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When it comes to the safety of your property and its occupants, it’s essential to make sure that all gas appliances and systems are properly maintained and regularly checked for safety. This is why gas safety certificates are a must for any property owner, landlord or building manager. 

This guide to gas safety certificates will help you understand what gas safety certificates are, why they are important, how they are carried out, and what you need to do to ensure that your property is safe and compliant with all necessary regulations for gas appliances and systems.

What is a gas safety certificate?

A gas safety certificate is an official document that states that all gas appliances in a property are safe and fit for use. It also shows that they are regularly maintained and that they are in line with current safety regulations and standards.

These are the most common types of gas safety certificates:

  • Domestic gas safety certificate – This certifies that gas appliances and installations in a domestic residence are safe and certified for use.
  • Non-domestic gas safety certificate – This certifies that gas appliances and installations in a commercial setting, like a warehouse, retail unit or office, are safe and certified for use, confirming that the appliances are connected correctly and that the installation is safe and in line with regulations.
  • Periodic gas safety inspection certificate – This periodic inspection certifies that gas appliances and installations in a property are safe and certified for use. It is called a periodic inspection because it is issued periodically, between tenancies or at the end of leases.
  • Gas appliance test certificate – This certifies that individual gas appliances in a property are safe for the user, connected to the mains correctly and have no faults or complications in their installation.

Why are gas safety certificates important?

Gas safety certificates are important for a number of reasons. They are proof to occupants and tenants that the appliances and pipework in their property are safe and certified for use. They also confirm that the installation and appliances are safe and in line with current safety regulations.

Without a gas safety certificate, you do not know whether a gas appliance or installation is safe or not. A gas safety certificate is also important for insurance purposes. If you are renting out a property and you don’t have an up-to-date certificate for the gas appliances, you might invalidate your insurance, making you liable for damage caused by the appliances or, in the worst case scenario, injury to the building occupants.

Who needs gas safety checks?

  • Landlords
  • Housing associations
  • Commercial property owners
  • Local authorities
  • Hotels and Hostels
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Education facilities

When it comes to the question of “who needs gas safety checks?”, if you own the residential property you live in, then legally you don’t need a gas safety certificate. However, it is still recommended that you periodically check your gas appliances and pipework, just to be sure that they’re safe and working correctly. You can get a gas safety inspector or engineer to check for you, just make sure they’re gas-safe registered.

If you’re a landlord or a building owner or manager, whether that’s for a commercial property or a residential property, you will be required by law to ensure that the property is safe for occupants or tenants. 

How long does a gas safety check take?

A gas safety check takes 30 minutes. However, it might take longer if the property is quite large. Also, if there are any serious faults or problems with the appliances or installation, it could take longer for the gas safe engineer to inspect and report all of the issues and findings.

What is the gas safe register?

The gas safe register is an official gas registration body that registers gas engineers and businesses working with gas. It demonstrates that the individual or the business is competent when working in this potentially dangerous field and that they are fully certified to conduct gas safety inspections and issue gas safety certificates.

The Gas Safe Registers operates a UK-wide list of gas businesses and qualified professionals, which is required by law, displaying that they are legally licensed to operate in the field. In addition to this, the Gas Safe Register also monitors the businesses on the register to make sure they maintain gas safety competence. They’re also responsible for investigating gas safety and illegal gas work, which they will then report to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

What does a gas safety check include?

The gas safety engineer will present identification before carrying out the inspection, where they will check for damage to the gas appliances or installation, conduct visual checks and tests on the appliances and pipes and check them against gas safety regulations, carry out a risk assessment when it is needed, and report this back to the person requesting the gas safety inspection.

What does a gas safety certificate look like?

A gas safety certificate will contain the following information:

  • The name of the issuing body
  • The name of the person who carried out the inspection
  • The address of the property
  • The date of the inspection
  • The make and model number of the appliances
  • The number of people the appliances are rated for
  • The type of fuel the appliances are rated for
  • The condition of the appliances
  • The date the appliances were last tested
  • The date the certificate expires
  • Serial number / ref of the certificate 

What happens if a gas safety fault is identified?

When a gas safety fault is identified, it can be classified against regulatory standards. The gas safe registered engineer will then explain the fault to the building owner, manager or landlord, and all the details will be present in a report. The report is often printed out, but some organisations are beginning to offer digital gas safety certificates, which can be accessed online or through an app. 

Once the fault is known, the registered business, landlord or property owner must engage a registered gas safety specialist to rectify the faults within an agreed time period.

How often should a gas safety certificate be issued?

As there are different types of gas safety certificates, the frequency at which they need to be issued depends on the type of certificate.

Domestic gas safety certificates are valid for one year, so they need to be carried out every 12 months by a gas safe inspector, as requested by the landlord, property manager or owner.

Commercial gas safety certificates, otherwise known as non-domestic gas safety certificates, are conducted periodically depending on the risk level of the gas appliances and the nature of the business. These kinds of periodic gas safety inspection certificates are valid for one year.

How much does a gas safety certificate cost?

How much you’ll pay for a gas safety certificate can vary depending on where you are in the country and the nature of the inspection. In general, the domestic gas safety certificate cost will be between £30 and £100, though commercial gas safety certificates can cost more. The cost of a gas safety certificate will also vary depending on the engineer and company that issues it. Typically, the average cost of a gas safety certificate is between £60 and £90. 

For landlords and building owners, a gas safety certificate is a small price to pay to provide reassurance that the appliances and pipework in the property are safe and certified for use, while also ensuring that they remain compliant and within the law.

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