Unsafe gas appliances have been found in one-fifth (21 per cent) of privately-rented accommodation – which means that more than 2.7million people could be living in dangerous housing.
Gas Safe’s investigation data spanning five years reveals that gas heaters are the most dangerous appliances in rented accommodation, accounting for the majority (59 per cent) of all unsafe appliances.
Unsafe and unaware
One-fifth of renters (19 per cent) don’t know that their boiler should be safety checked every year, and half of them (11 per cent) don’t think their boiler has been inspected this year.
Although landlords are responsible for ensuring that all gas appliances provided by them are safety checked every year by a Gas Safe engineer, more than one-third (37 per cent) are unaware of their duty of care. One in seven landlords (15 per cent) think gas appliance safety is the responsibility of their local council.
The most dangerous regions for harbouring unsafe gas appliances were:
- West Midlands – 28 per cent
- Wales – 19 per cent
- East England – 19 per cent
- Scotland – 18 per cent
- North West – 17 per cent
Homeowners are also confused about where responsibility lies in ensuring their household appliances are safe. Only half (49 per cent) of homeowners know that it is their responsibility, while one in seven (14 per cent) think gas safety is the responsibility of their gas provider.
Gas Safe Register managing director Jonathan Samuel says: “Gas safety can be a matter of life or death. The findings from the 122,000 inspections carried out by our team over the past five years show us that more unsafe appliances have been found in rented accommodation than in privately owned homes. However, any unsafe appliance can have devastating consequences, regardless of the type of property.
“We are urging renters, homeowners and landlords alike to make sure they know to get gas appliances checked on an annual basis and, as a legal requirement, to ‘trust the triangle’ by using a Gas Safe registered engineer.”
• Data from the investigations team at Gas Safe Register