Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Many people are worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how this could affect their housing. Click here to find out what COVID-19 means for you.

Gas safety checks

All gas appliances in your property need to be safety checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer annually. If the gas appliances in your home are unsafe, you could be at risk of fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.

For information on gas safety, call the HSE’s free Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300 363.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Landlords’ obligations in respect of gas safety have not changed during the coronavirus pandemic.

You should inform your landlord of any gas safety issues by phone, email or online as soon as you can.

If it is safe and reasonable, you may be able to allow local authorities, landlords or contractors access to your property in order to inspect or fix any urgent gas issues. Everyone should follow the social distancing guidance during any visit and also check any local restrictions that might apply in your area.

Annual gas safety checks remain an important legal requirement but they should be rearranged if they cannot go ahead safely because someone in your home is at high risk or self isolating. Further guidance for tenants and landlords is available on the Gas Safe Register website.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide gas is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it’s invisible and has no smell. It’s also very poisonous and can kill quickly. Carbon monoxide can be produced if:

  • gas appliances are not installed or maintained properly
  • gas appliances are broken or not working properly
  • flues or chimneys become blocked
  • rooms are not adequately ventilated.

Children, elderly people, pregnant women and people with respiratory problems are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning. The symptoms are similar to those of flu, and include tiredness, headaches, nausea, chest pains, sudden faintness, erratic behaviour, diarrhoea and stomach pains.

If you regularly suffer from any of these symptoms and have gas appliances in your home, ask your doctor for a blood or breath test for carbon monoxide. If you are tested positively for the effects of carbon monoxide, you should immediately turn off your gas appliances and arrange for them to be checked by a registered gas installer.

The Gas Safe Register website has more information.

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
  • warn your neighbours
  • call the National Gas Emergency number – 0800 111 999 (If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, you can use a textphone (Minicom) on 0800 371 787). An 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 Gas Safe registered engineer to come and fix the appliance.
  • report the leak to your gas supplier (for example, British Gas).
  • If you think you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide gas, go to see a doctor immediately and ask for a blood or breath test.

If you are disabled, chronically ill or of retirement age, you might be covered by the Priority Services Register scheme and get more help.  Click here for more information.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
08000 495 495

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 08000 495 495.

This page was last updated on: September 17, 2020

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

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