Boiler & Gas Safety Checks Discussed by Total Boiler Services
Boiler & Gas Safety checks are essential whether you are a business or commercial property owner, or a homeowner as they ensure your boiler system is running safely and efficiently.
It is vitally important that gas appliances are checked and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Regular checks and services prevent gas leaks and stop carbon monoxide poisoning which causes thousands of unnecessary deaths every year.
As a homeowner, you should have all your gas appliances, flues and pipework, regularly maintained and serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If you are a landlord then by law you have to ensure any gas appliances in your property have annual gas safety checks and you have to prove they have been carried out with a Gas Safety Certificate.
Boiler Safety checks
Boiler services and safety checks assess if a boiler and its pipework are installed and positioned in the property correctly. The engineer will carry out tests to ensure the boiler is working safely and efficiently, as well as cleaning the necessary components inside the boiler. The engineer will check the boiler has the correct gas pressure and flow as this can be extremely dangerous if not. If during an annual boiler service the engineer assesses the boiler is unsafe then they are legally required to condemn the system and shut it down, they can also state in their report that work or repairs are needed and specify if these need to be carried out within a certain time frame otherwise the system will be condemned.
What is the difference between a boiler safety check and a service?
A safety check will confirm that your boiler is safe whilst a service ensures it is running efficiently. An annual check normally combines the two but you should always check this with your boiler specialist.
What are your gas safety responsibilities as a commercial property owner or business owner?
Duties of Employers and Self-employed Persons
35. It shall be the duty of every employer or self-employed person to ensure that any gas appliance, installation pipework or flue installed at any place of work under his control is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent the risk of injury to any person.
How often should you have a boiler safety check?
As an employer, commercial property owner or landlord, you legally have to have a gas safety check and gas safety certificate issued for each gas appliance and flue every 12 months.
What types of boilers need a safety check?
All types of boilers, whether they are gas or oil or electric should be serviced and checked annually to make sure they are working safely and efficiently.
Who should I use to do my gas boiler safety check?
A gas safety check should only be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. In the UK, all gas engineers must be on the Gas Safe Register to demonstrate they can work safely and legally on gas appliances.
What is a Gas Safe Registered engineer?
A Gas Safe registered engineer has the qualifications and experience to work on the gas appliance they are authorised to. Only Gas Safe registered engineers are legally allowed to work on gas heating systems, boilers, cookers, fires and any other gas appliances in the UK.
A Gas Safe registered engineer always carries an ID with their name, the gas systems they are registered to work with, as well as the Gas Safe yellow triangle. You should always check if an engineer is registered on the Gas Safe register by either calling the Gas Safe Register on 0800 408 5500 or visiting the Gas Safe website here.
What does a gas safety check include?
- The operating gas pressure, if it is working safely and to the manufacturer’s instructions
- The appliance’s heat input to ensure it is working safely and to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Any flue or chimney connected to the appliance is working effectively and isn’t a fire risk
- It checks the appliance size and gas input/output is suitable for the room or property
- The appliance is properly installed and the gas is burning correctly
- It checks is has been correctly installed and connected to the gas pipes properly
- There is an adequate and consistent air supply to ensure the gas has enough air to burn properly and cleanly
- All safety devices within the system are operating as they need to be
- Cleaning parts of the system as required
- Analysing the gas is burning in the system as it should do
What does a Gas Installation and Safety Check include?
- All of the above checks and in addition:
- All viewable gas pipework is checked to ensure it is in good condition
- Gas pipework is checked for leaks
The engineer carrying out the checks will provide you with a report showing the checks they have completed and the results of those checks.
Total Boilers Gas Safety Advice for Landlords or Commercial Property Owners
- As a landlord, you are legally required to have a Gas Installation Safety Check carried out under the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998
- You must have a gas safety check carried out on all gas appliances in each of your properties every 12 months
- You are not responsible for any gas appliances owned by a tenant in your property
The Health and Safety Executive Website has information on your legal responsibilities as a landlord
Landlord’s Responsibilities for Gas Safety
You are legally responsible for the safety of your tenants in relation to gas safety. By law you must:
- Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in a safe condition
- Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
- Keep a record of each safety check
You should also keep your tenants informed about their responsibilities whilst they are renting your property
The Gas Safe engineer provides the landlord with a Gas Safety Record (previously known as a certificate or a CP12).
As a landlord, you have to provide your tenant with a copy of the Gas Safety Record for the property at the start of their tenancy with you. You must also provide them with a copy of any further checks within 28 days of the check.
Gas Saftey Records
- Details of the landlord and the property address
- A description of the appliance or appliances tested
- The safety checks carried out on each appliance and the results
- Any safety issues which have been identified during the checks
- Any action or repairs needed to ensure safety
- Details of the Gas Safe engineer who carried out the checks, their signature and the date of the check
How long does a boiler safety check take?
A gas boiler service and safety check can take between 30 and 40 minutes to carry out, although larger commercial systems will take longer. If there are repairs that are needed then this will increase the time it takes to complete.
What happens if you don’t service your gas boiler?
- If you don’t service your boiler regularly and every 12 months, this often invalidates any warranty, meaning if it breaks down you may not be covered for the cost of parts and the repair
- The boiler won’t operate as efficiently and this will result in your energy costs being higher than they should be
- It may not be running safely and this can be dangerous.
What happens if you don’t have a Gas Safety Certificate as a landlord?
The penalties for non-compliance with Gas Safety can be up to £6,000 for every different offence and appliance which doesn’t have a valid certificate or even a 6 months prison sentence if the non-compliance is severe across multiple properties. If there are any injuries or deaths due to gas safety negligence in a rented property there is the possibility of being prosecuted for manslaughter with a prison sentence outcome.
Do homeowner’s need a Gas Safety check?
You aren’t legally required to have a Gas Safety check if you are a homeowner, however, you should have all gas appliances serviced every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure they are running safely and efficiently for you.
As a homeowner, your Gas Safe engineer should give you a report with a list of the checks they have carried out, including any work or repairs that are needed. They are legally allowed to condemn a domestic boiler if it is unsafe.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is undetectable through sight, smell or taste and this makes it extremely dangerous. Exposure to CO can cause long-term physical damage and it can be fatal. On average in the UK, 40 people die from carbon monoxide every year and around 200 people are admitted to hospital with severe symptoms.
What are the warning signs for Carbon Monoxide?
There are signs that your gas or heating appliances are producing carbon monoxide, however, they are still hard to detect and often not found. This is why an annual gas safety check for all gas appliances is essential, as well as having carbon monoxide detectors in the property.
- Condensation in rooms with gas appliances
- Soft yellow flames
- Sooty stains or discolouration around gas appliances
- Fumes or smoke in the house
- Slower than normal burning of solid fuel fires
What are the physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
- Visual problems
- Dry throat
What should you do if you think you have a carbon monoxide leak?
- Switch off all appliances
- Open doors and windows to ventilate the property
- Evacuate the property immediately
- Call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999 to report the incident, or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300 363
- Call for immediate medical help even if you don’t feel you have been affected by the carbon monoxide as symptoms can worsen quickly. You need to be assessed and monitored by a medical professional
- Do not re-enter the property until you have been told by an expert you are able to
Where should you fit carbon monoxide detectors?
- Carbon monoxide alarms should be fitted in the same room as any fuel-burning appliances, either wall or ceiling mounted. Place the alarm at head height, which is breathing height if you can.
- Fit them in any rooms which are occupied a lot
- Additional alarms should be located in any sleeping areas
- Keep your alarm at least one metre away from fires, boilers, cookers or heaters
- Don’t fit them in areas of or near high condensation and steam (eg kettles, cooker tops, showers).
- Ensure you test your carbon monoxide alarm regularly using the test button
- Replace the batteries when the low battery signal sounds
- Follow the instruction manual that came with your detector for fitting and replacing
Remember, you can never have too many smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home or business.
What carbon monoxide alarm should I buy?
Only buy CO alarms marked with the ‘EN50291’ standard. This can also be written as BSEN 50291 or EN50291 and with the ‘CE’ mark. These codes would be detailed on the product and packaging and it should also have a Kitemark or Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) logo which shows independent testing and certification.
Always remember, a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm must never be used in place of annual gas safety checks.
An annual safety check and service of your gas appliances is a legal requirement for any businesses, commercial property owners and landlords. Total Boiler Services are experts in Gas Safety checks and will ensure your boiler system is always in safe working order and operating efficiently saving you money on any potential increases to your energy costs.
Total Boiler Services Tips for Gas Safety in your Business
- Stay on top of safety and maintenance
- Service and have a gas safety check on all appliances annually
- Use a Gas Safe registered business/engineer for all services, installations and repairs
- Keep a record of any work or repairs that are carried out (reports and invoices)
- Test your CO alarms every month
- Replace your CO alarms every five years
- Consider a service plan with Total Boiler Services and we will ensure all of your fas appliances are checked and services as they need to be