On the 6th of April, a new law passed in respect of the timing of gas safety certificates. A gas safety certificate can be carried out up to two months before the expiry date without the renewal date changing. So it gives more leeway for landlords and plumbers. Allowing them to carry out these checks up to two months before the end of the current certificate.
Before, records needed to be retained for at least 2 years. Now the amending regulations state to keep the last two records as a minimum.
This is a very subtle difference. Theoretically, gas safety record completion could be up to 14 months after being due. and so if it were left as only two years, there could be a situation where only one record needed retaining. The change fixes this potential problem.
The new rules do not change the landlord’s obligation to carry out a gas safety check. Landlords now have flexibility offered by the rules.
What is a gas safety check?
- Check with the occupant to determine if there are any problems with the gas installation/appliance.
- Check that all gas appliances have an adequate supply of air.
- Ensure the effective operation of an appliance, control taps and ignition system and any supervision device is fitted.
- Inspect the flame picture of any burner
- Check clearances for combustible materials eg. Kitchen cupboards etc.
- Ensure the stability of the appliance (including the supply of bracket of hook and chain on gas cookers)
- Inspect the gas installation pipework and where applicable any flexible connections
- Open flues:-
- Check the condition and full route of the flue. Where applicable, ensure any terminal/chimney pot is suitable
- Inspect the appliance connection to any flue liner or chimney. In the case of a black back boiler check the seals of all pipe ducts and voids entering the building’s opening.
- Perform a flue flow check
- For a gas fire, inspect it and clear the catchment space, check that any dampers have been removed or fixed in the open position.
- Using any guidance given and manufacturer instructions, test the appliance for spillage
- Room sealed appliances:-
- Inspect case and site glass seal on appliance replace it if necessary
- Check the position of the terminal. Clearance for corners, vegetation etc. Ensure the terminal guide is fitted as appropriate.
- Check the operating pressure or heat input rate or, where necessary, ensure both are correct
- Test all controls to ensure that the operation is satisfactory.
- Test all disturbed gas connections for tightness using leak detection fluid. Carry out a full gas tightness test if necessary.
- Inform the gas user of any further work required or make recommendations as necessary
If a wall or ceiling hides the chimney/flue preventing its inspection. An inspection hatch should be fitted. Gas safety guidance states to classify the chimney/flue as a risk if it cannot be inspected. You will need to ensure that your gas engineer checks everything for you.
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