Gas Safe registered engineers have a responsibility to advise you when they find dangerous gas installations in your home.
Their actions are determined by the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations and the guidance given in the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure.
When a registered gas engineer identifies an unsafe situation they should try to find the cause and repair any faults. Where this is not possible they should tell you that the fault(s) should be repaired before the installation is used again. If it can’t be corrected immediately they should make the installation safe, after first seeking your permission to do so. This is normally done by disconnecting or by turning off the gas to the affected part of the installation. This will be dependent upon how bad the defects are.
If your engineer has identified a gas related danger in your home they will attach a warning label to the dangerous gas fitting and give you a warning notice. These should show you a ‘defect category’.
There are three categories depending on how bad the defects are. Depending on the level of risk there will be different actions you (or your landlord) should take.
‘Immediately Dangerous’ (ID)
An “immediately dangerous” installation is one which, if operated or left connected to a gas supply, is considered to be an immediate danger to life or property.
The installation will be disconnected, with your permission, and must not be used until the necessary work has been carried out to repair the defect(s). If you continue to use an immediately dangerous installation you could be putting you or your family’s lives in danger.
If you refuse the gas engineer permission to disconnect the installation or an individual appliance, they will report the situation to the Gas Emergency Service Provider (ESP). The ESP has legal powers to demand entry to make the situation safe or may disconnect the gas supply to the property.
‘At Risk’ (AR)
An “at risk” installation is where one or more recognised faults are present which could constitute a danger to life or property without further faults developing.
With your permission, the installation will be turned off and should not be used again until the fault has been repaired.
‘Not to Current Standards’ (NCS)
Over time, industry standards may change and, as a result, existing installations may not always meet the current safety requirements. A “not to current standards” installation is one which does not meet with current standards, but is safe. You may however wish to improve the installation to meet current standards as this could improve the reliability and lifespan of the installation. If the installation has been carried out recently, you should contact the registered gas business that carried out the work to correct any identified faults. For older installations your gas engineer can advise you whether the installation should be brought in line with current standards.
It is always a good idea to bring an installation up to current standards, but that will often depend upon whether the work can be undertaken at a reasonable cost, or whether any other work is likely to be carried out on the installation in the near future, such as a replacement appliance.
Concern for Safety
If the Gas Emergency Service Provider has visited a property as a result of a smell of gas or fumes and cannot confirm the installation is safe, they may use a further category – ‘Concern for Safety’ and issue an appropriate notice.
Where a ‘Concern for Safety notice has been issued by the Gas Emergency Service Provider, you will be told not to use the installation until it has been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. It is your (or your landlords) responsibility to get the installation checked. Do not use the gas appliance until it has been checked.