Gas safety checks are essential for protecting households across the UK. Faulty gas appliances can produce poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) and even cause fires or explosions if not repaired, so the Gas Safe Register recommends having them tested at least once a year.
This Skills Training Group guide explains all you need to know about gas safety checks, taking you through the process of testing appliances and pipework, as well as the documentation that should be provided for different types of tests (not all checks require a record or certificate).
If you’re interested in a career in gas engineering, take a look at our range of new entrant gas engineer courses.
What is a gas safety check?
A gas safety check ensures that the gas appliances in a home are securely fastened to the pipework and burning gas in the correct way. During checks, gas engineers will also make sure that safety devices are functioning properly – and that the air supply to the appliance is adequate.
Standard gas safety checks focus solely on gas appliances; a full gas installation safety check also involves a visual inspection of all gas installations and the pipework around them, as well as a test for any gas leaks throughout the house.
What is a CP12 Gas Safety Certificate (Gas Safety Record)?
A CP12 Gas Safety Certificate (or Gas Safety Record) is a document that’s provided to landlords following a successful gas safety check. It provides full details of all inspections carried out on gas appliances owned by the landlord. If a tenant owns any of the appliances (e.g. a gas cooker), these do not need to be tested.
It’s important to note that Gas Safety Records are only necessary for rented housing – homeowners are not required to keep a record of appliance checks or full gas installation safety checks, but it is still recommended that these are carried out at least annually.
How long is a Gas Safety Certificate valid for?
A Gas Safety Certificate is valid for 12 months from the date that the check was carried out. All landlords are legally required to test the gas appliances in their properties at least once a year and provide new tenants with the most recent Gas Safety Record.
What are the penalties for not having a Gas Safety Certificate?
As a landlord in the UK, renting out a property without a Gas Safety Certificate is a very serious crime, the penalties for which can include:
- Invalidation of your insurance policy
- Fines of up to £6,000
- Court action if a tenant sues for civil damages
- A six-month prison sentence
- Manslaughter charges if a tenant dies due to an unsafe gas appliance and/or system.
Who can issue a Gas Safety Certificate?
Gas Safety Certificates can only be issued by Gas Safe registered engineers. To join the Gas Safe Register, an engineer must first have:
- Completed a Gas Managed Learning Programme
- Built a portfolio of gas work alongside a registered gas engineer
- Undertaken an ACS Assessment for CCN1 and relevant appliances
For more information, visit our blog on how to join the Gas Safe Register.
This guide has explained the processes involved in gas safety checks and why they’re important (this topic is explored in much greater detail as part of our CCN1 & Appliances course). We’ve also covered CP12 Gas Safety Certificates – or Gas Safety Records – explaining how landlords must have their gas appliances tested at least once a year to avoid fines and/or prosecution.