Gas leaks can kill you. Please make sure you read the following advice.
What to do if you smell gas
If you smell gas call National Grid on 0800 111 999 free of charge at any time, day or night.
If you have difficulties hearing, the Minicom or Textphone number is 0800 371 787.
- don’t turn electric switches or appliances on or off
- don’t use your mobile phone inside your home
- don’t smoke or use naked flames
- immediately turn off the incoming gas supply at the meter
- open windows to allow the gas to escape
- leave your home so that you are breathing natural air
- then contact Barnet Homes so they can take any further action needed.
Keep gas appliances safe
Faulty appliances can give off poisonous carbon monoxide fumes. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide gas, but it can kill.
- cover an appliance or block any air vents
- block or cover outside flues
- block any fixed ventilation airbricks
- interfere with your boiler or try to take its cover off
- use an appliance that may not be working properly.
- get permission for any improvement that will affect a room containing a gas appliance
- report an appliance you think is not working properly.
Some gas flues cannot be inspected because they are hidden behind walls or ceilings. We need to check these are in good condition so that there is no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning to you or your family.
From 1 January 2013 any part of a flue system that cannot be inspected will be classed as ‘at risk’ by the engineer.
In these cases, we will arrange for an inspection hatches to be fitted so that the gas flue can be checked. We aim to do this within 48 hours but we may need to turn off your gas appliance for safety reasons in the meantime.
This measure is due to changes to legislation and is aimed at protecting you and your family, but we apologise for any inconvenience it may cause you.
Our gas contractors Mears have also been instructed to install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms at every annual gas service check. This is aimed at further reducing risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause serious injury or death.
Find out more about gas safety
For more advice about gas safety call our gas contractors Mears:
- 0800 389 5225
What to do if the CO alarm sounds
Residents should open all windows and doors and leave the property – contact national grid and then report the same to Mears
Residents must test the CO alarm at least every 3 months to ensure that it is working this will help keep you safer in your home.
Carbon Monoxide is a colourless, odourless, highly, poisonous gas that is found in gas appliances, poor ventilation, poorly maintained, appliances not checked by a qualified engineer every 12 months can all cause CO to escape into your home. This can be extremely dangerous.
It can make you feel ill almost flu like symptoms :
- Mild headaches
You should test your CO alarm is working and then request if you are concerned at all that a Mears engineer attends and can carry out tests to ensure all is safe and working well.
Mears are our approved gas contractors for both communal and domestic boilers. This means they are they contractors for the boilers on our estates.
Gas safety checks
The Gas Regulations specify a legal requirement for the landlord (Barnet Homes) to carry out an annual gas safety check on the gas appliances in your home. We need to do this not only to meet the legal requirement, but also to ensure that the gas appliances are safe for you to use. This includes checking the full heating system including radiators and the boiler and a gas fire if you have one. We will also carry out a visual check on the appliances that are not owned by Barnet Homes such as the gas cooker. In addition we will test the CO alarm in your home and if you do not have one then the engineer at the time of the visit will fit one for you. You will then be issued with a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate (LGSR) by post within 28 days and one will be available to us immediate electronically.
We manage over 8000 properties with gas appliances and we need to ensure that we are accessing all of these each year before the last certificate expires. We contact residents 42 days prior to the expiry date on the current certificate, the first contact will be from our gas contractors advising you that the safety check is due and offering you an appointment. We do offer 2 hour appointment times and you should contact Mears on receiving the letter to arrange an appointment more suitable for you. The engineer will arrive on the day offered and arranged with you in the time slot agreed. If you are not at home, they will try to call you on the number we have and leave a calling card. This will then issue a further letter to you with new appointment details. This process will happen 3 times before the property is referred back to Barnet Homes for their perusal. Barnet Homes follow a similar process whereby we will issue you 3 letters, we will also be doing other checks working closely with our fraud team, housing officers and care teams to understand if there is additional support we need make considerations for in gaining access.
We have recently introduced a new policy to ensure that we are meeting our legal obligation to you and as a landlord. The Barnet Homes 3rd letter will notify you of a court date where we will attend and seek to obtain a warrant to carry out a forced entry to your home and undertake the gas safety check. This not only takes time and cost the organization further, but where contact or access is being denied we will recharge these monies back from the resident. therefore allowing us access first time reduces the risk in line with gas regulations and also prevents further investigation to commence in terms of your tenancy.
Before we force entry we will hand deliver a letter to your home to notify you of when this will happen. We will also have a warrant from the court authorising the access. On arrival if there is no answer at the door a carpenter will force entry and we will carry out a gas check or where this is not possible we will cap(disconnect) your gas meter, until we hear further from the resident to reinstate and carry out the work. We do, on occasion have to change the locks and if this is the case we will leave a note on your door advising you where you can collect keys from. Identification and some security questions will need to be answered correctly before they are issued and this could delay you getting access into your home and increase the cost that may be recharged back to you. We appreciate that this is not the most customer focused approach and may cause some frustration; we will always do what we reasonably can before we apply this option. We would like to avoid this process where possible and are keen to work through and resolve potential roadblocks to make this process a more amicable and straight forward.
What is a gas Carcass and information as to why we still need access even if you feel there is no gas in the property
You may think that you have no gas on your home or do not use gas. We need to check the appliances if they are in use or not. Often you may have a dead gas supply to your property, or a gas meter that you may not use. These are known as gas carcasses in the gas industry and we need to still attend and ensure that a gas appliance has not been connected and that there are no other changes to the gas carcass since our last visit. This is a requirement under the gas regulations.
If we find a unsafe appliance
There may be occasion where the appliance is found unsafe and the engineer on site will applies the gas industry unsafe procedure and advisee of the next steps that will be taken. This could mean that they need to turn of the gas appliances for your safety, if this is what happens next will be explained to you.
It is important that we gain access first time, as this means that any risk in your home in terms of gas safety has been minimised for you, it also means that Mears donate £1 to Barnet Homes for every 1st access they get. This money accumulates and is then passed back to you as our residents to apply for a community initiative fund to make improvements to your local area. Therefore 1st time access not only helps us meet our legal obligation it further secures your safety but also means there will more money donated by Mears that you can then apply to use for your local community.