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Carbon monoxide, the silent killer: How to stay safe

Getting into your home to service your appliances

Part of your tenancy agreement says that you should give us access to your home for gas maintenance or safety work and we should take all reasonable steps to make sure that this work is carried out. This may involve giving written notice to ask for access to your home. If we can’t get into your home after repeated contact, we'll take legal action. If we do have to take action, we'll recover all legal costs from you.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas that has no colour, taste or smell. It can be released by any appliance that burns wood, gas, oil or coal, such as BBQ’s, camp stoves and gas appliances. Carbon monoxide emissions from poorly installed or badly maintained gas appliances and flues cause the death of 50 people and the hospitalisation of 200 people every year.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 specify that it is the duty of landlords to make sure that all gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants in their homes are safe. 

How to tell there could be carbon monoxide in your home

  • Look out for gas appliances burning with a yellow/orange flame that’s normally blue
  • Extra condensation
  • Pilot lights blowing out on your appliances
  • Sooting and/or yellow stains around appliances. 

The main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Breathlessness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Chest or stomach pains.

What should I do if I suspect a gas leak?

  • Do not operate electrical light or power switches
  • Turn off the gas supply immediately at the meter/control valve
  • Put out all naked flames
  • Do not smoke
  • Ventilate the building by opening doors and windows
  • Consider leaving the building (make sure that the property is not left insecure).

How you can protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Have a working carbon monoxide alarm. We're fitting free ones for all of our tenants and leaseholders
  • Keep rooms well ventilated while using gas or solid fuel appliances such as cookers or fires 
  • Have all appliances, flues and chimneys correctly installed and serviced by trained, reputable and competent engineers –do not attempt to do it yourself. As a landlord we service all of the appliances we own in your home on a regular basis. 

What is our responsibility as a landlord?

  • All relevant gas fittings and appliances, pipe work and flues must be maintained in good condition
  • A yearly gas safety check has to be carried out on relevant gas appliances and flues
  • A record of each safety check must be kept for a maximum of two years
  • A copy of the landlord gas safety record must be issued to every tenant within 28 days of the check being completed, or to any new tenant before they move into their new home. 
  • We must make sure that gas appliances and fittings are safe before a home is re-let.

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Red Kite Community Housing, Windsor Court, Kingsmead Business Park, High Wycombe, HP11 1JU

Red Kite Community Housing is the trading name of Red Kite Community Housing Limited, a charitable registered society which operates for the benefit of the community under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered in England with the Financial Conduct Authority (registration number 31322R) and the Regulator of Social Housing (registration number 4682). VAT number 290 7410 06.