Gas safety and appliances
Landlords with properties with gas appliances must provide documentary evidence that appliances have been checked for safety within the last twelve months by a competent installer registered with the Gas Safe Register before accommodation can be placed on our list. This proof should be in the form of an original Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate.
Badly installed or un-serviced appliances can emit carbon monoxide, caused by incomplete combustion, and the danger is compounded when ventilation flues are blocked. The lethal gas has no smell or taste and at low dose will produce symptoms of dizziness, nausea and fatigue that are easily mistaken for flu and other common illnesses. People asleep are most at risk when they leave gas fires on at night. Combustion uses up oxygen in the room increasing the dose of carbon monoxide breathed from a faulty appliance.
Since 1 January 1996 there have been restrictions on the installation in sleeping accommodation of gas appliances which are not of the balanced-flue type. Non balanced-flue appliances of less than 14 Kilowatts may be fitted as long as they have a device which automatically turns the gas supply off before a dangerous level of toxic fumes builds up. However, non balanced-flue appliances above this threshold will be prohibited in such accommodation.
Since 31 October 1998 it has been illegal to install instantaneous water heaters which are not room-sealed or fitted with an automatic safety device which turns the gas supply off before a dangerous level of fumes builds up.
To identify a registered installer it is suggested by the Gas Safe Register that you look in your local telephone directory or ring the Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500. For further information on gas safety issues ring the HSE Gas Safety Advice Line 0800 300 363 or visit their web site at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm
Gas Safety (Installation and Use), Regulations 1998
Legislation dealing with gas appliances and installations came into force on 31 October 1994 and was amended in 1998. By law:
Anyone carrying out work on gas appliances or fittings must be competent and registered with the Gas Safe Register. To check your contractor is registered with the Gas Safe Register call 0800 408 5500 or visit their website at http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk. Only competent people can carry out work on gas appliances or fittings.
You must not use any gas appliance or fitting which you know or suspect to be unsafe. All Gas Safe Register registered installers have been asked to disconnect any appliance or fitting which would be a threat to safety.
Landlords are now required to have all gas appliances and flues checked once a year for safety. This work should be carried outby a competent installer registered with the Gas Safe Register. Tenants have the right to see proof that these checks have been done.
Landlords and installers face fines if they fail to comply, and in extreme cases, jail sentences.