Sunday, 5 July 2009

Landlords reminded to check gas appliances regularly following HSE prosecution

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging landlords and property agents to ensure that their gas appliances are serviced and maintained and that landlords’ gas safety checks are completed. It follows the prosecution of a Tamworth man, after four people were taken to hospital suffering suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at a rented property.

Paul Bird was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,220 in costs at Burton on Trent Magistrates Court on 8 June, after pleading guilty to four charges under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.
The incident occurred in a property on Prospect Street, Tamworth on 11 December last year. The four people who were taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, were released the same day.
Mr Bird was the managing agent of the property. The court heard that following the incident, British Gas and HSE visited the house, to inspect the appliances. They identified that the back boiler, gas flue and gas fire were immediately dangerous.
It also emerged that a landlord’s gas safety check had not been completed at the property and there was no evidence that the gas appliances, which were almost 30 years old, had been serviced in recent years.
Speaking after the case, HSE investigating inspector Andrew Bowker said:
“Approximately 20 people are killed every year by carbon monoxide poisoning due to unsafe gas appliances and flues. Landlords and managing agents must ensure that their gas appliances are checked for safety on an annual basis and are suitably serviced and maintained. Mr Bird fell well below the required standard and it was fortunate those affected recovered quickly.
“HSE would also urge any private tenant in a property with a gas appliance installed, to ensure that their landlord has provided them with a current gas safety certificate.”