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Home improvement: Staying Gas Safe

Don’t DIY when it comes to gas appliances

Working with gas can be dangerous, so it’s crucial that you never try to fix, fit or move appliances like your boiler or cooker yourself. Poorly fitted or serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning; it just isn’t worth the risk.

By law, anyone carrying out work on gas appliances and fittings as part of their business must be competent and registered with us. That’s why we’d advise that you only ever use a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out gas work in your home.

When your engineer visits, you’ll want to ask to see their Gas Safe ID card which confirms they’re appropriately qualified to safely carry out the work in question.

To help you and your family stay safe while you’re making improvements to your home, here are our top tips:

  • Don’t DIY with gas appliances, use a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • Don’t block or cover air vents and flues; 'they are essential for safely working gas appliances'
  • Never try to remove or repair a gas appliance yourself
  • If you’re having building work done, always ensure your contractor is qualified
  • Check where your gas pipes are located - make sure you don’t accidentally hit them during DIY work

 

Download our factsheet here

 

Where do subcontractors come in?

If you’re using a subcontractor to undertake any improvements in your home, here’s what you need to bear in mind:

Additional home improvement considerations

Whether you’re doing your own home improvements or using a subcontractor, it’s worth considering that some work could have an impact on your gas appliances, even if they aren’t being worked on directly.

Make sure your tradesperson conducts and documents the findings of a risk assessment which should identify any risk and control measures to ensure gas safety isn’t compromised.

Here are some examples of work which could have a gas safety impact:

  • New conservatory - It’s really important to ensure flues don’t become enclosed and that they’re the required distance from any new windows or openings. Only a Gas Safe registered engineer should move a flue.
  • Scaffolding - This kind of work could potentially cover or damage a chimney terminal outlet or flue.
  • Replacing or blocking air vents - If you’re blocking or removing vents, ensure your gas appliances can still operate safely.
  • External cladding - You’ll need to make sure that vents, chimneys and flues aren’t removed, damaged or obstructed if they’re integral to the safe operation of gas appliances.
  • Extensions - If this involves moving existing gas appliances, or installing new ones, it’s got to be a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer that does it.
  • Roof work - Make sure chimneys and flues aren’t removed, blocked or damaged. For new windows or openings, you’ll need to ensure the required distances from chimneys and flues are maintained in line with relevant standards and manufacturer guidelines.

Maria’s story

Maria lost her parents when they were overcome by carbon monoxide. They’d recently had building work done and the builder had dangerously enclosed the flue of the boiler. Read more on Maria's story here.

 

 

Download our top tips here