All private landlords have to make sure the gas supply and any gas appliances they provide to their tenants are safe.
Dangers of gas
If the gas appliances in your home are unsafe you could be at risk of fire, explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide gas is invisible and odourless. It is poisonous and can kill. Your landlord will only have to install a carbon monoxide alarm if a new gas heating appliance or gas boiler was installed after 31 October 2012. A detector could save your life, so if your landlord won't provide one, you should buy your own.
If you think there is a gas leak in your building, telephone the gas emergency number immediately on 0800 002 001. Your gas supplier will disconnect the gas supply or appliance if it is unsafe or the risk is too great.
You have a legal responsibility not to use appliances that you know or think might be unsafe. If there is a gas leak, report the leak to the gas supplier immediately.
Gas safety inspections
Gas Safe Register oversees the register of gas engineers who are qualified to work with gas in Northern Ireland. Only gas engineers on the Gas Safe Register can service or work safely and legally on gas installations and appliances.
Every house, bedsit or flat that has gas must have a valid gas safety record. A gas safety record is valid for 12 months and issued by an engineer on the Gas Safe Register who has inspected and checked gas safety compliance. Before issuing a gas safety record, the engineer checks:
- the gas supply
- gas appliances
- gas flues
If the gas engineer notices any problems, the landlord must fix these by employing a gas engineer on the Gas Safe Register. Landlords must keep the gas safety record for at least two years and keep proof of all gas-related works carried out. Ask for a copy of the gas safety record when you move in. The gas safety record must show a gas safety check for each gas appliance in your accommodation.
It is a criminal offence if a landlord does not give you a copy of a valid gas safety record. The Health and Safety Executive can prosecute your landlord. Your landlord could be fined or even imprisoned.
You can minimise risks to you in your home, by:
- asking your landlord for a copy of the gas safety record
- reporting any faulty equipment or problems to your landlord immediately
- using carbon monoxide detectors
- contacting the gas supplier immediately, if you suspect there is a gas leak
- planning what to do in case of fire and knowing all escape routes
- keeping electrical and gas appliances in good condition
- making sure that smoke alarms are fitted and in working order
- making sure that exit routes are clear.