or online at www.carbon-monoxide-detectors.co.uk Make sure any detector you buy conforms to British standard BS7860.
Blue Flame Heating Solutions will supply and fit a carbon monoxide detector at competetive rates, contact us today!
Get repair work carried out immediately
If you suspect that any gas appliances in your home may be faulty, you should either:
• report this to your landlord immediately if you are a tenant - you can find out more about reporting disrepair here
• get the appliance checked over by a CORGI gas operative if you are a home owner.
Repairs to gas equipment must be carried out by CORGI registered gas operatives. Use the find an installer feature on the CORGI website or call the CORGI customer service line on 0870 401 2300 for details of engineers in your area. You may want to get more than one quote for the repairs.
Before you let any gas operative into your home, ask to see their CORGI identification first. If you're still not sure whether they're genuine, you can phone CORGI's customer service line or check that the installer is listed on their website.
Blue Flame Heating Solutions are certified and CORGI registered to repair/replace all domestic gas appliances and pipework running on LPG or Natural gas.
Call us today 01382 84 83 84
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What if I'm injured by a faulty gas supply or appliance?
If you are injured by a faulty gas supply or appliance (for example, if you are poisoned by carbon monoxide gas), you may have a right to take legal action against your landlord, or anyone directly responsible for negligent work.
Bear in mind that there are time limits - for example, if you want to sue your landlord for negligence, you must start the action within three years of the being injured. Talk to an adviser at a Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor at a law centre or independent firm if you're considering this course of action.
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Remember: Never DIY with gas, it's dangerous and likely to be illegal.
Contact Blue Flame Heating Solutions for all your gas repairs and Landlord Certificates 01382 84 83 84.