Boiler & Central Heating Advice Centre
Our boiler and central heating advice centre is packed with useful information for landlords, tenants and homeowners. Whether you’re experiencing issues with your central heating system or want to learn more about updating it, we have an expert guide to help. We also have a handy find a boiler tool that makes it easy to choose the right appliance.
As well as free boiler and central heating advice, you’ll find gas safety guides, tips on improving energy efficiency, and much more. If you have any questions about our boiler installation, boiler cover or emergency callout services, take a look at our FAQ or get in touch.
Gas safety advice
Gas safety certificates for home owners
New homebuyers should be given a copy of the gas safety certificate by their vendor or you should arrange to get appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Make sure you get the gas safety certificate from the vendor before moving in.
Learn about what steps you should be taking to make sure your new home is gas safe
Top tips for gas safety
Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer to install, repair and service your gas appliances, including your:
- gas boiler
- gas fire, gas cooker or hob
- central heating system, radiators or your hot water system, if they are connected to either a Natural Gas or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) supply
Always ask for the card. Gas Safe registered engineers all carry a Gas Safe Register ID card. It shows you what they look like and what gas work they are qualified to do. It also gives you a unique licence number that you can use to check they are still on the register.
Only allow an engineer to work on your gas appliances after you have checked their Gas Safe Register ID card. If you have any doubts call 0800 408 5500 and quote the unique licence number on your engineer’s ID card.
Check that your engineer is qualified to work on your gas appliance.
Not all engineers are qualified to carry out all types of gas work. Make sure you check the qualifications on the back of their ID card to make sure they are competent to work on your appliance. You can also check them on this website by using the ‘Check an engineer’ service in the right hand panel of this page.
If you have a complaint about work carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer, then let us know.
Get your appliances checked once a year, or in accordance with your manufacturer’s guidelines, by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Your Gas Safe registered engineer will carry out tests and checks to establish your appliances are operating safely. Where an appliance or pipework has been installed in an unsafe way, or is operating unsafely and the engineer can not rectify the situation immediately, they will follow the guidance outlined in the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP) to make the installation safe. This is the industry accepted document for guiding engineers on dealing with unsafe situations.
Install an audible, carbon monoxide alarm. Fitting an alarm will alert you to the presence of the poisonous gas carbon monoxide, produced by unsafe gas appliances
If you think there might be a gas leak or notice any signs of carbon monoxide, act fast and follow advice for gas emergencies.
Gas safety information for vulnerable groups
Have a gas safety check every year. A safety check should be carried out every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer who can present a valid ID card when they knock at your door.
Have your gas fires and heaters checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer, as well as boilers and cookers.
The checks will help make sure the appliance is safe to use and is not producing the poisonous gas carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
Gas appliances that have not been checked by a Gas Safe Registered engineer and are not working safely can produce the deadly gas, carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide can cause serious health problems and it can kill.
The more frail a person is, the more quickly your body is overcome by carbon monoxide. Due to the nature of this poisonous gas, some of the people physically most at risk are the elderly and infirm.
Install a carbon monoxide alarm
Ask a friend, relative, care visitor, or warden to help you by installing an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home. Your Gas Safe registered engineer can help you do this too.
Carbon monoxide alarms can be purchased from DIY stores and supermarkets for around £20. If you find it difficult to get to the shops, you can also buy them online.
For people with hearing difficulties, there are a number of specialist carbon monoxide alarms on the market. For advice on which alarm is right for your needs, contact the Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring (CoGDEM) on 0800 1694 457.
Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Call a doctor or an ambulance immediately if you are suffering from any of the following symptoms and think carbon monoxide could be the cause:?
- loss of consciousness
Signs that indicate it could be carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- if your symptoms only occur when you are at home
- your symptoms disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
- if anyone else in your household is experiencing any of the symptoms (including your pets) and whether they appear at a similar time
If you are in danger you can also call the Gas Emergency Free phone Number – England, Scotland and Wales: 0800 111 999
Ask for help to spot signs of danger in your home. Ask a friend, relative, care visitor, or warden to look at the flame on all your gas appliances, which should always be stable and blue. A lazy, orange flame indicates that deadly carbon monoxide could be produced.
Other signs carbon monoxide could be present are:
- Soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances
- Pilot lights that frequently blow out
- Increased condensation inside windows
- All gas appliances should be used only as intended
Never use your gas oven or hob to heat your house. Remember to turn appliances off when not in use.
Do you live in rented accommodation? Ask the landlord or warden for an up-to-date annual Gas Safety Record to show your accommodation is gas safe.
Millions of households in Great Britain use gas to heat their homes, cook their food and provide hot water
We take it for granted that our boilers, cookers and gas fires are safe. It is only when there is a problem with an appliance that many people take any notice of it at all. Everyone should understand how to be gas safe in their homes.
Carbon monoxide kills if left undetected
For the safety of you and your family, it is advisable to fit a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in your home. Just like a smoke alarm which alerts you to the presence of smoke, a carbon monoxide detector will alert you to the presence of CO.
The difference with CO is that it is invisible and has no smell or taste, so you might not realise it is there.
Smoke alarms do not detect carbon monoxide.
What alarm should I fit?
Gas Safe Register recommends the use of audible carbon monoxide alarms marked with British Standard EN 50291. It should also have a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark. CO alarms usually have a battery life of up to 5 years.
Fit an alarm in each room with a gas appliance. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before installing it.
Do not use the ‘black spot’ detectors that change colour when carbon monoxide is present, they don’t make a sound. It is important to choose an alarm that will wake you up if you’re asleep, or you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late.
Where can I get an alarm?
Carbon monoxide alarms are available from DIY retailers and cost around £20. They are usually found in the home security section.
Ask your Gas Safe registered engineer if you are not sure which alarm to buy or how to fit it – your engineer will be able to advise you.
A carbon monoxide alarm is no substitute for correct installation and servicing of your gas appliances. Make sure you get your appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
Gas appliances that are left unchecked could be leaking carbon monoxide
Your gas appliances, including your gas boiler, oven, hob and gas fires should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines (or at least once a year) by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
If you do not have your gas appliances checked and serviced every year you could be putting you and your family in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Signs that your appliances need servicing
Look out for warnings signs that show your gas appliances need to be serviced:
Your gas appliance is not working properly
Your appliance is burning with a lazy yellow or orange flame instead of a crisp blue flame
You can see soot or yellow/brown staining around or on gas appliances
The pilot light keeps going out
There is increased condensation inside windows
If you notice any of these signs or anything else that is unusual, get your Gas Safe registered engineer to check your appliances as soon as possible.
Servicing your gas appliances regularly will make sure they are safe to use. It will also improve your appliances efficiency and performance.
Flues and chimneys
Flues, chimneys and air vents allow gas to escape from your home. You must keep flues, chimneys and air vents clear so that fumes can escape easily.
Never block these airways to prevent a draft. Blocking ventilation is dangerous and could result in carbon monoxide building up in your home.
Have chimneys swept every year, no matter how much you use the fire, to make sure fumes can escape freely. Check for birds nests, leaves and other natural debris, they could be blocking the exit.
Make sure you and your family are gas safe while on holiday
If you are going on holiday or staying away from home in a rented holiday home or hotel, you may be at risk from poorly maintained, badly installed or faulty gas appliances.
When you are on holiday, at home or abroad, you could be at risk of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning from poorly maintained gas appliances in the property.
You don’t know how often the gas appliances have been checked or serviced by the owners.
Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas, with no colour, taste or smell. It can kill quickly and without warning. Even low levels can cause long lasting health problems.
To be safe, Gas Safe Register recommends that you take a battery operated audible carbon monoxide alarm on holiday. Put it in your room to detect any carbon monoxide in the property and it should alert you to danger. You can buy carbon monoxide alarms in most DIY retailers for around £20 or from your energy supplier. Remember to remove the batteries before airport check-in to make sure the alarm doesn’t go off during your flight. When you return from holiday, you can use the same alarm to alert you to harmful levels of carbon monoxide in your own home
We recommend following Gas Safe Register’s advice to stay safe on holiday where you can download the top tips to holiday safety.
Landlords have specific legal responsibilities to their tenants when it comes to gas safety
If you are a landlord letting a property equipped with gas appliances you need to understand and comply with the law relating to gas safety.
If you let a property, you must make sure that pipe work, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition. You need to have a gas safety check every year. A Gas Safe registered engineer must carry out the safety check in your properties in Great Britain and the Isle of Man. You must give your tenants a copy of the gas safety certificate within 28 days of it being carried out or before they move in.
You are also obliged to show your tenants how they can turn off the gas supply in the event of a gas leak.
As a landlord, you are legally responsible for making sure that a Gas Safe registered engineer checks the gas appliances in your rental properties every 12 months and gives you copies of the gas safety certificates.
Gas safety certificates
When your Gas Safe registered engineer has checked the gas appliances in your rental property they will give you a gas safety certificate. This certificate confirms the gas appliances have been checked and are safe.
You must give your tenant a copy of these gas safety certificates within 28 days of the checks being done, or give a copy of the gas safety certificate to a new tenant before they move in.
Remember, you must keep a record of each safety check for two years.
Gas safety certificates are issued by Gas Safe registered engineers to confirm that gas appliances are working safely
After your gas appliance has been installed or serviced, your Gas Safe registered engineer will give you a gas safety certificate. This certificate tells you that the gas appliance is safe and the work meets the safety standards. It will also tell you when you next need to service the appliance. Getting your appliances serviced every year is vital to its safety and efficiency.
Gas safety certificates for tenants
Tenants must get a copy of the gas safety certificate for their property from their landlord. This certificate shows that gas appliances have been safety checked and serviced every year by a registered engineer.
Ask your landlord for a copy of the gas safety certificate and check the date. Make sure you understand your landlord’s legal responsibilities.
Gas safety certificates for landlords
By law, landlords must provide up-to-date gas safety certificates to their tenants. This certificate shows the tenant appliances have been serviced and the property is gas safe. Make sure you know your legal responsibilities as a landlord.
The ‘Landlord Gas Safety Record’ is often referred to as a ‘Gas Safety Certificate’ or ‘CP12’ form. Gas Safe Register does not produce its own gas safety certificate but many retailers produce these certificates.
As a landlord, you must have a gas safety check carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer on all of your properties every year.
Any gas safety record given to you after 1 April 2009 will only be valid if the engineer is registered with Gas Safe
What should I do if my tenant’s heating and hot water has been switched off due to a gas safety check or maintenance?
If a gas appliance has been switched off by a Gas Safe Registered engineer it is because it is unsafe and should not be used. No matter how inconvenient the situation is for the tenant such action helps to ensure their safety. If a heating appliance has been disconnected then you must provide your tenant with emergency heating, for more information on this contact your local authority whilst arranging for appropriate remedial work by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
How far do I need to go if the tenant prevents access for a gas safety check?
A landlord has to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the law. HSE recommends the following best practice in these circumstances and strongly advises that a record be kept of all correspondence with the tenants:
leave the tenant a notice stating that an attempt was made to complete the gas safety check and provide your contact details;
write to the tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement and that it is for the tenants own safety. Give the tenant the opportunity to arrange their own appointment;
HSE inspectors will look for at least three attempts to complete the gas safety check, including the above suggestions; however the approach will need to be appropriate to each circumstance. It would ultimately be for a court to decide if the action taken was reasonable depending upon the individual circumstances.
It is a good idea to include arrangements for access in the tenancy agreement