Listed below are some commonly asked questions, regarding Landlords Gas Safety Checks.
What is a Gas Safety Check?
As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. You must ensure that all gas appliances are working correctly and safely.
Therefore, every rental property that has any sort of gas appliance, whether it be a central heating boiler, gas hob or even a gas fire, requires a Gas Safety Certificate. These certificates can only be issued by a technician registered with the Gas Safe Register. All our engineers are registered with the Gas Safe Register.
The Gas Safe Register superseded CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers) as the sole legally recognised gas safety register in the UK on 1st April 2009. Gas Certificates are valid for a year from the date they are issued.
How much does a Gas Safety Check cost?
The cost of a Gas Safety Check depends on, the number of appliances to be tested, the type of appliance and whether or not any remedial work is required to bring the appliance up to the required standard.
Standard costs are:
One room sealed modern boiler £60
Boiler and Gas Hob £70
Boiler, Gas Hob and Gas Fire £85
Back Boiler and Fire Unit £100 (See below)
Some properties are still fitted with an open flued Back Boiler Unit and Fire Front. By their very nature of being an open flued appliance, these must be completely stripped, Serviced and thoroughly checked for correct operation. Purpose provided ventilation must be present, and correctly sized for the appliance. A carbon monoxide alarm must also be installed in any room with an open flued appliance.
Open flued appliances MUST be stripped and cleaned, and their flues checked for correct operation annually. If these type of appliances are neglected they can be deadly! The simple reason is that unlike a modern gas boiler that totally seals its products of combustion from the room via a mechanical seal, an open flued appliance has no seal and in the event of a malfunction the flue gases can spill back into the room, potentially being fatal to any occupants.
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. By law landlords must make sure:
- pipe-work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition
- that all appliances and flues that they provide for tenants use have an annual safety check
- that 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
- they keep a copy of the gas safety record for two years
What does a Gas Safety Check Involve?
A gas safety certificate or check involves a Gas Safe registered engineer inspecting your gas appliance(s). They will check the appliance is working correctly and will check the following four areas:
- Gas appliances are on the right setting and burning correctly with the correct operating pressure
- Harmful gases are being removed from the appliance safely to the air outside
- That any ventilation routes are clear and working properly
- All the safety devices are working
The check will identify any defects which require remedial work. You should have a gas safety check every year. If you are a landlord this is the law.
Some properties, mainly flats and apartments, have been built with boiler flues which cannot be inspected because they are hidden behind walls or ceilings. The boiler flues that this information relates to are connected to room-sealed fan assisted boilers only. Gas Safe registered engineers need to be able to see the flue – which take fumes away from the boiler – as part of essential safety checks whenever the boiler is worked on. Room sensing carbon monoxide alarms are not an alternative to being able to see the flue and you will still need to have inspection hatches fitted so that the flue system can be checked.It is recommended that inspection hatches are fitted as soon as you are able to do so. From 1 January 2013, any Gas Safe registered engineer will classify the boiler as At Risk, this means that they will turn the boiler off, with your permission, and formally advise you not to use it until inspection hatches have been fitted in appropriate places.
Gas Safety Certificate Fail?
On your Gas Safety Certificate it will indicate if your certificate has failed by stating if either or all appliances are ‘Not Safe to use’ as a tick box. At the bottom of the gas certificate it will also state the failure findings with a code. Below you will find the definitions of what each code means.
‘Immediately Dangerous’ (ID)
An “immediately dangerous” installation is one which, if operated or left connected to a gas supply, is considered to be an immediate danger to life or property.
The installation will be disconnected, with your permission, and must not be used until the necessary work has been carried out to repair the defect(s). If you continue to use an immediately dangerous installation you could be putting you or your family’s lives in danger.
If you refuse the gas engineer permission to disconnect the installation or an individual appliance, they will report the situation to the Gas Emergency Service Provider (ESP). The ESP has legal powers to demand entry to make the situation safe or may disconnect the gas supply to the property.
‘At Risk’ (AR)
An “at risk” installation is where one or more recognised faults are present which could constitute a danger to life or property without further faults developing.
With your permission, the installation will be turned off and should not be used again until the fault has been repaired.
‘Not to Current Standards’ (NCS)
Over time, industry standards may change and, as a result, existing installations may not always meet the current safety requirements. A “not to current standards” installation is one which does not meet with current standards, but is safe. You may however wish to improve the installation to meet current standards as this could improve the reliability and lifespan of the installation. If the installation has been carried out recently, you should contact the registered gas business that carried out the work to correct any identified faults. For older installations your gas engineer can advise you whether the installation should be brought in line with current standards.
It is always a good idea to bring an installation up to current standards, but that will often depend upon whether the work can be undertaken at reasonable cost, or whether any other work is likely to be carried out on the installation in the near future, such as a replacement appliance.
Why do I need a CO Alarm?
You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but it can kill quickly and with no warning.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. It is only when the fuel does not burn properly that excess CO is produced, which is poisonous. When CO enters the body, it prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs.
You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but CO can kill quickly without warning. Every year around 12 people die from CO poisoning caused by gas appliances and flues that have not been properly installed, maintained or that are poorly ventilated. Increasing public understanding of the risks of CO poisoning and taking sensible precautions could dramatically reduce this risk.
There are signs that you can look out for which indicate incomplete combustion is occurring and may result in the production of CO:
- yellow or orange rather than blue flames (except fuel effect fires or flueless appliances which display this colour flame)
- soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances
- pilot lights that frequently blow out
- increased condensation inside windows
Because carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour. Gas Safe Register strongly recommends you fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home or property.
Smoke alarms do not detect carbon monoxide.