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 barbecues, camp stoves and gas appliances. Carbon monoxide emissions from poorly installed or badly maintained gas appliances and flues cause the deaths 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 if there may be carbon monoxide in your home

  • Look out for gas appliances burning with a yellow/orange flame - a blue flame is normal
  • Extra condensation
  • Pilot lights blowing out on your appliances
  • Soot 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 use electrical light or power switches
  • Turn off the gas supply immediately at the meter/control valve
  • Put out all naked flames, such as cigarettes or candles
  • Do not smoke
  • Ventilate the building by opening doors and windows
  • Consider leaving the building (but make sure that the home is not left unsecured).

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, pipework 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 at least 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
  • We're also actively removing appliances that burn solid fuel, such as open fires, gas fires and log burners from homes when they are vacant between tenants. This reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, and also the risk of out of control fires, making our neighbourhoods safer. We will not give permission to reinstate a solid fuel burning appliance in your home - read more about why we do not permit the reopening of chimneys.