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Written by
on 17 February 2012


Gas safety is important whether you run your own business or have a supply into your home. Many students who move into their first rented accommodation are not aware of the risks and preventative measures which can save their lives. If you are a student it is important to know your rights and be aware of the signs which can signal a leak in your flat, room or house.

One of the biggest dangers of gas is carbon monoxide poisoning.  The Health and Safety Executive have released statistics which state that about 15 people per year die from carbon monoxide poisoning, and all of these deaths could have been prevented.

The Duties of the Landlord

When you rent it is the duty of your landlord to organise yearly gas safety checks with a competent gas man who is listed on the Gas Safe Register which has now taken over from the CORGI register. When you sign your new contract be sure to ask about the gas safety checks and you should be supplied with a copy of the latest check, and provided with a copy with every subsequent check which is performed during your tenancy.

By law the landlord must give you a copy of the gas safety record within 28 days of you moving in. Although you will have many exciting new developments happening in your life it is essential to know your rights and demand that you have your copy which shows the gas has been checked. If you are present during the gas check ask to see the workers ID before work commences. If your landlord does not arrange the gas checks you should report them to the Health and Safety Executive as they are breaking the law and putting loves in danger.

Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

There can be some signs which indicate carbon monoxide poisoning. The problem is that many people mistake them for hangovers or illnesses and so the signs go unnoticed. Here is a list of the symptoms to help you become aware of the signs.

  1. Headaches
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Nausea
  4. Dizziness
  5. Collapsing
  6. Losing consciousness

What You Can Do

Even if you have a competent landlord it is still a good idea to be aware of the symptoms and to help prevent tragic losses of lives. In D.I.Y stores you can find very cheap carbon monoxide detectors which change colour if the lethal gas is detected. For a few pounds more it is possible to find a battery operated detector which will sound an alarm to make you aware if the gas is present.

Carbon monoxide can leak from any gas appliance in the house and not just the gas boiler. Remember to ask the gas engineer to check your gas cooker and your gas fires and install detection devices close to these appliances throughout the home. Check the batteries in your audible alarm when you check your fire alarm and try and get into good habits regarding carrying out quick safety checks on a regular basis.

If you have any concerns about being a landlord or renting property contact health and safety consultants for assistance. Call 0800 1488 677 for more information about the health and safety services available.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.