Gas safety precautions
There are important steps you should take to keep your home safe. If you’re renting your home, many of these are your landlord’s responsibility.
Check the danger signs around gas appliances
Always be aware of danger signs around any gas appliance. These include:
- sooty marks
- yellow or orange flames instead of blue (although this probably won’t apply if you have a ‘real flame’ gas fire)
- pilot lights that blow out frequently
- excessive condensation on windows.
The Gas Safe Register website has more information on things to look out for. Never use any gas appliance that you think might be unsafe.
Get a carbon monoxide detector
A carbon monoxide detector is not the same as a smoke alarm. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide in the air by flashing a light and sounding an alarm.
Ideally, you should have a detector in every room that contains gas appliances. If you have a gas fire in the bedroom, it’s particularly important to have a detector there. This is because carbon monoxide leaks are very dangerous when you’re asleep, as you won’t notice the initial warning signs, such as tiredness or dizziness.
There is no legal requirement for your landlord to install carbon monoxide detectors, but it’s a good idea to ask for one anyway. If your landlord won’t provide one, it may be worth considering fitting one yourself. You can buy them from most hardware or DIY shops for about £10. Make sure any detector you buy conforms to British standard BS7860.
Have gas safety checks carried out every year
All rented properties must have a valid gas safety certificate, a copy of which should be given to the tenants.
Gas safety checks must be carried out by a registered gas installer. You can ask to see their Gas Safe Register ID card. The engineer will check:
- the gas supply pipework
- that all gas appliances are working safely
- that all gas flues are working safely and are suitable
- that gas appliances have adequate ventilation.
Gas safety checks should be carried out at least once a year. If you are a tenant, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to arrange this.
If you are disabled, chronically ill or of retirement age, you are entitled to free gas safety checks from your gas supplier as part of the Priority Services Register scheme. To find out more about the scheme, click here.
Get repair work carried out immediately
If you suspect that any gas appliances in your home may be faulty, you should either:
- report this to your landlord immediately if you are renting, or
- get the appliance checked over by a registered gas engineer if you are a home owner.
Repairs to gas equipment must be carried out by registered gas engineers. You can find a registered installer through the Gas Safe Register website. You may want to get more than one quote for the repairs.
Before you let a gas engineer into your home, ask to see their Gas Safe Register identification first. If you’re not convinced that they’re genuine, check that the installer is listed on their website.
Remember – never DIY with gas, it’s dangerous and likely to be illegal.