Never just assume that gas safety isn’t an issue for the property you choose to live in. Carbon monoxide poisoning and other dangers are real and you need to take precautions to protect yourself and other housemates.
It’s the law that your landlord ensures your gas appliances are safe. Knowing your rights about this issue could be the difference between life and death if you have faulty equipment.
The main dangers of fault gas appliances are:
Carbon monoxide is a gas that can quickly kill you with very little warning. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, nausea, feeling out of breath, collapse and loss of consciousness.
If your landlord has not fitted an audible carbon monoxide alarm you should do so. They are cheap and you can buy a battery powered one from any DIY shop.
In April 2007 several Oxford University students nearly died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Their parents had bought them a carbon monoxide detector, and this saved their lives.
What your landlord is responsible for
The Gas Safe Register say that to be safe and legal your landlord must:
Carry out an annual gas safety check and regular service on gas appliances in your home including gas boilers, cookers, hobs and gas fires. These checks must be carried out using a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Provide you with a landlord's gas safety record (also known as a certificate) for the gas appliances. Ask for a copy of this before you move in or after the check has been carried out. By law, a safety check must be done every year.
Remember to always:
Check the ID card of any gas engineer that comes to do work in your home.
Cooperate with your landlord and let a Gas Safe registered engineer in when a gas safety check or service has to be done.
Make sure you know your rights when you rent. Download the Gas Safe Register student factsheet for all the information you need to keep safe.
If your landlord refuses to service and safety check the gas appliances they have provided they are breaking the law. You can complain to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) via the HSE website.
If you smell gas, or think there might be a gas leak, call the gas emergency number for your area.