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Top gas safety tips for tenants

Safety at home is the responsibility of everyone, whether you are a private homeowner, landlord or tenant. Gas safety is of primary importance. It is the responsibility of the property owner (landlord), to keep the gas appliances, efficient and safe in their property. It is common sense for tenants who live in the property, to ensure they are aware that gas appliances in their accommodation comply with gas safety regulations and that they’re safe and running at their optimum level.

Unchecked gas appliances may have faults, which lead to gas leaks, explosions, fires or Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Having your gas appliances checked by a gas safe registered engineer is paramount for safety. It is your landlord’s legal responsibility but it’s your health and safety that’s at risk. Most tenants will not be qualified and registered gas engineers so read on for some helpful home tips and specifically gas safe tips, to ensure you stay gas safe.

What is a gas safety certificate?

The first thing to check is that your property has a current gas safety record or Landlords’ Gas Safety Record (LGSR Certificate). The LSGR certificate is sometimes known as a CP12. Despite the different names, they are essentially the same document.

It is a legal requirement for all landlords to have the gas appliances in their property checked, serviced and tested annually by a qualified gas engineer, who is on the gas safety register. Once this is completed, the gas service engineer will issue a Landlords’ Gas Safety Record certificate (LGSR Certificate). If you have not seen this, ask your landlord or his agent, can I get a copy of my gas safe certificate.

The gas safety certificate explained

Once you have sight of your property’s LSGR certificate, Do you know what it should include? Make sure you stay gas safe. Here are some points to remember:

  • The gas safety record shows the checks and tests made on the property’s gas appliances, with the results. The LSGR certificate also records remedial actions taken.
  • Tenants are entitled to a copy of the LSGR certificate for the property where they reside, for existing tenants within 28 days of issue, and for new tenants before they move in – ideally at the time they sign the tenancy agreement.

What should you see on a gas safety record?

  • The signature, name and gas safe register number of the gas engineer who carries out the gas safety checks and service.
  • A full description and location of each gas appliance and flue checked, serviced and tested at the property.
  • The date the inspection and service completed.
  • The full address of the property, where the gas appliances and flues are installed.
  • The landlord’s name and address, or in the case of an agent, the agent’s name and address.
  • Recorded results of operational safety checks on all the property’s gas appliances.
  • The gas safety record should have a column that indicates if the gas appliance is safe to use. Make sure this annotated appropriately. It should be ticked, or marked yes if the appliance is safe to use.
  • A detailed note of any defects found.
  • Where they are defects indicated, check what they are. Sometimes the installation may not be to current standards, but still safe to use.
  • A detailed note of any remedial action taken, in response to the defects listed.

Checks carried out at the annual gas safety check, inspection and service.

  • A visual inspection of the boiler, casing, controls and immediate pipework.
  • A visual inspection of the installation of the boiler and immediate pipework, to ensure it is safe and situated away from potentially combustible materials.
  • Inspection and testing of flues to ensure they are not leaking and combustible materials transported outside efficiently.
  • Tests on the boiler, to ensure that it is working effectively, according to manufacturer’s standards. Checks on the airflow to ensure it is adequate, for the boiler to burn gas efficiently and safely.
  • Safety checks carried out on the boiler and related pipework to ensure there are no leaks.
  • Unsafe boilers may be shut down by the gas safe engineer until repaired.
  • The boiler casing removed and components checked and cleaned.

Gas safe registered engineers

Make sure the gas engineer is gas safe registered by checking the name and registration number on their ID card. On the back of the ID card, ensure that the gas engineer is qualified for the type of gas work they are undertaking. If in doubt, ring the gas safe register number to check.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Make sure your landlord fits a carbon monoxide alarm near all your gas appliances. Check the batteries on this regularly.

Make sure you are familiar with the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapse
  • Unconsciousness

Seek urgent medical advice if you believe you are affected by Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

What to look out for

Knowing what to look out for, to check if your gas appliances are working effectively is important. Any of the following could indicate a fault with your gas appliance.

  • Black marks and or stains around the appliance’s burners.
  • Sluggish, yellow flames
  • Too much water or condensation around the appliance when it is working

What you shouldn’t do

  • Only use gas appliances for their intended use. For example, do not cover gas heater with wet clothing, and do not use cookers as room heaters.
  • Do not block chimneys, flues or vents, which need to be open and allow a free flow of air for gas appliances, such as gas fires and gas boilers to work effectively and safely. If a new gas appliance is installed, make sure there is adequate ventilation.
  • Do not allow anyone to work on your gas appliances who is not gas safe registered.

Homeowner gas safety certificate

All of these gas safe tips apply to private homeowners too. Whilst it is not a legal requirement to have a homeowner gas safety certificate, it is prudent to have your gas appliances checked, inspected and serviced annually by a gas safe registered engineer. You will receive a homeowner gas safety certificate, which contains similar information to the LSGR certificate. It is worth noting that this certificate is normally required by your buyers when you are selling your house.

Hometree’s care plans options include annual gas safety checks for private homeowners and Landlords.

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