You should never try to install or maintain any gas appliance unless you have received the appropriate training and certification. By law, all gas engineers must be Gas Safe registered. The Gas Safe Register replaced CORGI in 2009.
Five top tips to keep you safe in your home
1. Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer when installing, servicing or fixing any of your domestic gas appliances like your boiler, cooker and fire. Check with your registered engineer, as they may also be able to assist with repairs or installation of your central heating system, radiator, or hot water system. Find a Gas Safe Which? Trusted trader in your local area.
Which? Trusted trader John Creasey said: 'It's normal for an engineer to provide a copy of a service/ maintenance checklist at the time of any boiler service, plus a record of combustion performance analysis (CPA) readings . If a modern condensing boiler requires the heat exchanger to be opened, it's normal for a new seal to be required (and a label fitted with the date it was changed). Should you have an extended warranty on a boiler, CPA print-outs and service or maintenance checklists are proof that you have the appliance serviced regularly.'
2. Remember to ask to see your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card when they arrive. Gas Safe registered engineers should be happy to show their ID card with their own unique licence number. It shows you care about their qualifications and are safety-conscious. Here’s what you need to check on their card.
3. Ensure your gas appliances are serviced and safety checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer. For landlords, this is a legal requirement. For other householders, we strongly recommend an annual check for your own safety and peace of mind.
Which Trusted trader Real Boiler Servicing & Maintenance told us: 'Boilers should be serviced annually but it's also important to have an annual gas safety check of all the appliances in your property. Regulations are always being revised for our safety - an annual service and safety check will make sure you're up-to-date and safe.'
Boilers famously are more likely to break down in winter, John Creasey said: 'This is often because the heating side of the boiler is not used for about six months and the valves get stuck. If you put your heating on for a few minutes once a week over the summer, this problem can be avoided.' Get more expert tips from John in our article on looking after your plumbing system.
4. Install a carbon-monoxide detector. This will detect carbon monoxide produced by any unsafe gas appliances and alert you to the danger. You can't see, taste or smell carbon monoxide gas, so the only way of detecting its presence is with a detector. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause serious long-term health damage and can kill. The Which? guide to choosing a carbon monoxide detector has lots of expert tips to help you choose the right model for your home.
5. Do not ignore a suspected gas or carbon monoxide leak. Act fast. Open all of your doors and windows for ventilation. Turn off gas at the mains and call the relevant emergency advice line:
- National Gas Emergency number 0800 111 999
- Solid Fuel Advice Line 0845 601 4406
- Oil (OFTEC): 0845 658 5080
Seek medical advice. Have all your appliances serviced and checked by a registered engineer. Don't use them until you're told it's safe to do so.