CFOA and fire and rescue services in the UK will be supporting Gas Safety Week – 19 -25 September. It is an annual campaign to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of gas appliances. Gas Safety Week is coordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Many people may think that if a gas appliance has a problem you will smell gas – this is not always the case.
Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
Here are some simple tips to keep your home safe:
- Check your gas appliances every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Tenants – make sure your landlord arranges this. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at staygassafe.co.uk
- Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
- Check 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.
- Check for warning signs your appliances aren’t working correctlyg. lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
- Know the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
- Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm and test it regularly – This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants. Landlords should make sure maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Landlords are legally obliged to make sure:
- Pipe-work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
- All appliances and flues provided for tenants use have an annual safety check. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at www.staygassafe.co.uk.
- Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by an engineer registered with Gas Safe Register.
- All gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.
- A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
- You keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record for two years.
In addition to being aware of the advice above tenants should:
- Make sure you Check any gas appliances you own (they are your responsibility not that landlords) every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at staygassafe.co.uk.
- Check your Landlord’s Gas Safety Record. By law, your landlord must keep gas appliances supplied for you to use in good condition. They should arrange a gas safety check every 12 months and give you a record of the check.
- Check the 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.
If your landlord is not arranging for gas safety checks and you have asked him to, then you should take action.
Complain to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Their website has plenty of useful advice on what you should expect and what to do if your landlord is falling short. It is very serious if they are not complying – they could face a fine or prison.
For gas safety advice or to find and check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.