Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer
When letting a property equipped with gas appliances all landlords must have an annual gas safety check (CP12) carried out by a gas safe registered engineer, this check will ensure the gas appliances in your property are safe for your tenants to use. Once you have had your gas safety check conducted you must ensure your tenants have a copy of the gas safety certificate within a maximum of 28 days.
It is vital that all gas safety certificates are kept on file for a minimum of two years. Even if a property is only rented on a short term basis you must still have a valid gas safety certificate for your tenants.
Even with this legislation in place the number of carbon monoxide related incidents is alarmingly high.
According to the Gas Safety Trust 150 people are involved in carbon monoxide poisoning incidents in the UK each year. The trust have also warned that the figures in reality may be far higher and those recorded; “While deaths and serious injuries from CO exposure are relatively straightforward to record, the data does not reveal the extent of what might be termed ‘near misses’…The records do not capture information about the number of people who are unwittingly exposed to low levels of CO poisoning; levels that may cause long-term ill health but go undetected.”
These low levels may go undetected because carbon monoxide has no colour, smell or taste. The only way to detect its presence is with an alarm.
With this in mind it is strongly recommended that all landlords install a carbon monoxide alarm in their rental properties. Freely available from all hardware shops and easily affordable a carbon monoxide alarm really could save the life of your tenant.
Of all the incidents recorded by the Gas Safety Trust none was fatal in a property that had a carbon monoxide alarm. Opt for an audible alarm and ensure that any alarm you buy to protect your tenants meets European Standard EN 50291 and has a British Standards Kitemark displayed.
So what more can you do as a landlord when it comes to gas safety and carbon monoxide awareness? As well as having your annual gas safety check and providing alarms ensure your tenants know who to contact in a gas related emergency. Show your tenants how to turn off the gas supply if they suspect a leak and advise them to call 0800 111 999 if they smell gas or are at all concerned.
Written by Sarah Male, Urban Sales and Lettings
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