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Majority of landlords unaware of new carbon monoxide law to keep tenants safe

  • New legislation requiring landlords to install carbon monoxide alarms planned to come into effect on 1st October
  • More than half of landlords surveyed are unaware of new law
  • Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal
  • Landlords who do not comply could be fined up to £5,000

As Gas Safety Week approaches, new research from British Gas and Shelter has highlighted that landlords in England could unwittingly be putting their tenants lives at risk by not being aware of new legislation planned to come into effect on 1st October, requiring working carbon monoxide detectors to be fitted in any room with a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

The majority of landlords surveyed (59%) are not aware of the new law that is planned, which also includes a requirement for landlords to have working smoke alarms fitted on each floor in homes that they let.

Exposure to carbon monoxide gas can be fatal and the main sources are faulty gas boilers or heaters. Landlords are already required to ensure that their rented properties receive an annual gas safety check and certificate. 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.

Government estimates that the new legislation requiring a carbon monoxide alarm to be fitted will result in 6-9 fewer fatalities and 306-460 fewer injuries over 10 years. In addition, they estimate that requiring a smoke alarm to be installed on each floor will prevent up to 231 deaths and 5,860 injuries over 10 years.

British Gas engineer Sheena Anker commented: “It’s crucial for landlords to be aware of the new legislation to ensure that their tenants are kept safe, and to stay on the right side of the law.

“I have visited homes and seen unsafe appliances which either haven’t been serviced in years or have been installed by illegal gas fitters. Worryingly, tenants are often oblivious to the danger they are in. Tenants can stay safe by asking landlords for a copy of the gas safety certificate, following a check from a Gas Safe registered engineer, and making sure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are fitted.”

The new requirements will be enforced by local authorities and landlords who fail to comply with a remedial notice could be fined up to £5,000.

British Gas’ simple checks to stay gas safe:

For landlords:

  • You need a gas safety check and record or certificate (CP12) for each property every year. Give a copy to your tenants to keep safe.
  • Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your properties. You can buy them 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: 

For tenants:

  • 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: 

Top ten towns where British Gas engineers have installed carbon monoxide alarms May 2014-July 2015:

Location 
 Number of alarms installed
Greenwich 
 4,133
Sutton  3,687
North Surrey  3,555
Staines  
 3,411
Maidstone
 3,310
Dulwich
 3,288
Uxbridge   3,224
Dartford   3,210
Newham
 3,033
Bromley  3,026

The town where British Gas engineers have installed the fewest carbon monoxide alarms is Dewsbury with just 235 installs.

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors:

British Gas has more than 10,000 Gas Safe registered engineers who serve over four million homes across the country, helping to provide support when things go wrong in the home – such as broken boilers, faulty electrics or leaking pipes. 9 out of 10 customers recommend British Gas boiler installations. This is based on reviews verified by Reevoo.

British Gas offers four different landlord options to suit different needs and budgets. All landlord packages provide cover for boilers and controls and also include an annual service to check safety and efficiency.

In 2012, British Gas launched a five-year partnership with Shelter, working together to deliver better homes for Britain.

Methodology:

Survey of landlords carried out by YouGov Plc for Shelter/ British Gas. Total sample size was 948 landlords. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th June - 14th July 2015. The survey was carried out online. 

For more information contact:

Bieneosa Ebite
British Gas
08001077015
bieneosa.ebite@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is Britain’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 British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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