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Gas Safety

Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances. It has replaced CORGI registration. Only a Gas Safe registered engineer should fit, fix or service gas appliances.

Landlords have responsibilities for gas safety. By law your landlord must keep all gas appliances supplied for you to use in good condition. They must arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a gas safety check on them every 12 months and provide you with a copy of the landlord’s gas safety record.

Always:

  • Ask for a copy of the landlord’s current gas safety record before you move in.
  • Cooperate with your landlord and let a registered engineer in when a gas safety check or servicing has to be done.
  • Check the ID card of any gas engineer that comes to do work in your home. The engineer must be Gas Safe registered.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which can kill quickly with no warning. Know the six main signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. Don’t mistake the symptoms for a hangover.

If you think a gas appliance is faulty turn it off and let your landlord know immediately. In an emergency call the gas emergency helpline on 0800 111 999. If you feel unwell, seek medical help immediately.

For more information and to find and check an engineer go to www.GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.

Fire Safety

Once you have moved into your new student accommodation, it is a good idea not to burn it down. As we are attracted to bright sparkly things like matches, lighters and an abundance of candles, you need to think carefully about fire safety and make sure you take precautions to prevent fires and have a plan of action in the event of a fire.

Check that there are smoke alarms on each level of your house and check them weekly. Don't take the batteries out even if they keep going off when you cook. It could be that they are in the wrong position. Seek advice from the fire brigade.

Keep doors closed at night to delay the spread of a fire. Whoever's last to bed should check everything is turned off (not just on standby) and that any candles and cigarettes are out.
If there is no fire extinguisher or fire blanket in the kitchen, ask your landlord for one.
By law, all furniture must be fire resistant and will have a label to prove it. Check that it is there. Keep an eye out for dodgy wiring and unsafe electrical points. Do not place candles near curtains or other flammable objects. Remember to blow them out before you go to bed.

Unfortunately in most properties there isn't a legal requirement for landlords to provide smoke alarms, fire extinguishers or blankets. However, we would encourage all students to request them from their landlords. Supply of fire extinguishers and blankets is mandatory in all HMO Licensed premises and in Scotland any let property must have a battery operated smoke alarm as a minimum requirement. Also contact your local fire brigade for free advice on making a fire action plan, and further information on fire safety.

Electric Safety

Dangerous electrical appliances or damaged sockets can cause fire or serious injury. Although there is no legal requirement for the landlord or agent to carry out regular checks, they are responsible for ensuring that the installations and appliances are safe to use in your student accommodation.

All properties which require an HMO Licence must have a Periodic Inspection Report & Portable Appliance Electrical Certificate Check carried out at a minimum of every 3 years.

What Are The Warning Signs?

  • Broken plug sockets.
  • Plugs that get hot when they are used.
  • Sparks from electrical appliances/sockets.
  • Fuses which continually blow
  • Exposed wiring.
  • Frequently having to replace light bulbs is not necessarily a sign of problem wiring. Try a different make of light bulb (perhaps more expensive) before reporting the problem.

Transco can make an emergency inspection if you suspect a gas leak. If there is a fault they may make the appliance safe by disconnecting it.

You can also contact Environmental Health. They can check that the appliances are safe and also have the power to serve legal notices on the landlord to have a full service carried out. They can report landlords to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for not carrying out their legal obligations. The HSE have the power to instigate criminal proceedings against the landlord.

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