What is a Gas Safety Certificate and how to know your property is gas safe
As Gas Safety Week celebrates its twelfth consecutive year, many of us are tightening our belts with the increase in the cost of living. Whilst budgeting may be on all our agendas, with the winter ahead it is crucial to ensure that you and your family are kept warm and safe over the colder months to come.
As part of Gas Safety Week, we have put together an essential guide to help you determine if your home is safe, registered with the Gas Safe Register, and how to find a gas safe engineer if your boiler or appliances need an autumn check-up.
What could happen if you don’t regularly inspect your gas appliances?
Gas Safety Week is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of our appliances and ensure that everyone is properly informed. Poorly and badly fitted gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide poses one of the biggest threats when it comes to gas safety, as it can kill with no warning and can’t be seen, smelled, tasted or touched. There are approximately 200 carbon monoxide poisonings that require hospital admission each year in England and Wales. This is one reason why the Gas Safety Week initiative was created by Gas Safe Register, along with the official list of gas engineers who are officially registered to work with gas.
What is the Gas Safe Register?
The Gas Safe Register is the UK’s only official gas qualification regulatory body. By law, all businesses offering gas-related services are required to be registered with the Gas Safe Register to ensure they and their engineers meet stringent quality and competence checks.
Originally set-up to replace the former regulatory body CORGI, the Gas Safe Register regularly monitors all businesses with a current Gas Safe certificate and assesses Gas Safe qualified engineers operating on public, commercial and residential properties.
Top Tip: When looking for a company or self-employed engineer, always check that they are registered with the Gas Safe Register before allowing them to carry out any maintenance on your home, boiler or appliances.
Is Gas Safe registration a legal requirement?
All gas businesses and engineers must hold a Gas Safe certificate to work on gas and gas-reliant equipment legally. Companies or individuals offering to complete gas works without being registered with the Gas Safe Register risk being prosecuted and put you and your family in danger.
As a homeowner, you are not legally obligated to obtain a Gas Safety certificate or submit your home to annual checks to a Gas Safe registered engineer if you live in your home. However, commercial buildings are required by law to have their gas infrastructure and appliances checked and approved as safe every 12 months minimum. This also applies to landlords who are actively renting their property to tenants.
Top Tip: By law, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, commonly known as ‘patio gas’) suppliers and fitters require a Gas Safe certificate to operate, as well as mains gas engineers. You can find an LPG Gas Safe registered engineer via the Gas Safe Register.
How can I check if my property has a gas safety certificate?
By law, all UK properties must comply with the strict measures defined by UK Building Regulations. This includes ensuring that any gas-dependent appliances and heating systems meet the Gas Safe standards.
When purchasing a property, we recommend that during the exchanging of contracts a full survey is carried out to ensure that you have peace of mind that your new home meets these standards. However, if you purchased your property without this, you can retrospectively check with the Gas Safe Register to see if your property has a gas safe certificate and/or building regulations compliance certificate assigned to it. Full details on how to make enquiries can be found on the Gas Safe Register website.
Top Tip: If you are the first owner of a new build property, or your property is within its ten-year new build guarantee, you may be able to contact the original developers and request a copy of the certificate for your records as this would have been completed during the construction of your property.
How do I check if my boiler is Gas Safe registered?
If you have recently had your boiler replaced or a new heating system installed, the engineer or company that executed the works should have your gas safety certificate to hand. Many engineers will complete this certificate and submit it to the Gas Safety Register as part of the paperwork to accompany the work completed as a matter of best practice (in some cases this is required as part of your heating system’s manufacturer guarantee).
However, if you are unsure who installed or has since serviced your boiler, you can check directly with the Gas Safe Register to see if your boiler has been ‘notified’ (registered) with them and possesses a certificate. Full details on how to make enquiries can be found on the Gas Safe Register website.
Top Tip: If you would like to know if your boiler is Gas Safe, contact the original engineers who installed your heating system and ask if they have a copy of the certificate on file. It is likely your installers will have the original certificate to hand or will be able to provide proof that your boiler was registered when the work was completed.
Can I get a copy of my Gas Safe certificate?
If you have misplaced your property’s gas safety certificate and/or building regulations compliance certificate, or if you never received either when you purchased the property, you can apply to the Gas Safe Register for new, official copies.
The Gas Safe register charges £6.12 (inclusive of VAT) per duplicate certificate. These will automatically be sent to the postal address of the property in question and your nominated email address for a virtual copy.
Top Tip: To apply for new certificates to be sent to you, you can do so over the telephone or via the online application form on the Gas Safe Register website.
Can you sell a house without a gas safety certificate?
Although many potential buyers will likely request it, there is no legal obligation for you to provide a current gas safety certificate for your boiler and gas-fed appliances when selling your home.
However, you are legally obligated to provide a building regulations compliance certificate to demonstrate your property meets the stringent health and safety requirements for UK abodes. You can do this by applying for a duplicate certificate from the Gas Safety Register or your local council.
Top Tip: Although it is not a legal requirement to provide a gas safety certificate, by showing prospective buyers you have a copy, you will increase the prospect of a fast sale if you are looking for a quick move!
What are the penalties for not having a gas safety certificate?
There are no legal repercussions for individual homeowners who do not possess a gas safety certificate as it is not a legal requirement. However, commercial buildings and residential buildings being let-out to tenants are required by law to have their gas infrastructure and gas-fed appliances checked every 12 months minimum to ensure they are safe for inhabitants.
Landlords and building management who fail to obtain a gas safety certificate on an annual basis are committing a criminal offence, facing uncapped fines (usually starting from £6,000 for each gas-dependent item that has not been checked) and up to six months imprisonment.
Top Tip: By not obtaining an annual gas safety certificate for your property and appliances, you may also be invalidating your commercial/landlord insurance and risk further compliance violations and fines.
We always recommend that our homeowner, landlord and commercial customers check their property is safe and secure by registering their heating systems and gas appliances with the Gas Safe Register.
At Pimlico Group, your safety and satisfaction is our top priority. All our gas and heating engineers are registered with the Gas Safe Register, provide gas safe and building regulation compliance certificates, and ensure all our work meets the legal requirements to give you peace of mind.
If you are looking for gas safe engineers, or need one of our approved building specialists to attend to your property, call us today or fill out our contact form here to receive a free no-obligation quote.