Gas Safety Week 2021: 13th – 19th September

It’s Gas Safety Week in the UK, a timely reminder to check your gas appliances. If you’re a landlord you will need to make sure that any appliances that belong to you or your property are checked by a professional to confirm that they’re safe for continued use by tenants.

What you must get checked:

A Gas Safety Check must only be performed by a registered gas safe engineer. Any gas appliances that are owned by you, and that are within or used by your property must be checked for faults and/ or damage that will mean the appliance is unsafe for use.

What do gas safety checks involve?

A visual inspection will take place to make sure that your appliance is safely fitted and secure, and that it’s suitable for the room that it’s in. The engineer will also check that the appliance is set and running to the manufacturers’ instruction so that it’s not going to cause any harm to your tenants or your property. 

They will check any safety devices, such as carbon monoxide alarms, to make sure they are also working correctly.

When must you have appliances checked?

You need to get a gas safety certificate once a year and each appliance must be checked every year too. This is to make sure that any problems are picked up before they become more serious. 

Failure to regularly check the gas appliances could result in gas leaks, which could have an effect on your tenants and make them ill. If there is a gas leak there is also risk of the escaped gas igniting causing fire or even explosions. You are also running the risk of CO being released whilst the appliance is working, which if released into a poorly ventilated room, can be fatal. 

What to advise tenants to do in an emergency?

Something else you can do to help keep your tenants and property safe is having a clear plan of action if there is a problem with the gas. If your tenants smell gas they need to:

  1. Open all possible doors and windows to make sure the room is well ventilated. 
  2. If they are able to, turn off the gas control valve to turn off the gas. This should not be turned back on until the gas has been checked. 
  3. Make sure not to use any electrical items until after the gas has been checked. If there is any spark, it could ignite the gas and cause an explosion. 
  4. Contact the National Gas Emergency service number that’s correct for your area. A list can be found on the Gas Safe Register’s website linked here. We also recommend keeping this somewhere safe and handy like by a door, to make sure it’s easy to find in an emergency. 
  5. Make sure if you are feeling unwell that you are seen by a medical professional. Symptoms of gas poisoning are tiredness, nausea, headaches and in some cases can be deadly. 

As a Landlord it is your responsibility to make sure a property’s gas appliances are correctly maintained and that the work is being carried out by a professional registered Gas Safety Engineer. 

Keep the paperwork

You must also make sure that you have a record of the gas safety checks as the checks are a legal requirement for any landlord, and failure to provide the certificates when asked could lead to prosecution. 

For more information...

For further information on gas safety and your obligation as a landlord take a look at the HSE gas safety information.

HSE gas safety information