NLA Local Representative for Norfolk, Emma Hunter, gives us her advice on gas safety ahead of Gas Safety Week starting on the 10th September…
One of the key maintenance items highlighted on my list is the annual gas safety check of all gas appliances and installations I provide for my tenants. As a landlord, I have a legal obligation to check my gas appliances every 12 months using a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Providing homes for people is a big responsibility so it is essential that I put my tenants’ safety first. Failure to carry out gas safety checks could result in a carbon monoxide (CO) leak which could have fatal effects. CO is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas which is highly poisonous and can kill within hours, or cause serious illness through long-term exposure. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness and loss of consciousness.
All landlords should look to protect their tenants to the best of their ability and comply with the annual gas safety checks. These are essential for both mains gas and liquefied petroleum gas appliances including hobs and gas fires. And the person completing the checks must be registered with Gas Safe. All Gas Safe registered engineers will have been trained in gas safety and the standards needed for appliances and installations.
To find a qualified technician in your area, visit the Gas Safe website. You can also verify a gas engineer’s status by checking their unique reference number against the Gas Safe Register.
As well as carrying out an annual gas safety check, you can protect your tenants from the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your properties. The detector will warn tenants of a leak. But remember that a carbon monoxide detector is no substitute for regular gas safety checks.
It’s also important to show tenants where the emergency gas shut off valve is, in case of emergency. And if tenants suspect an appliance is faulty or dangerous, they can contact the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999.
If you use a letting agent to manage your properties, be aware that it is your responsibility to ensure gas appliances are safe. It’s always worth sending your letting agent an email to remind them that the checks are due. And don’t forget to ask them to distribute copies of the certificate to you and your tenants and within 28 days of the checks. If there is an incident or a query, you will need the engineer’s details and date of certification to hand.
Landlords wishing to purchase a carbon monoxide detector can do so from the NLA’s Online Shop at www.landlords.org.uk/shop
In support of Gas Safety Week, the NLA’s gas safety advice and guidance will be free to access during September. Find out more about their gas safety obligations by visiting the NLA’s Online Library at http://www.landlords.org.uk/library/safety/gas.
Remember: SAFETY FIRST