Gas Safety

Using gas as a fuel in the home is normally very safe. However, poorly maintained gas appliances can put people's lives at risk. Gas leaks can lead to explosions, which could kill. Faulty gas appliances and lack of ventilation can lead to carbon-monoxide poisoning, which has serious health effects. You must let us into your home and allow us to inspect your gas appliances.

NB Housing

What happens if I have a gas leak?

Leaking gas can cause an explosion. If you smell or suspect a gas leak, report it immediately to 0800 002 001

  • Turn off the gas supply at the main meter
  • Open the doors and windows
  • Do not switch any electrical appliance on or off, including the lights or sockets
  • Do not smoke, strike matches or light candles 

When are gas safety checks carried out?

As your Landlord, by law, we must make sure your gas appliances, gas piping and flues in your home are well maintained and safe. A gas safety check will be carried out every 12 months by a gas engineer who is registered with Gas Safe. We will give you a copy of the inspection report at the start of your tenancy, and then every year when the safety check is carried out. If you have gas appliances that you own in your home, you are responsible for getting them safety checked, you must use a Gas Safe Engineer, more information on how to find a Gas Safe Engineer can be found here or by telephoning 0800 408 5500.

 How do we arrange your yearly gas safety check?

  • We will write to you beforehand to let you know when your service is due
  • We will offer you an appointment between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, and by appointment only on Saturdays, so that you know when the engineer will be coming out
  • If you choose not to make an appointment the engineer will call at your home three times, leaving you a contact card if you are not home
  • We will write to you three times, giving you an opportunity to make an appointment for the service to be carried out
  • We will schedule other repair appointments at the same time as your servicing appointment so you only have to stay at home once

 NB Housing will charge an Administrative fee in certain circumstances which are listed below;

  • If an appointment is scheduled and there is no access to the house
  • If a registered engineer calls 3 times or more to your home and there is failure to gain access

What will happen if you don't allow NB Housing into your home to carry out the yearly gas safety check? 

Because we have to carry out this safety check by law, you must allow us into your home every year. Whether you use your gas supply or not, failing to allow us to carry out this essential check will result in the following action:

  • We will start legal action by sending you a 'notice of seeking possession'
  • We will refuse to carry out repairs or improvements (other than emergency repairs) to your home
  • We may refuse you to go on the waiting list for a transfer
  • The court may award us possession of your home for breaking your tenancy agreement
  • The court may enforce an injunction
  • You or a member of your family may be seriously affected by carbon-monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide- the silent killer

About 30 people a year die accidentally from carbon-monoxide poisoning related to gas appliances. Many more (over 200) suffer from symptoms of carbon-monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is produced by gas appliances which are badly installed or not maintained properly, or do not have enough ventilation. Carbon monoxide is invisible and has no smell or taste. Even small amounts can lead to a variety of serious health problems, including brain damage.  

Health symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

 Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include such things as:

  • Feeling tired
  • Headaches, chest pains, and sudden giddiness when standing up
  • Diarrhoea or stomach pains
  • Strange behaviour
A faulty gas appliance may be responsible, especially if: 
  •  More than one person in your household suffers symptoms
  • The symptoms improve away from your home and get worse when you return
  • The symptoms are worse when the appliance is being used
  • Any gas appliance (fires, heaters, central-heating boilers, water heaters or cookers) can cause these effects

 Carbon monoxide detectors

You can buy a detector that will tell you if there is carbon monoxide in the air. You can buy them from DIY or hardware stores. If you buy a detector, make sure it has a label saying that it meets the standard BS 7860 

Ventilation

All gas appliances need air to work safely. You should not block off any source of ventilation that helps a gas appliance to work properly. You should make sure that all appliances, flues, ventilation grilles and airbricks are kept clear. 

What to do if you think an appliance is unsafe:

  • Do not use an appliance if you think it may be unsafe
  • Open doors and windows to ventilate the room
  • Do not sleep in the room
  • Phone us immediately on 028 9035 1131 (9am to 5pm) or 0800 731308 (out of hours) and we will get an engineer to check the appliance

Gas Safe Engineer

 We only employ contractors who are Gas Safe registered and who are qualified to work on your gas appliance. Before allowing anyone into your home to carry out gas work, ask to see their Gas Safe identification card. It is the size of a credit card and shows their photograph, name, Gas Safe registration number, card expiry date and the Gas Safe logo. The main information is also in Braille. If you are not sure about their identity, ask them to wait outside, then phone us on 028 9035 1131 and we'll check them out. 

Listed below are a number of useful websites for gas in Northern Ireland 

www.gassaferegister.co.uk
www.phoenixnaturalgas.com
www.firmusenergy.co.uk 
www.airtricitygasni.com/at-home/

Gas safety - your responsibilities

Many aspects of gas safety may rely on other people, but as a tenant you also have certain responsibilities. Some of these are in the gas safety regulations, the others are common sense.

  • Do report gas leaks and try to prevent more gas from leaking by turning your gas off at the mains
  • Do allow us access every year to make sure all your appliances are working correctly and safely
  • Do use a Gas Safe registered contractor to install and service your gas cooker and your own fire
  • Do not use gas appliances that you think or know are unsafe. Report faulty appliances to us on 028 9035 1131
  • Don't block any ventilation or flues needed for gas appliances to work safely
  • Do not carry out any work on gas appliances or pipes yourself. By law, anyone doing gas work must be trained to do it safely. The easiest way to be sure of this is to use a Gas Safe registered engineer
  • Do not paint the casing to your fire
  • Do not use a ceiling fan in a room at the same time as a gas appliance