Gas appliances present a potentially dangerous situation if they are not checked within the recommended safety guidelines. Since the introduction of legislation in 1994, all private landlords are required to have their gas appliances checked annually. Rental properties with a collective meter must also be checked.
Getting a gas safety check every year is one of the most effective ways you can stay safe in your own home. But what exactly does this process involve?
Here, we look at some of the vital things you should know about gas safety checks.
What exactly is a gas safety check?
The gas safety check assesses the safety performance of gas equipment, appliances and systems, and is required by law for any premises that use gas. Any leaks or defects can be easily detected with our non-invasive testing equipment – which will give you peace of mind that your gas equipment is safe and efficient.
A gas safety check will include an inspection of all pipework and appliances to make sure they’re working safely and efficiently and a report of any potential hazards.
Simply put, a gas safety check is a quick and straightforward way to ensure your home’s gas appliances are safe.
What is included in a gas safety check?
A gas safety check involves examining your boiler and flue for damage and inspecting the ventilation in your home, before providing advice on how to prevent carbon monoxide buildup. If you need a new boiler or central heating system, the gas safety check is also an opportunity to get expert advice on which system is best suited to meet your heating needs, and a written quotation.
Gas Safety Certified operatives will carry out gas checks on heating and cooking equipment, as well as potential gas leaks. They will also provide you with information on your rights and responsibilities with regards to gas safety.
The safety check is split into two parts:
- Visually inspecting the installation is where your appliance is installed. This includes checking the pipework, flue and appliances for any potential dangers
- Ocular inspection which uses an optical gas leak detector (OLGD) to detect either methane or carbon monoxide CH4 and CO respectively.
A gas safety check will give you peace of mind that your appliances are safe, efficient and ready for use. It only takes a few minutes to complete and all you need to do is set aside some time to get an engineer over. This appointment must be conducted by a gas safe qualified engineer who’ll carry out the necessary inspections.
How long do gas safety checks take?
The inspection should take between 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the system. It is recommended that all gas appliances are taken out of use during this time and the homeowner is advised if any safety issues are found.
An inspector will turn off your gas supply at the meter and then do a visual inspection of your gas appliances and flues. They’ll also check that all your gas appliances are in good working order, including appliances like cookers, boilers and heaters. Ensure you have a yearly gas safety check by a Gas Safe registered engineer to guarantee that your appliances are safe and efficient.
How do I arrange my gas safety check?
Getting a gas safety check is a piece of cake. It takes 15 minutes and will give you peace of mind. A Gas Safe registered engineer will visit your home and inspect for gas leaks, fixtures, flues, and installations. You can book this service on the website of your local gas safe qualified plumber or engineer. If you are anywhere in the Hampshire area, Hampshire Plumbers at hampshireplumbers.co.uk is a good place to get started.
You will need to provide details about the location of your gas appliances, fixtures and fittings for the inspection. You may need to be present for the inspection; if so, an appointment will be made to suit your needs and schedule.
Does a service and a gas safety check differ?
A gas safety check and a service are both inspections of the gas installation in your property, but they differ in what is inspected. For example, a gas safety check involves a routine inspection of the appliances and pipework in your home. A service is more extensive, and includes replacing any worn or damaged parts along with recommending ways to prolong the life of your appliances.
A gas safety check also differs from a service in the amount of time the engineer spends at your property. A typical service may take 2 – 3 hours, and requires the engineer to check all key components of your boiler system. Gas safety checks usually take around 30 minutes, and only include a visual inspection of the main parts of your boiler system.
Both an annual service and a gas safety check will protect you against gas leaks but in different ways. A service ensures your appliances are safe to use, looking at the mechanical parts and making any necessary repairs. A gas safety check is a once a year safety inspection which checks that all the gas appliances are installed correctly and comply with current building regulations. The Gas Safety Register now recommends that all domestic gas appliances should be checked every year.
Why get a gas safety check?
There are many benefits to getting your gas boiler checked. Essentially, a gas safety inspection will ensure that your appliance is safe and working as intended.
Getting a gas safety check is an easy first step to prevent the fatal risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. When your appliances are serviced, safety checks carried out and appliance parts replaced as needed, you’ll be reassured that you and your family are protected.
A gas safety check is the only way to ensure that your appliances are working safely and maintaining compliance with building regulations and gas legislation. A gas safety check will also reveal whether you could benefit from energy-efficiency improvements, using less energy to heat or power your home.
What happens after a gas safety check?
Your gas safety check is normally completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If everything is satisfactory, the Gas Safe registered engineer will issue your household with an official certificate. It’s a legal document that proves your gas appliances have undergone an annual safety check and are safe to use.
If the gas safety check results are good, then there is generally no reason to think you have a problem other than your being unaware of what is happening. If however there is a fault found during the follow-up inspection then you will be advised about it’s seriousness and what needs to happen to rectify the problem. If there are any problems with your appliances or pipework, you should get these fixed straight away – do not risk having an accident by using potentially faulty equipment.
As time goes on and gas appliances ages, new measures have to be taken to make sure they are safe and reliable for use. Your gas service is one of your most valuable safety features, so it’s vital to keep it in perfect condition.