Faced with a blizzard of priorities of running a business, it can be tempting to put the annual business gas appliance check on the back burner. However, as the weather turns colder and the heating goes on, Gas Safety Week aims to highlight how important these checks are, especially when poorly-serviced gas appliances can cause carbon monoxide leaks, fires, explosions.
A survey of 4,300 private tenants by British Gas Business and homeless charity Shelter found that one in ten landlords failed to carry out a gas safety check for their property last year. Another survey found that 15% of landlords didn’t know it is their legal duty to have an annual gas safety check and certificate for their property – amazing considering they can face unlimited fines or a custodial sentence for flouting the law.
All businesses, not just landlords, are legally required to meet gas safety regulations. An easy way to do this is to use a competent engineer to install, maintain and repair gas appliances, pipework and flues.
For domestic properties like shops, restaurants and housing these annual checks must be carried out by a qualified engineer who is on the Gas Safe Register. At industrial premises work on gas fittings must be carried out by a ‘competent person’ such as a Gas Safe Register engineer with the correct qualifications.
For peace of mind, all British Gas engineers are registered and business owners can also double-check the register at www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or by calling 0800 408 5500. All registered engineers also carry a Gas Safe ID card showing what work they are qualified to do.
It is also important to be vigilant for warning signs that gas appliances aren’t working correctly including: lazy yellow or orange flames instead of crisp blue ones on cooking appliances, black marks on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.
Carbon monoxide has no smell, no taste and kills quickly. Forewarned is forearmed so workers should be informed about the six signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:
5. Collapse and unconsciousness
A property should be evacuated if you suspect a leak.
If there is a gas leak, turn off the supply, evacuate the building and call National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.