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FAQ

 

 

Electrical FAQs

 

EPC FAQs

 

Green Energy FAQs

 

Gas FAQs

 

PAT Testing FAQs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electrical FAQs

 

Which is safer; alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC)?

 

Alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) have slightly different effects on the human body, but both are dangerous above a certain voltage. The risk of injury changes according to the frequency of the AC, and it is common for DC to have an AC component (called ripple). Someone with special equipment can measure this, but the effect on a particular person is very difficult to predict as it depends upon a large number of factors. As a consequence you should always avoid contact with high-voltage electrical conductors, regardless of the type of electrical current they are carrying.

 

More detailed technical information on electrical injury is given in the standard BS PD 6519 'Guide to the effects of current on human beings and livestock - Part 1: General aspects.

 

How do I know if my electrical equipment is safe?

 

 

You can find out if your electrical equipment is safe by carrying out suitable checks, such as inspection and / or testing. The level of inspection and / or testing should depend upon the risks. A simple visual inspection[6] is likely to be sufficient for equipment used in a clean, dry environment. In addition, equipment that is more likely to become damaged, or is operated in a harsh environment, is likely to require more demanding electrical tests.

 

Checks should be carried out often enough to ensure there is little chance the equipment will become unsafe between checks. It is good practice to make a decision on how often each piece of equipment should be checked, write this down, make sure checks are carried out accordingly and write down the results. You should change how often you carry out checks, according to the number and severity of faults found.

 

The best way to find out if specialised equipment is safe is to have it inspected and tested by a person with specific competence on that type of equipment. This may be the original manufacturer or their authorised service and repair agent. A reputable servicing company that deals with that type of equipment should also be competent to check its safety.

 

 

How do I know if my electrical installation is safe?

 

The best way to find out if your electrical installation is safe is to have it inspected and tested by a person who has the competence to do so, such as an approved contractor from:

 

 

Approved electrical contractors from these bodies will be able to advise you how to make your installation safe. These can be found in the Yellow Pages.

 

It is possible to do simple checks on your installation, using an electrical socket tester. This is a device that can be plugged into a socket outlet to identify if there is a wiring fault. However, be aware that many types of socket tester can't detect certain types of fault, and could indicate the socket is safe when it actually isn't. For further information on socket testers,

 

Who should I talk to about electrical safety?

 

 

In the first instance, a competent electrical contractor should be able to give advice on electrical safety and should also be able to direct you to a suitable electrical engineer for advice about specialist areas. If you can't get satisfactory answers,

 

What voltages are dangerous?

 

 

A wide range of voltages can be dangerous for different reasons. A very low voltage (such as that produced by a single torch battery) can produce a spark powerful enough to ignite an explosive atmosphere. Batteries (such as those in motor vehicles) can also overheat or explode if they are shorted.

 

If a person comes into contact with a voltage above about 50 volts, they can receive a range of injuries, including those directly resulting from electrical shock (problems with breathing, heart function etc); and indirect effects resulting from loss of control (such as falling from height or coming into contact with moving machinery). The chance of being injured by an electric shock increases where it is damp or where there is a lot of metalwork.

 

Electrical or thermal burns can also occur from the flow of electrical current or hot surfaces,

 

What should I do if I think I have seen an unsafe electrical installation or equipment?

 

If you think you have an unsafe electrical installation you should first warn everyone to stay away from it and - if safe to do so - switch it off. You should then contact a competent person, such as an approved contractor from:

 

 

If the installation you think is unsafe is not owned by you or under your control, you should try to find out who owns it and then contact them. Electrical distribution poles, pylons and equipment should have a contact telephone number attached to them.

 

If you can't find out who owns or controls an electrical installation that you think is unsafe, you should contact your local authority

 

 

How do I know if someone is competent to do electrical work?

 

A person can demonstrate competence to perform electrical work if they have successfully completed an assessed training course, run by an accredited training organisation that included the type of work being considered. As part of that course, this person should have demonstrated an ability to understand electrical theory and put this into practice.

 

A successfully completed electrical apprenticeship, with some post-apprenticeship experience, is a good way of demonstrating competence for general electrical work. More specialised work, such as maintenance of high-voltage switchgear or control system modification, is almost certainly likely to require additional training and experience.

 

Issues of competence are covered in:

 

Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. Guidance on Regulations

 

[22]

 

 

 

Can I do my own electrical work?

 

You can do your own electrical work if you are competent to do so. Simple tasks such as wiring a plug are within the grasp of many people but more complex tasks, such as modifying an electrical installation, may not be.

 

It is particularly important that anyone who undertakes electrical work is able to satisfy the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

 

For work on electrical installations below 1000 volts AC, you should be able to work within the guidelines set out in BS7671 'Requirements for electrical installations. IET Wiring Regulations. Seventeenth edition'. Other work should be carried out according to the guidelines set out in the relevant industry standard.

 

Those who wish to undertake electrical testing work would normally be expected to have more knowledge and be able to demonstrate competence through the successful completion of a suitable training course.

 

More complex electrical tasks, such as motor repair or maintenance of radio frequency heating equipment, should only be carried out by someone who has been trained to do them.

 

ssues of competence are covered in:

 

Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. Guidance on Regulations

 

[26]

 

 

 

When should I use a residual current device?

 

 

It is advisable to use a residual current device (RCD) whenever possible but particularly in wet or damp locations, such as outdoors. An RCD rated at no more than 30 mA limits the energy in a particular type of electric shock and can save your life. However, an RCD cannot protect you from every type of electric shock, so you should still make sure that circuits are securely isolated before you work on them.

 

It is best to use an RCD that is incorporated into the switchboard of your installation. This means that all circuits fed from that RCD are protected by it. An RCD that is incorporated into an ordinary mains socket, or plugged into it, will protect anything attached to that socket, but it is possible that equipment may be plugged into another, unprotected socket.

 

RCDs should be regularly tested by pressing the 'test' button and making sure the RCD trips. Faulty or inoperative RCDs should be removed from use.

 

RCDs rated above 30 mA provide very limited protection against harm from an electric shock.

 

If you use electrical equipment in particularly harsh conditions, it is worth selecting lower voltage equipment powered by a transformer with an output centre tapped to earth, or powered by a battery. Additional precautions may also be required, depending on the specific location. See Section 7 of BS7671 'Requirements for Electrical Installations, IET Wiring Regulations. Seventeenth edition' for guidance on this.

How often should I get my electrical installation tested?

 

Electrical installations should be tested often enough that there is little chance of deterioration leading to danger. Any part of an installation that has become obviously defective between tests should be de-energised until the fault can be fixed.

 

You should have your electrical installation inspected and tested by a person who has the competence to do so, such as an approved contractor from:

 

 

Approved electrical contractors from these bodies can be found in the Yellow Pages.

 

It is possible to do simple checks on your installation using an electrical socket tester. This is a device that can be plugged into a socket outlet to identify if there is a wiring fault. However, please be aware that many types of socket tester cannot detect certain types of fault, and could indicate the socket is safe when it actually isn't. For further information on socket testers,

 

 

What you should do if your question isn't answered on any of our FAQ pages?

 

 

 

CSI runs free installations Safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, building) Advice Line/chat online offering information on installations safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, and building)

 

 

 

  • The Line is open between 10:00am and 2:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 11.00am to1.00pm on Friday (excluding bank holiday). To contact the Safety Advice call 020 7993 2002
  • The chat online is open between 9:00am and 5:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 10.00am to 4:00pm on Friday to Sunday (including bank holiday).

 

 Request a call back

 

 

 

 

EPC FAQ

 

 

I have an existing EPC for my- is it still valid?

 

Existing EPCs are now valid for 10 years from there certificate date.

 

 

How long does an EPC assessment take?

 

Around 45mins to 1 hour for a typical 3-bed house. Complex properties with one or more extensions can take longer.

 

 

What is the assessment procedure

 

In general terms the assessment is primarily interested in the efficiency details of the heating and hot water provision for the property and  secondly in the structure characteristics of the building including walls, floors, roof and glazing type present. Dimensions of the property will be taken to ascertain the floor area and floor heights. Access to all rooms is required to log information on radiators, glazing and lighting. The loft area is checked for insulation. Photographs are taken during the assessment purely to support site note statements and are not released with the EPC.

 

 

Will my current spendingenergy bills be taken into account? 

 

The estimated energy bill calculations on the EPC are based on standardised living conditions and not on the individual owner's lifestyle. This allows benchmark comparisons between properties of a similar type.

 

 

Will I invalidate the EPC if I carry out changes to the property? 

 

No. You will need to point out to perspective buyers that you have made the changes and therefore increased the energy efficiency rating to that stated.
If you make significant changes you should consider getting the certificate renewed (would require a re-visit) in order that the EPC fully represents the property as it is now and the fuel cost calculations on the front of the certificate show the savings from the changes made.

 

 

Will you needlift floorboards?

 

The assessment is based on a visual inspection only and therefore there is no need to remove or move fixtures. Access will be needed to all rooms including the loft and any cellar as well as access to the boiler, heating controls, hot-water storage and gas/electric meters.

 

 

I know I have loft insulation but it is hidden under boards?

 

A: Every reasonable effort is made to identify where insulation is installed including cavities and loft (see restriction of visual assessment above). Where no access is possible it will be necessary for the owner to provide an installation certificate or guarantee/warrantee as evidence.

 

 

I want to check the energy efficiency rating of my house but I am not looking to sell yet? 

 

It is possible to arrange an EPC at any time and if you are not moving you will benefit from finding out how good your home is in terms of generating and retaining the heat energy used and what improvements could be made to reduce your energy bills.

 

 

 

 Are you fully insured? 

Yes. All accredited energy assessors are required to carry Public Indemnity and Public Liability insurance.

 

What you should do if your question isn't answered on any of our FAQ pages?

 

CSI runs free installations Safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, building) Advice Line/chat online offering information on installations safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, and building)

 

  • The Line is open between 10:00am and 2:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 11.00am to1.00pm on Friday (excluding bank holiday). To contact the Safety Advice call 020 7993 2002
  • The chat online is open between 9:00am and 5:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 10.00am to 4:00pm on Friday to Sunday (including bank holiday).

 Request a call back

 

 

 

Green Energy FAQs

 

 

How long will the installation take?

 

A. Depending on weather approx 3 days. We will need to disconnect your power supply for approx 45 minutes for system commissioning.

 

 

Is planning permission required?

 

A. Planning permission is only required if you are in a conservation area or you intend to put the panels on a listed building. Although more expensive in these instances we can use solar tiles which are more aesthetically pleasing to help appease the planning authorities.

 

 

What is the lifetime of the system?

 

Solar systems have no moving parts, and require very little maintenance, therefore there expected lifespan is measured in decades.

 

 

What maintenance is required?

 

Very little, a good rain shower should keep the panels clean, however if there is a particularly heavy or stubborn soiling then this should be removed to prevent long term damage.

 

 

Can I use the electricity I produce and still get paid for it?

 

Yes you will be paid for 43.3p for every KWH you generate whether you use it or not. if you don’t use it you will be paid an additional payment of 3p for every unit you export back to the grid.

 

 

Can solar panels be mounted on a flat roof?

 

Yes, we can mount the panels on a frame which will orientate the panels exactly.

 

 

What is the best way to gain the maximum out of my solar system?

 

As you will only receive 3p for every KWH you export back to the grid and if you buy electricity from the grid at @13p it makes sense to use all the electricity you generate before you buy more from the grid.

 

 

Do solar panels always have to be roof mounted?

 

No, if you have land available we can mount the panels on a ground mounting system.

 

 

How can I best use all the electricity I generate?

 

Because the electricity you generate can not be stored it must be used as it is generated or it will be shipped back to the grid. With careful planning such as running the dishwasher, washing m/c, vacuum and even cooking during daylight hours you will use the electricity from the panels as it is generated.

 

 

If we have a power cut will I still be able to use the electricity I am generating?

 

By law the inverter which is the equipment that converts the dc electric produced by the panels to ac electric which can be used in the house must shut down if grid power is lost, this is a safety feature to prevent electrocution to engineers working on the faulty grid. However with additional hardware, although more expensive it is possible to continue generating power from the panels and directly power your home.

 

 

Does my roof need to face a certain direction?

 

Yes, the best direction is south facing, however good results can be obtained from any roof facing between east and west.

 

 

How do I know if my system is working correctly?

 

We will install a power meter to show you exactly how much power you are and have produced including how much money you have made. After a while you will know if the system is performing correctly or not.

 

 

Will the new coalition government back this scheme?

 

Yes the present government fully supports this scheme and recognizes that it is an essential part of our future energy supply and security.

 

 

What if my roof needs replacing?

 

We will inform you of the state of your roof and its likely time span at the initial survey stage. All our systems are designed to be dismantled. So if you roof needs replacing say 12 years after the installation of your system, the panels and rails can be easily removed and then replaced after the roof has been repaired.

 

 

How do I receive my payments?

 

Once we have commissioned the system we will contact all the necessary agencies to register your system for the feed in tariff. You will then be asked by your energy provider to submit the reading of your generation meter on a quarterly or 6 monthly basis. The energy company will then pay you for the amount of electricity you have generated and exported.

 

 

What if my system develops a fault?

 

We offer a 10 year insurance backed guarantee on all our installations. In addition our panels come with a 25 year power output guarantee.

 

 

What if I move home

 

The new home owner will receive the tariff for the remainder of the duration. It is therefore expected that properties that have this technology installed will attract a premium over properties that do not.

 

 

Are my solar panels covered on my house insurance?

 

We advise all our clients to confirm with their insurer as to the extent of their cover. Some insurers request a small additional premium.

 

 

What if there is a hail shower

 

The solar panels can withstand a hailstone of 50mm diameter, far bigger than anything we have seen in the UK

 

 

What if my system gets struck by lightning?

 

Lightning strikes are always a remote possibility for any household, however fitting a solar system has no additional effect on this likelihood. The average house has a once in a 1000 years chance of being struck by lightning.

 

 

We don’t get much sunshine in the UK so how will the panel’s work?

 

Solar panels do not rely on sunshine but more sunlight, so even on cloudy days and in winter they will still generate electricity.

 

 

What you should do if your question isn't answered on any of our FAQ pages?

 

 

 

CSI runs free installations Safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, building) Advice Line/chat online offering information on installations safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, and building)

 

 

 

  • The Line is open between 10:00am and 2:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 11.00am to1.00pm on Friday (excluding bank holiday). To contact the Safety Advice call 020 7993 2002
  • The chat online is open between 9:00am and 5:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 10.00am to 4:00pm on Friday to Sunday (including bank holiday).

 

 

 Request a call back

 

 

Gas FAQ

 

 

Who is a landlord?

 

In relation to domestic gas under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GS(IU)R 98), a landlord is anyone who rents out a property that they own under a lease that is shorter than 7 years or under a license . Regardless of whether you are a landlord under GS (IU) R 98 you may be considered a landlord under other related legislation.

 

Landlords' duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence , which includes, but not exclusively:

Residential premises provided for rent by local authorities, housing associations, private sector landlords, housing co-operatives, hostels

 

Rooms let in bed-sit accommodation, private households, bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels

 

Rented holiday accommodation such as chalets, cottages, flats, caravans and narrow boats on inland waterways.

 

Further details are given in HSC's Approved Code of Practice 'Safety in the installation and use of gas systems and appliances' which can be ordered through

 

 

What are my duties as a landlord in relation to gas safety?

 

As a landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 deal with landlords’ duties to make sure gas appliances, fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe.

 

 You are responsible for the maintenance and repair of flues, appliances and Pipework which you own and have provided for your tenants use by a Gas Safe registered [3] engineer. Although there is no prescribed timeframe for these duties, good practice would be the demonstration of regular, annual maintenance checks and subsequent repairs.

 

You are also responsible for ensuring an annual gas safety check  is carried out  within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance or flue which you provide and annually thereafter  by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.

 

What are my duties as a letting/ management agent in relation to gas safety?

 

Landlords who use agents to manage properties need to ensure that the management contract clearly specifies who is responsible for carrying out the maintenance and safety check duties, and keeping associated records. If the contract specifies that the agent has responsibility then the same duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 that apply to a landlord apply to you.

 

In this situation an agent must arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe registered engineer [4] for all Pipework, appliances and flues, which the landlord owns and provides for the tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.

 

 

What should I do if I suspect an appliance is unsafe?

 

It is illegal for anyone to use a gas appliance if they suspect it is unsafe. Turn the appliance off and do not touch it until it has been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer[5].

 

If you suspect there is a gas leak you should immediately do the following:

 

  • Call National Grid's Gas Emergency Free phone number: 0800 111 999
  • Open all the doors and windows
  • Shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve (if you know where it is)
  • Call CSI for more help 020 8150 6644 or 020 7993 2002

 

 

  Do I have to use a Gas Safe registered engineer to complete gas work?

 

Yes. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations state that landlords must only use a Gas Safe registered engineer [6] for maintenance and safety checks on gas equipment they own and provide for tenants use in domestic premises. CSI advises that you check that the Gas Safe registered engineer is competent to work in that specific area of gas. This is clearly marked on the back of the engineer's Gas Safe Register registration card[7].

 

 

Should I provide my tenants with a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm?

 

CSI strongly recommends the use of CO alarms as one useful precaution to give tenants advance warning of CO in the property. Importantly alarms should not be regarded as a replacement for regular maintenance and safety checks by a Gas Safe registered engineer[8]. CO alarms cost between £20-£30 and can be purchased in most hardware shops. Before purchasing a CO alarm, always ensure it complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kite mark. CO alarms should be installed and maintained in line with the manufacturer's instructions.

 

 

What gas appliances do I have responsibilities for?

 

Any gas appliance that you own and provide for the tenant's use is included in your legal duties. If a tenant has their own gas appliance that you have not provided, then you have responsibilities for parts of the associated installation and Pipework but not for the actual appliance.

 

There are some good practice measures that you could adopt with appliances that tenants own:

 

  • Send a reminder to the tenant that their appliances should be serviced and checked for safety each year by a Gas Safe registered [9], and where possible, offer to include these (at reasonable cost) within gas safety maintenance undertaken on your behalf.
  • At the start of the tenancy, advise the tenant of any flues or chimneys that are unsuitable for the installation of a gas appliance. You may also wish to consider regulating the installation of any appliance by a tenant through the conditions of the tenancy agreement.
  • It is also recommended to include all flues (e.g. chimneys) connected to gas appliances within your landlord's gas safety check, even where they do not serve appliances provided by the landlord. This may also help to fulfil other legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

 

 

What checks should be done between tenancies?

 

You must visually check the property to see if the departing tenant has either removed appliances unsafely, or alternatively left behind their own appliance, which should either be removed or checked for safety by a Gas Safe registered engineer[10]. The opportunity should be taken to clarify appliance ownership prior to renting the property again.

 

If you suspect that an appliance could have been tampered with, or there is the possibility of vandalism while a property remains empty, then CSI recommends you arrange for another gas safety check to be completed by a Gas Safe registered engineer before giving access to new tenants.

 

Before you re-let the property you need to ensure that all appliances are safe and have an up to date landlord's gas safety record (a copy of which needs to be given to the new tenant); it is also good practice to arrange for the pipework to be inspected and tested for soundness.

 

How far do I need to go if the tenant prevents access for a gas safety check?

 

A landlord has to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the law. CSI recommends the following best practice in these circumstances and strongly advises that a record be kept of all correspondence with the tenants:

 

  • leave the tenant a notice stating that an attempt was made to complete the gas safety check and provide your contact details;
  • Write to the tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement and that it is for the tenants own safety. Give the tenant the opportunity to arrange their own appointment;
  • HSE inspectors will look for at least three attempts to complete the gas safety check, including the above suggestions; however the approach will need to be appropriate to each circumstance. It would ultimately be for a court to decide if the action taken was reasonable depending upon the individual circumstances.
  • It is a good idea to include arrangements for access in the tenancy agreement.

 

 

What should I do if my tenant's heating and hot water has been switched off due to a gas safety check or maintenance?

 

If a gas appliance has been switched off by a Gas Safe registered engineer [11] it is because it is unsafe and should not be used. No matter how inconvenient the situation is for the tenant such action helps to ensure their safety. If a heating appliance has been disconnected then you must provide your tenant with emergency heating,

 

 

Can I keep the Landlord's gas safety record electronically?

 

Yes. So long as the electronic copy is:

 

  • capable of being reproduced in hard copy format when required (e.g. for the tenant/HSE/housing department)
  • secure from loss and interference
  • Uniquely identifies the gas operative who carried out the safety check e.g. an electronic signature, a scanned signature, a payroll number unique to the operative, the name of the operative etc; the employer needs to have secure systems that link the individual operative to the unique identifier.

 

A landlord or gas engineer, with the landlord's agreement, may send or give a copy of the electronic record directly to the tenant, providing the tenant is happy with this arrangement and has the ability to access it.

 

Can a room containing a gas appliance still be used as a bedroom?

 

Since 31 October 1998, any room converted to use as sleeping accommodation should not contain the following types of gas appliances:

 

  • A gas fire, gas space heater or a gas water heater (including a gas boiler) over 14 kilowatts gross input unless it is room sealed.
  • A gas fire, gas space heater, or a gas water heater (including a gas boiler) of 14 kilowatts gross input or less or any instantaneous water heater unless it is room sealed or has an atmosphere-sensing device.

 

If a room contains one or more of the above appliances and was used as a bedroom prior to 1998 then you will need to do a risk assessment to determine if it can still be used as a bedroom. If you are unsure of the safety of any gas appliance you should get a Gas Safe registered engineer [13] to check it for you.

 

 

I have provided an LPG appliance for a property, does that need to be checked?

 

Yes, Landlord duties for LPG appliances are the same as for natural gas. The landlord must arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe registered engineer [14] for all LPG appliances which they own and provide for tenants and have a Gas Safe registered engineer carry out a safety check carried out at least once every 12 months.

 

In addition to maintenance, there are some further safety precautions to take with LPG heaters:

 

  • be aware that cabinet heaters need a good supply of fresh air to burn properly so the room must be well ventilated;
  • ensure any heaters have an atmosphere sensing device- it will shut the appliance off if the air quality is poor;
  • Ensure that the correct size and type of gas bottle is being used.
  • Be aware that outdoor heaters and not designed for use indoors.

 

       What if I use a managing agent?

 

If a managing agent is used to help you meet your duties, make sure that the management contract clearly specifies who is to make the arrangements for maintenance and safety checks. HSE strongly advises that you request to see copies of the maintenance information and safety check from the management agency to ensure maintenance has been completed, which will also help to fulfil your other legal duties.

 

 

  What if I have shared ownership of my property with another housing company?

 

If you have shared ownership of your property and the lease is for longer than 7 years the housing company does not have landlord's duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GS(IU)R 98). In this situation you would have the same responsibilities as a home owner[15].

 

In situations where a lease is shorter than 7 years then the housing company would be classified as a landlord under GS(IU)R 98. The contract between you and the housing company should clearly state who is responsible for the associated duties for domestic gas safety.

 

 

   What if I break the regulations?

 

You are putting lives at risk and breaking the law.

 

What should I do if I smell gas or I am concerned about the safety of any gas appliances?

    • If you suspect there is a gas leak you should immediately do the following:
    • Call National Grid's Gas Emergency Free phone number: 0800 111 999
    • Open all the doors and windows
    • Shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve (if you know where it is)
    • Call CSI for more help 020 8150 6644 or 020 7993 2002

 

It is illegal for anyone to use a gas appliance if they suspect it is unsafe. Turn the appliance off and do not touch it until it has been checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer[17].

 

   

   How can I check whether an engineer is qualified to undertake a gas safety check in my property?

 

All registered engineers under the new scheme must carry ID cards that identify the appliances on which they are qualified to work. Consumers are strongly encouraged to check the ID card before letting anyone begin work on their gas appliances.

 

Why are ventilation and flues so important?

 

To help operate safely, all gas appliances need the following:

 

  • An adequate supply of air to help the complete combustion of gas;
  • efficient operation of their flue to remove any combustion products, including carbon monoxide (CO), that are produced

 

Without these safety precautions dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up with the possibility of fatal consequences. There are some easy ways to help avoid the buildup of carbon monoxide poisoning:

 

  • never block ventilation;
  • ensure that flues are kept clear at all times;

Have your appliance regularly maintained and annually serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

 

What you should do if your question isn't answered on any of our FAQ pages?

 

 

 

CSI runs free installations Safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, building) Advice Line/chat online offering information on installations safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, and building)

 

 

 

  • The Line is open between 10:00am and 2:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 11.00am to1.00pm on Friday (excluding bank holiday). To contact the Safety Advice call 020 7993 2002
  • The chat online is open between 9:00am and 5:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 10.00am to 4:00pm on Friday to Sunday (including bank holiday).

 

 

 Request a call back

 

 

 

PAT Testing FAQ

 

What is Portable Appliance Testing?

 

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.

 

A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any PAT scheme. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used.

 

I’ve been told that, by law I must have my portable electrical appliances tested every year. Is this correct?

 

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 require that any electrical equipment that has the potential to cause injury is maintained in a safe condition. However, the Regulations do not specify what needs to be done, by whom or how frequently (ie they don't make inspection or testing of electrical appliances a legal requirement, nor do they make it a legal requirement to undertake this annually)

 

How frequently do I need to test my electrical appliances?

 

The frequency of inspection and testing depends upon the type of equipment and the environment it is used in. For example, a power tool used on a construction site should be examined more frequently than a lamp in a hotel bedroom. For guidance on suggested frequencies of inspection and testing see below diagram

 

 

Do I need keep records of testing and should I label any appliances tested?

 

There is no legal requirement to label equipment that has been inspected or tested, nor is there a requirement to keep records of these activities. However, a record and / or labelling can be a useful management tool for monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of the maintenance scheme – and to demonstrate that a scheme exists.

 

Do I need to test equipment?

 

New equipment should be supplied in a safe condition and not require a formal portable appliance inspection or test. However, a simple visual check is recommended to verify the item is not damaged.

 

I have been told that I have to get an electrician to do portable appliance testing work. Is that correct?

 

The person doing testing work needs to competent to do it. In many low-risk environments, a sensible (competent) member of staff can undertake visual inspections if they have enough knowledge and training. However, when undertaking combined inspection and testing, a greater level of knowledge and experience is needed, and the person will need:

 

  • the right equipment to do the tests
  • the ability to use this test equipment properly
  • the ability to properly understand the test results                

 

I run a tool hire business? What do I need to do and are there additional responsibilities for the person hiring my Tools?

 

It is strongly recommended that equipment suppliers formally inspect and test the equipment before each hire, in order to ensure it is safe to use. The person hiring the equipment should also take appropriate steps to ensure it remains safe to use throughout the hire period. The question 'What is portable appliance testing?' above gives guidance on what this will entail.

 

 

 

 

 

What you should do if your question isn't answered on any of our FAQ pages?

 

 

CSI runs free installations Safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, building) Advice Line/chat online offering information on installations safety (electrical, plumbing, gas, and building)

 

 

  • The Line is open between 10:00am and 2:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 11.00am to1.00pm on Friday (excluding bank holiday). To contact the Safety Advice call 020 7993 2002
  • The chat online is open between 9:00am and 5:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 10.00am to 4:00pm on Friday to Sunday (including bank holiday).

 

 

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