Gas watchdog hots up on safety checks

Gas watchdog hots up on safety checks

14:28 PM, 27th October 2010, About 14 years ago

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Landlords are urged to check out gas safety at their properties and to make sure properly qualified fitters are carrying out work on boilers, heating and cookers.

Student landlords should carry out safety checks before the start of the new academic year, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the organisation responsible for enforcing gas safety rules.

The HSE has set up a special online advice section for landlords detailing the legal requirements.

Landlords can view the help sheets and FAQ guides by clicking here.

By law landlords must:

  • Repair and maintain gas pipe work, flues and appliances in safe condition
  • Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
  • Keep records of safety checks

The HSE also suggests landlords should have a clear clause in their contract with a letting agent to show who is responsible for carrying out the gas checks.

The warning follows yet another landlord paying heavy fines in court for gas maintenance offences at a rented property.

Richard Elliot, of Pennsylvania Road, Exeter pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations (1998) when he appeared before Honiton Magistrates’ Court.

He was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,787 costs.

An HSE investigation showed Elliot failed to safely isolate and cap the live gas pipe, and left the work partially completed when installing a new boiler at his buy-to-let flat in Old Tiverton Road, Exeter.

The tenant, a grandmother, was visited by her grandchildren, aged five and seven, every day before worries about the safety of the boiler installation were voiced when someone from Exeter City Council inspected the flat.

HSE Inspector, Simon Jones, said: “The pipe work left in the flat was extremely dangerous and could have led to a major gas explosion if one of the children had simply twisted the valve to let the gas escape.

“Working with gas supplies is a specialised job and must only be carried out by trained engineers who are members of the Gas Safe Register, to minimise any risk of death or serious injury resulting from gas leaks or explosions.

“Landlords should check that gas fitters are members of the Gas Safe Register before work starts. Do not be tempted to do the work yourself – you could be putting your life at risk.”

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