Gas Safe urges need for annual gas boiler servicing

June 2014

Latest research from Gas Safe underlines the importance of annual boiler servicing and gas safety checks.

Research conducted by Gas Safe Register between 2012 and 2013 amongst owner-occupied and privately rented homes across the UK found:

  • 1 in 3 people do not have their gas appliances checked or maintained
  • 1 in 6 homes has an unsafe appliance
  • 1 in 11 boilers checked by Gas Safe were unsafe
  • 1 in 10 people don’t check that their gas engineer is registered
  • There are 3,000 illegal installations

Looking at the research findings in more detail, private tenants are at an even greater risk than homeowners from a gas explosion, fire, escape of gas, or CO poisoning.

Property owners are being urged to properly maintain their heating systems, as per the regulations, following research into gas safety in homes across the country. The research, by Gas Safe, reveals the scale to which guidelines are not being followed and highlights the need for landlords, particularly, to have heating systems checked annually, fulfilling their legal obligation and keeping their tenants safe.

Inspectors found that gas work in more than one in five (22%) privately rented properties was unsafe and could have resulted in a fire, escape of gas, explosion or CO poisoning. This compared to 16% of privately owned homes found to be unsafe and just 12% of homes rented through a local authority or housing association. With 4.1 million privately let properties in Britain, these figures suggest there could be around 900.000 homes at risk.

To reduce the amount of unsafe rented accommodation, Gas Safe Register strongly recommends that both tenants and landlords sign up to a free annual gas safety reminder service at Those who sign up will be sent an email telling them when their gas appliances are due for their annual safety check. “We would expect private tenants to be safer than homeowners, as landlords are legally obliged to maintain appliances and flues and get them checked on an annual basis. However, our investigations show that in reality, this is simply not the case,” says Russell Kramer, chief executive of Gas Safe Register.

“Some landlords aren’t taking their responsibilities seriously and, by the same token, tenants are not aware of their rights. This is why we’re urging tenants and landlords to sign up to the free gas safety check reminder service.”

Landlords have a legal duty to tenants under the Gas Safety (installation & Use) Regulations 1998 to ensure that all gas appliances and flues are safe. This involves arranging for gas appliances and pipe work to be safety checked by a registered engineer every 12 months. There are no legal requirements for homeowners to carry out the same checks, but it is strongly recommended.

Landlords are also legally responsible for any repair work required for gas appliances and pipework. Landlords who do not fulfil their legal obligations can result in fines or, in some cases, imprisonment. Russell continues “Signing up for an annual gas safety reminder can help landlords stay on the right side of the law and, most importantly, keep their tenants safe.”

If you need to arrange your annual boiler check or, if you are unsure of when yours is due, please contact us.

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