When gas is used correctly and with respect it is a safe and economical fuel. However - as with any area of expertise - people working with gas need to have the appropriate training and experience. Gas Safe registered installers have to undergo at least the minimum requirement of training before they are accepted on to the Gas Safe register. Most have significantly more training. The training and assessments that registered gas installers have are not only about the technical know-how of specific appliances but also about safety. All assessments have to be renewed every five years in order to keep installers up to date with ever-changing standards and regulations and to keep their knowledge fresh.
It is not only illegal for people to work with gas unless they are Gas Safe registered, it is also highly dangerous. Statistics demonstrate that a significant proportion of gas work carried out by people who are not registered with CORGI is incorrect and therefore potentially unsafe.
If you need gas installation or maintenance work, make sure that you employ a Gas Safe registered installer with the appropriate training and credentials.
If you are unsure whether your installer has the appropriate registration to handle your work, ask to see their ID card and check the details on the reverse.
In order to protect the general public, Gas Safe registered installers are:
Given an identification card which should be shown upon request
Required to obtain competency certificates in areas of gas work they carry out
Required to update their proof of competence regularly
Subject to regular work inspections carried out by Gas Safe Inspectors
People who do not work directly on gas installations or appliances, but who work in areas where there are implications for gas safety - such as architects, builders and local authorities working with flues and venting - have a general duty of care under civil law. They should refer to the appropriate regulations covering their work.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 place specific duties on gas users, installers, suppliers and landlords. For example:
Anyone carrying out work on gas appliances or fittings as part of their business must be competent and registered with Gas Safe.
Only a competent person can carry out work on gas appliances or fittings. Do-it-yourself work on gas appliances or fittings could be dangerous and is likely to be illegal.
Do not use any gas appliance or fittings you know or suspect to be unsafe. Through Gas Safe, the Health & Safety Executive has asked all registered installers to disconnect any gas appliance or fittings that are so dangerous as to be a threat to life if they are used.
Landlords are responsible for making sure that gas fittings and flues are maintained in good order, and gas appliances that they own in their residential premises, and flues, are checked for safety every 12 months. They must also keep a record of the safety checks for at least two years and issue it to existing tenants and any new tenants before they move in.
Tenants are responsible for the maintenance and safety of appliances they own.
The regulations place a number of restrictions on gas appliances installed in bathrooms, shower rooms and bedrooms which are detailed and prescriptive.
It is illegal to install instantaneous water heaters, which are not room sealed or fitted with a safety device that automatically turns the gas supply off before a dangerous level of poisonous fumes builds up.