A gas safety check is designed to ensure that any gas appliances in your property are running safely. Every household with appliances that run on gas, such as gas cookers, fires or boilers, should have a safety check every year. It is important to note that a safety check is NOT the same as an annual service, and to ensure that appliances continue to run safely and efficiently an annual service should also be carried out. When you have an annual service, a safety check with an in-depth inspection of appliances, vents, flues and gas pipework will also be carried out at the same time, so it is not necessary to book the two separately.
By law, gas safety checks and annual services can only be carried out by Gas Safe Registered engineers.
Landlords, housing associations, holiday let owners, bed and breakfast owners, hotels, hostels, colleges, schools and local authorities are all required by law to have an annual safety check, and are also required to provide evidence of this to their tenants. This can be with a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate or CP12, both of which can be provided by the engineer that carries out the inspection.
During your safety check, the engineer will check the following:
- That any safety devices on appliances are working – for example, your engineer will check that safety cut out devices are operating correctly.
- That the device is securely fitted, and properly connected to the gas pipework.
- The engineer will make sure that chimneys and flues are clear and operating correctly so that gasses and fumes from your appliances are safely vented to the outside of your property.
- Your gas engineer will check that the appliance is burning gas correctly.
- The air supply to your appliance will be checked to make sure that it is sufficient.
- The operating pressure of the appliance will be checked to make sure that it is operating within the correct parameters.
Failure to maintain or check your gas appliances regularly can lead not only to breakdowns and inefficient operation but also to the possibility of harmful gasses such as carbon monoxide escaping within the premises, the results of which can lead to long-term health problems or even be fatal.
Depending on your circumstances, some households may be entitled to free safety checks. If you are on means-tested benefits, contact your energy supplier directly for further information about whether you may be eligible for a free check.