Regular gas appliance checks are ‘vital’

This article was first published on the Total Landlord Insurance website.

For owners of buy-to-let properties, having landlord liability insurance in place is of vital importance in order to provide financial protection in the case of accidents suffered by tenants.

However, landlords can help significantly reduce the chances of having to claim on their let home insurance by ensuring that they regularly carry out safety checks of gas appliances.

Landlords are required by law to make sure a gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new gas appliances or flues and again annually thereafter by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

The Gas Safe Register recently highlighted the risks taken by foregoing these checks, with the possibility that gas leaks could lead to potentially fatal carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

“It is a vital requirement [to carry out regular checks], simply because gas, if treated properly, is very safe. If not, like lots of other things in life, the dangers of CO poisoning [are significant],” said Jeff Learman, director of communications at Gas Safe Register.

“Often people don’t know that they’re getting poisoned, and we know from Department of Health research recently that over 4,000 people presented themselves at accident and emergency [wards] with low levels of CO poisoning. Annually people die from CO poisoning.”

The comments follow a recent study by the organisation which found that of the 21 million gas-using homes in the UK, almost half (nine million) do not have annual safety checks on their gas appliances and 1.6 million admit to never having had appliances checked.

“There are a number of reasons why that is the case. Some people believe that they only needed to have something done when there was a problem. Others said that they didn’t get anything checked simply because they forgot to have it done,” said Mr Learman.

He also recommended having an audible CO alarm to provide an extra level of protection against gas leaks.

Posted Noah Collins