Know your gas safety responsibilities and protect your tenants As a landlord you should be aware that you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Your legal duties apply to a wide range of accommodation occupied under a lease or licence, including (but not limited to):
Residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, co-operatives, hostels.
Rooms, let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels.
Rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 outline the duties of landlords to ensure gas appliances, fittings and chimneys/flues provided for tenants are safe.
Your responsibilities If you let a property equipped with gas appliances, you have three main responsibilities:
Maintenance: pipework, appliances and chimney/flues need to be maintained safely. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the frequency given in the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available, you should ask a Gas Safe registered engineer to service them annually.
Gas safety checks: An annual gas safety check should be carried out on each gas appliance/flue. This will ensure gas appliances and fittings are safe to use. There is a legal requirement on you to have all gas appliances safety checked by a registered engineer annually and you also need to maintain gas pipework and flues in a safe condition. This is UK law.
Record: A record of the annual gas safety check should be provided to your existing tenants within 28 days of completion, or to new tenants upon the start of their tenancy. If the rental period is less than 28 days at a time you may display a copy of the record in a prominent position within the dwelling. You’ll need to keep copies of the record for at least 2 years.
Additional info: If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, you are responsible only for the maintenance of the gas pipework – not the appliance itself. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your tenants know where/how to turn the gas off and what to do in the event of a gas emergency. Last, but certainly not least, make sure anyone carrying out gas work on your property is Gas Safe registered – this is not only the law, but the most important step to ensuring the safety of your tenants.
What you’ll get with a Gas Safety Certificate:
Your gas appliances will be checked for gas tightness.
If test points are available, standing and working pressure will be tested.
Your Gas Safe engineer will check burner pressure and gas rate against the manufacturers data plate.
Checks will be carried out for the provision of all necessary ventilation.
Flue flow will be tested to make sure products of combustion are removed.
All flame failure devices will be checked for satisfactory operation.
Where appropriate checks will be made for physical stability, presence and effectiveness of stability brackets.
Investigations for any evidence of unsafe operation will be made and reported.
Without completing all of the above checks an appliance can not be issued a Gas Safety Certificate.
Carbon Monoxide and do i need a alarm in my home?
What is CO poisoning? Unsafe gas appliances can produce a highly poisonous gas called carbon monoxide (CO). It can cause death as well as serious long term health problems such as brain damage. CO is produced by the incomplete burning of gas and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). This happens when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained. It can also occur if flues, chimneys or vents are blocked. Oil and solid fuels such as coal, wood, petrol and oil can also produce carbon monoxide. CO poisoning occurs when you breathe in the gas and it replaces oxygen in your bloodstream. Without oxygen, your body tissue and cells die. Even small amounts of the gas can cause CO poisoning, and long term effects can include paralysis and brain damage. Remember the six main symptoms to look out for:
loss of consciousness
Being aware of the symptoms could save your life CO symptoms are similar to those of flu, food poisoning, viral infections and fatigue. That’s why it’s quite common for people to mistake this very dangerous poisoning for something else.
Other signs that could point to CO poisoning:
Your symptoms only occur when you are at home and seem to disappear when you leave home.
Others in your household (including pets) are experiencing similar symptoms and they appear at a similar time.
What to do if you suspect CO poisoning
Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house.
See your doctor immediately or go to hospital - let them know that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.
If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
Ask a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there is a dangerous problem.
The warning signs of a CO leak Any of the following could be a sign of CO in your home:
Flames of a lazy yellow or orange colour on your gas hob, rather than being a crisp blue;
Dark staining on/around appliances;
Pilot light that frequently blow out;
Increased condensation inside windows.
Faulty appliances in your home can lead to CO poisoning. Get your gas appliances checked regularly to avoid this.
The benefits of having a CO alarm An audible CO alarm will alert you to the presence of the poisonous gas in your home. Although no substitute for having your appliances serviced and checked regularly, fitting an audible CO alarm in your property is strongly recommended as a second line of defence. Modern CO alarms are similar in design to smoke alarms (which do not detect CO) and can be purchased from around £15 at many major retail outlets including DIY stores and supermarkets. Before purchasing an alarm, make sure it is marked to EN 50291 and has the British Standards Kitemark or another European approval organisation’s mark on it. We do not recommend the use of 'black spot detector' warning strips - they are too easy to miss and won't alert you if you have a CO leak when you're asleep. It’s advisable to fit an alarm in every room with a gas appliance – when installing and siting the alarm make sure you refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, audible CO alarms have a battery life of up to 5 years. If you’re unsure which alarm to get, you can ask a Gas Safe registered engineer for advice.