All you need to know about gas safety


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The Independent Online

Paying attention to your gas system is extremely important to guarantee the safety of you and your family. Andy Harris, the owner of Greenserve, is a five-star rated plumbing and heating engineer on, he helps us answer those FAQ’s
in terms that we can all understand.

What does it mean for a heating engineer to be ‘Gas Safe’?

To be classified as Gas Safe, a heating engineer will have to have trained for their Gas Safe certification. As Andy reveals, the tradesman 'has to go through an apprenticeship with a Gas Safe registered company for up to three years'. It’s important to check the heating engineer’s Gas Safe ID card to check what work they are qualified to carry out before you allow them to work in your home, as there are different levels to being Gas Safe.

What is a gas check?

A gas check involves the Gas Safe registered heating engineer assessing the safety of your appliances and checking that the system is working as it should. They will check:

  1. Ventilation passages are not blocked and are in fully working order
  2. The safety devices are operating efficiently
  3. The appliance is burning at the correct operating pressure
  4. Harmful gases are transferring cleanly outside of the home

How often should a gas check be carried out?

As a homeowner, you should arrange for this check to be carried out every 12 months.

Andy explains that 'landlords have a duty of care to their tenants' to make their properties gas safe by obtaining a Gas safety certificate (CP12) every 12 months. This is enforced by law under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. It’s always worth checking the lease as some commercial properties hold the tenant accountable for arranging for this annual check after the initial valid certificate expires.

According to Andy, the best time to arrange for the check is during the summer months each year as 'during winter, everyone’s rammed and you should be pre-empting that. It’s more cost-efficient as normally you can get a boiler service and gas check together for a reduced price'.

How long does it take and why is it important?

"The gas safety check takes up to an hour and it’s important because carbon monoxide kills," says Andy. Problems with boiler safety such as blocked ventilation tubes will cause carbon monoxide to build up and if this is being released inside of the home, it is a serious health risk - so it’s always better to get your gas system checked.

Does a homeowner have to be present during the gas check?

It’s a homeowner’s choice whether he/she is present during the check. Andy explains that if you wish, 'you can leave the engineer to it and he’ll leave the certificate on the table. Everything’s more automated now and the history of work on the home is stored electronically'. So, your heating engineer may not need to question you about your last service if this was with the same company.

To find a tradesman to carry out your annual gas check, post your job here.