What is a Gas Safety Check?

Gas Flames

Figures released by the Gas Safe Register revealed that 6 deaths and 300 injuries occurred as a result of a gas related accident, in 2014.

A Gas Safety check is a small price to pay for the safety of you, your family or your tenants.

Below we have detailed some important information regarding this essential safety check, especially if you are a landlord or a tenant in a rented property:

What does the law say?

In the UK, it is a statutory duty for all landlords of residential properties to ensure that:

  • all gas appliances, pipes and flues are maintained

  • an annual gas safety check is carried out on each appliance and flue

  • record for the annual check is kept and copies provided to the tenant

A Gas Safety Check is a legal requirement under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, so failing to provide a tenant with a “safe” property could lead to prosecution.

What is involved in a Gas Safety check?

Anything that carries a gas supply; provided by a landlord to a tenant, as part of the rental agreement, should be checked annually by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

So if your boiler is due its annual check, the following briefly details what is involved:

  • The gas appliance will have a gas tightness test which examines the gas pressure inside the property’s pipe work.

  • The burner pressure and gas rate will be checked against the manufacturer’s data plate where the important information regarding your gas appliance is held.

  • Checks will be completed to ensure that there is suitable ventilation provided.

  • A flue flow test will be carried out to ensure there are no blockages.

  • Flame failure devices will be tested to ensure they are operating correctly.

  • If appropriate, stability brackets will be checked to ensure they are present and effective.

  • If any evidence is found of unsafe operation, this will be immediately reported and logged.

What can you expect to see on the Gas Safety Certificate?

It is important that a record of your gas safety check is kept by the landlord and also a copy provided to the tenant. Here is what should be included as part of the certificate:

  • the address of the property at which the appliance or flue is installed

  • the name and address of the landlord (or their agent where appropriate)

  • the name, registration number and signature of the engineer carrying out the check

  • a description and location of each appliance or flue checked

  • the date on which the appliance or flue was checked

  • any safety-related defect identified and any remedial action taken

  • confirmation that the safety check has included an examination as set out in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

Who should conduct the Gas Safety Check?

All inspections must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. After the inspection a Gas Safety Certificate will be issued for proof of inspection; both tenant and landlord should keep a copy.

When should the check be conducted?

The Gas Safety Check should be carried out annually.  If yours is due in the autumn it is always best to book your inspection well ahead of time as gas engineers can often be very busy at this time of year.

To ensure you stay up to date with your gas safety obligations you can subscribe to the domestic gas email newsletter from the Health and Safety Executive.  By subscribing to our Saunders’ blog you can also receive regular updates on gas as well as electrical safety for landlords, Housing Associations and residential home owners.