14 per cent of landlords polled did not know they had a legal obligation to have their properties checked for gas safety every year.
The news comes during Gas Safety Week, an industry-wide campaign to raise awareness of gas safety. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills around 40 people each year[i], yet the research of 741 landlords in England found that many weren’t aware of their obligation to keep properties gas safe. When asked whether their properties had an active gas safety certificate (CP12) and boiler serviced each year, only 90 per cent of landlords confirmed they did, with seven per cent saying ‘most/some/none’ had the relevant certificate and safety checks, leaving three per cent unable to confirm if their tenants were protected from carbon monoxide poisoning.
An annual gas safety check and certificate for rented properties is required by law, and is the responsibility of the landlord. Gas safety checks pick up a range of problems including faulty boilers, and are vital in helping to prevent gas leaks, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning, all of which can kill. Landlords who fail to meet gas safety regulations in the homes they rent can face fines and even imprisonment.
Shelter and British Gas have joined forces to improve conditions in private rental homes. This Gas Safety Week, they’re calling on landlords to ensure they meet their gas safety responsibilities, and for tenants to do their bit too.
- Know your obligations. You need a gas safety check and record or certificate (CP12) on each property every year. Give a copy to your tenants to keep safe.
- Install a CO monitor in your properties. You can buy one online and have it delivered direct to your tenants to install themselves with minimal effort.
- If you have several properties, British Gas can arrange for your gas safety certificate to be available online, so you can download or print them whenever you need them.
- Get more advice here: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/landlords/gas-safety-certificate.html
- Know your rights. Your landlord is legally obliged to have a gas safety check done every year, and to give you a copy of the property’s gas safety certificate (CP12). If you don’t know whether your property is safe, just ask.
- Look for signs of staining, soot or discoloration on, or around your gas boiler, fire or water heater. These can be signs of carbon monoxide. Keep vents in doors, walls or windows clear to ensure gas fumes can safely escape your home.
- Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be similar to the flu.
- If you notice anything wrong, stop using the appliance immediately, open windows and doors to ventilate your home and call the Gas Emergency Services Helpline on 0800 111 999 (24hrs). You should also seek medical advice.
- Get more advice here: http://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/gas-and-electricity/gas-safety.html
Shelter’s chief executive Campbell Robb said:“It’s horrifying to think that so many family homes across the country are potentially threatening renters’ lives, all because simple gas safety checks aren’t taking place. Nobody should have to live in a place that puts their health at risk, especially when so many gas safety accidents are entirely preventable.
“Renters deserve to know that their homes are not just accidents waiting to happen. Landlords must carry out gas safety checks every year. Failing to do so is not just against the law, it is a danger to peoples’ lives, and that just can’t carry on.”
British Gas engineer Ben Whitehouse, said: “There are many things that tenants can do make sure their home is gas safe. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer and can leak from a range of household appliances. Even shared flues and chimneys can cause carbon monoxide to be released. That’s why it’s so important to fit a carbon monoxide alarm.
“Children and older people are particularly at risk. Regular servicing of fuel-burning appliances, good ventilation and the use of audible CO detectors will help to reduce risk of this silent killer.”
Notes to editors
- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1064 adults letting residential property in the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th December - 19th December 2013. The survey was carried out online. The results in this release are based on 741 landlords that lived in England and let properties with a gas supply.
About carbon monoxide poisioning
- Exposure to carbon monoxide gas can be fatal and the main sources are faulty gas boilers or heaters. Because you can’t see, hear or taste carbon monoxide it can be difficult to detect.
- Smoke alarms do not detect carbon monoxide, so you should fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm to keep you and your family safe.
- British Gas is offering 20% off carbon monoxide detectors to Shelter website visitors to help you stay safe in your home. Shelter visitors can get their carbon monoxide detector for £23.99 instead of the standard price of £29.99. http://england.shelter.org.uk/shop/partner_offers/british_gas_-_stay_safe_in_your_home
About British Gas
British Gas is the UK's leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain –nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Home Services expertise in the country. Find out more at http://www.britishgas.co.uk/
Shelter helps over three million people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness, and campaigns to prevent it in the first place. We’re here so no-one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own. To find our more visit www.shelter.org.uk
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