Safety - Gas, carbon monoxide, electrical

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Gas safety

If you have a gas supply at your home, do not ignore your safety test appointment.

Your tenancy agreement requires you to give us access to your home for gas maintenance or safety work and says that we should take all reasonable steps to make sure that this work is carried out. This may involve giving written notice to ask for access to your home.

If we can't get into your home after repeated contact, we'll take legal action. If we do have to take action, we'll recover all legal costs from you.

It is illegal for anyone not Gas Safe registered to work on a gas supply or any appliance.

Do not:

  • Install or remove a gas fire or boiler without getting our permission first
  • Remove the boiler case or touch the internal parts
  • Paint the boiler case, as this will create a fire hazard
  • Block any ventilation grills or air bricks
  • Cover external flues
  • Use a gas appliance if you think it’s faulty.

If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak:

  • Call 0800 111 999 to report the leak
  • Do not use matches or a naked flame of any kind
  • Do not use electrical light or power switches
  • Turn off the gas supply immediately at the meter/control valve
  • Put out all naked flames, such as cigarettes or candles
  • Do not smoke
  • Ventilate the building by opening doors and windows
  • Consider leaving the building (make sure that the home is not left unsecured).

What is our responsibility as a landlord?

As a landlord, we're legally responsible for our tenants' gas safety, and the landlord-owned appliances within your home, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. This is a responsibility we take very seriously:

  • All relevant gas fittings and appliances, pipework and flues must be maintained in good condition
  • A yearly gas safety check has to be carried out on relevant gas appliances and flues
  • A record of each safety check must be kept for at least two years
  • A copy of the landlord gas safety record must be issued to every tenant within 28 days of the check being completed, or to any new tenant before they move into their new home.
  • We must make sure that gas appliances and fittings are safe before a home is re-let
  • We're also actively removing appliances that burn solid fuel, such as open fires, gas fires, and log burners, from homes when they are vacant between tenants. This reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and also the risk of out of control fires, making our neighbourhoods safer. We will not give permission to reinstate a solid fuel burning appliance in your home - read our statement on reopening a chimney.

What can you do to stay Gas Safe aware

  • Make sure you allow our Gas Safe contractor to access your home to carry out the safety inspection in good time and before any current validation has expired
  • Have any appliances that you own checked and tested regularly by a Gas Safe engineer
  • Keep an eye on your appliances to make sure they're working as expected, and report any concerns or faults with the appliances or pipework to us quickly so we can get them checked.

Safety and security

By law, anyone who works on your gas appliances, pipework and flues must be Gas Safe registered and must hold a Gas Safe ID Card. Remember to check this every time someone calls at your home, and to look out for the yellow triangle.

The card will tell you:

  • Who the engineer is
  • What the engineer is qualified to work on
  • That these qualifications are valid and in date.

If you're worried at any time about an engineer attending your home, you can contact us to check, or call Gas Safe direct on 0800 408 5500.

Carbon monoxide, the silent killer: How to stay safe

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas that has no colour, taste or smell. It can be released by any appliance that burns wood, gas, oil or coal, such as barbecues, camp stoves and gas appliances. Carbon monoxide emissions from poorly installed or badly maintained gas appliances and flues cause the deaths of 50 people and the hospitalisation of 200 people every year.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 specify that it is the duty of landlords to make sure that all gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants in their homes are safe.

How to tell if there may be carbon monoxide in your home

  • Look out for gas appliances burning with a yellow/orange flame - a blue flame is normal
  • Extra condensation
  • Pilot lights blowing out on your appliances
  • Soot and/or yellow stains around appliances.

The main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest or stomach pains.

How you can protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Have a working carbon monoxide alarm. We're fitting free ones for all of our tenants
  • Keep rooms well ventilated while using gas or solid fuel appliances such as cookers or fires
  • Have all appliances, flues and chimneys correctly installed and serviced by trained, reputable and competent engineers – do not attempt to do it yourself. As a landlord we service all of the appliances we own in your home on a regular basis.

Preventing fires in your home

The best protection from fire is prevention. Smoke alarms are the most effective way of preventing fires. They also give vital early warning and extra time to escape in the event of a fire breaking out. You should check your smoke alarms weekly to make sure they're working.

To help reduce the risk of fires we are actively removing appliances that burn solid fuel from our homes during any vacant period, which is making our homes and neighbourhoods safer places. We will not give permission to reinstate any appliances or change these to alternative solid fuel burning appliances. Removing these appliances also reduces your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Electrical safety

Lithium batteries

Electric bikes and e-scooters are becoming increasingly popular, and along with mobile phones and DIY tools, are usually powered by lithium batteries (also called lithium ion or L-ion batteries). These batteries can store an enormous amount of energy in a really small space - which is very handy, but also means they can be at risk of catching fire if they're not stored or charged safely, or if the equipment becomes damaged.

If a lithium battery pack ignites and bursts into flames, it will burn aggressively and can cause widespread damage. Once alight it is very difficult to extinguish a lithium battery fire.

There have been a growing number of incidents of fires caused by lithium batteries, and an ITV News investigation found that in 2022 there were 203 fires caused by e-bike and e-scooter batteries - an increase of more than 400% in two years.

Storing and charging lithium batteries

  • Within communal areas, such as shared corridors, you are not permitted to store any personal belongings. Even if the belongings are not an immediate risk or a fire hazard, they can make it harder to escape from a building if there is a fire.
  • You're not allowed to use any electrical power point in a communal area for the charging of lithium batteries, unless designated as a communal charging point.
  • Your tenancy agreement prohibits you from doing anything that increases the risk of fire. We don't prohibit the charging of lithium batteries, but the item the battery powers - for example, an electric motorbike or e-scooter - may be prohibited from being inside your home. Please check your tenancy agreement for further details and get in touch with us if you have any concerns.
  • Do not overload socket outlets or use inappropriate extension leads.
  • Do not overcharge your battery – check the manufacturer’s instructions for charge times. Ensure you unplug it when charging has finished.
  • Do not dispose of lithium batteries in your household waste or normal recycling. When punctured or crushed they can cause fires in bin lorries, recycling and waste centres.
  • Always charge batteries when you’re awake and alert so you can respond quickly.
  • Check your battery regularly for any signs of damage and if you suspect it is damaged it should be replaced and should not be used or charged.
  • Always use the manufacturer-approved charger for the product, and if you spot any signs of wear and tear or damage buy an official replacement charger for your product from a reputable seller.

Your responsibilities

As our tenant, you're responsible for any damage caused to your home by any portable devices that you own.

It's your responsibility to arrange for home contents insurance to protect your belongings. If there is a fire and personal items are lost or damaged, Twenty11 is not responsible for replacing these, so please ensure you have suitable insurance cover for your belongings.

Further information

Safety inspections

We're required to take action to prevent electrical incidents such as shocks and fires within our tenants' homes. To meet these requirements, we carry out a five-year Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) - like an MOT of your electrics - which will highlight any issues we need to rectify.

These appointments usually take two to three hours and we do require someone to be present throughout the appointment. We know this isn't always easy with work and life schedules and therefore recommend that a trusted friend or family member may be able to assist.

Allowing us to carry this out is a requirement of your tenancy agreement and we may be able to tie an appointment in with your five-yearly home check to make this easier for you. When you're due for an EICR, we'll send you a letter on what to do next. Please follow the advice on this, and if you have any questions, get in touch with us.