Gas Safety Week 15th – 21st September: Keep your Home Gas Safe!

publication date: Sep 18, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Keep your home Gas Safe!

It’s Gas Safety Week, and with a hair-raising one in six appliances unsafe, according to recent Gas Safe Register figures, this is a good time for homeowners to review how you look after your appliances. Gas Safe Register, Fire and Rescue Services are touring the country this week to advise the public on how to stay safe. For more information, and some handy online tools that will help you keep safe, go to our Gas Safe Checklist

Keeping your home Gas Safe: five top tips

  1. The three main appliances to check are your boiler, cooker and gas fire, if you have one. It’s essential to get new appliances fitted by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
  2. A Gas Safe-registered engineer should carry out an annual safety check and service.
  3. Look for tell-tale signs of faults: sooty stains, condensation, blocked ventilation ducts and erratic gas flames are indications that something needs checking – fast. Dangerous appliances may expose you to risk of fire, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, the ‘silent killer’.
  4. You can’t smell, see or taste carbon monoxide so place an audible CO detector in every room with a gas appliance, you can order ones recommended by the Fire Service
  5. Never, ever bring your gas-fired barbecue into an enclosed space, or use an appliance for anything other than what it’s designed for. To find out more, and to check you know what to do in an emergency, see Stay Gas Safe
Choosing an engineer
Always choose a Gas Safe-registered engineer.

Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers qualified to work safely and legally on your appliances.

Check your engineer’s ID card carefully, front and back, to ensure they are registered. You can also call or text Gas Safe’s ‘check an engineer’ service – see their website for details.

On the other hand, if you have a HomeCare agreement with your supplier or insurance company such as Direct Line, British Gas or Homeserve this should include an annual service, by a registered and fully-qualified engineer.

What it costs to carry out gas works: a rough guide
Prices can vary a lot between regions, with London prices inevitably higher.

Property size and type may also influence what you pay. Decide whether you want a budget job done, or want to upgrade to a ‘standard’ or ‘premium’ finish. You may prefer to ask for three or more quotes to start with.

Costs for a Gas Safe Certificate and Annual Service: from £80
You can pay from £80 annually and although online companies may advertise cheaper rates, check their low prices apply to your property size, type and region.

Check out our Gas Safe checklist

To fit a new gas cooker: expect £60-£150
A simple job shouldn’t take more than an hour; confirm whether you’re paying hourly or by the half-day, ideally always go for a fixed quote for a job like this.

Installing a new gas fire: costs from £85 to £400
The price will depend on modifications, e.g. to the flue. Prices can change considerably for a job like this, so it’s worth getting a few quotes, rather than just one, unless it’s a Gas Engineer you know well and trust.

Fitting a new boiler: expect £1,500 - £5,000
This feels like a massive gap in costs, but it’s because it depends on:-

  1. The size and type of boiler. Most cost from £500+ VAT through to £2,500+ VAT

  2. The need for pipework can add up quite a lot, especially if you are upgrading the pipework for a bigger boiler

  3. Works like magni-cleaners and flushing your central heating system may seem ‘extra costs’ but it’s worth it to have a thorough job done

Boilers sadly don’t last as long as they used to in many cases. Many were made cheaper through plastic fittings which have proved not to be great and can cause break downs regularly.

Although shopping around first might unearth less pricey, time-limited special offers, it’s worth taking the advice of your gas safe engineer, they are the ones who have worked with different types of boilers and although you might be able to find a cheaper one to buy, it’s not cheaper in the long run if it breaks down frequently or lasts 5 years instead of 10.

Remember too that if you go for a really high rated efficiency boiler, you could actually make back the money you’ve paid out in lower heating bills and over a 10 year period, you may even break even!

Check out our Gas Safe checklist

Installing a new central heating system: from £5,000 to £10,000
Relates to property size, type of boiler, whether gas needs reconnecting and where you live. Up to £5,000 is likely and it’s smart to consider a range of quotes before choosing one mid-range.

Get and keep certificates! 
All gas work needs a certificate to say that it’s been done and if you sell the property, this paperwork will be required, so keep it safe and accessible!

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All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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