Gas is a very efficient fuel for heating and cooking, but it can be dangerous. It can cause explosions, and if gas appliances do not work properly or are not properly ventilated they can give off poisonous carbon monoxide.
You are required to ensure that all gas installations and appliances are checked annually, and to provide a copy of the gas safety certificate to all tenants.
You should also provide tenants with information on how to operate gas appliances safely and what action to take if they suspect a gas leak or faulty gas appliance. Information is available from the Health and Safety Executive.
You may wish to provide a carbon monoxide alarm. Detectors are not a substitute for servicing, certification and regular ventilation checks. However, another layer of protection can be provided by installing a suitably located, mains-wired carbon monoxide alarm with battery back-up, meeting British Standard 7860 (to be superseded by ISO 7240-6, currently in consultation). You should take responsibility for regular testing and replacing the back-up battery as necessary. Battery-only alarms should not be used.
As a landlord you have a duty to ensure that the electrical wiring and equipment you supply for tenants' use is safe (see the rules on electrical safety).
Tenants' own appliances are not included in the check. You could offer to have them checked at the same time, at the tenant's expense. It is also helpful to provide information on safe use of electrical appliances and systems.
The Electrical Safety Council recently published The Landlords Guide to Electrical Safety in Scotland which offers advice on the actions required to help keep tenants safe. It provides guidance on maintaining electrical installations and electrical appliances, from visual checks, periodic inspection testing and portable appliances, to fire alarms and emergency lighting.
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