Important new changes have taken place in Great Britain and the Isle of Man gas industry recently. The previous CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Users) scheme has been replaced by the Gas Safe Register. This is intended to ensure that all persons carrying out work involving gas are properly qualified and technically competent.
Individual gas engineers must be registered with the Gas Safe Register by law and firms must also be registered. All engineers are issued with a Gas Safe Register ID card and they should show this to householders before starting work. This applies to all domestic and most industrial work.
In answer to the hundreds of questions we get about DIY gas installation we can state the following.
There is no law to say you cannot do a gas installation yourself providing (under the law) you are competent.
Competent, in this situation however, means you are able to check your installation for any variance in gas pressure from before and after an installation together with a complete understanding of how to check any fitting and/or appliance for leaks and unwanted or dangerous emissions.
This use of the word competent disqualifies most home owners or tenants from DIY gas fitting and furthermore, without a engineers safety certificate it is almost certain that your home insurance would not pay out in the event of anything going wrong.
Landlords and property owners involved in letting flats, houses and holiday accommodation for rent have a legal obligation to comply with laws dealing with gas safety and should contact the Gas Safe Register for advice on their responsibilities. These obligations include ensuring that letting contracts state who is reasonable for carrying out maintenance work on gas equipment and the keeping of safety records relating to gas maintenance work.
All gas appliances must be inspected and checked at least once a year with proper records being kept. One of the aims of the Gas Safety Register is to raise public awareness of the danger of carbine monoxide poisoning and to prepare and maintain a list of qualified gas engineers and firms so that the public receives better protection against the activities of unqualified persons. The scheme is run by the Capita Group on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive.
The public are strongly advised to fit a carbon monoxide alarm that emits on audible warring if carbon monoxide is detected. This is necessary because this gas cannot be seen or smelt so an alarm is the only method of receiving a warning of its presence. No matter how skilled in DIY activities members of the public may be, they should never attempt to carry out work involving gas but should get in torch with a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Please see the Health and Safety Executive guidelines at www.hse.gov.uk/gas/index.htm
HSE Gas Safety Advice Line: 0800 300 363
Transco operates the national freephone 24-hour gas emergency service - 0800 111 999. Anyone who thinks they smell gas, or is worried about gas safety, can call this number free of charge, any time of the day or night.
A Transco engineer will be sent to make the situation safe. There is no charge for this emergency visit.
A press release issued by the Health and Safety Executive give further information: www.hse.gov.uk/press/2002/e02085.htm
You can watch Part 2 of this video on How heating works in your home.