No matter where you work, or what industry you work in, your gas safety certificate is absolutely vital to protecting the health and safety of both you and your employees, as well as anyone who may be living, staying or working in your vicinity. While gas detection equipment is always useful for reactive measures against specific dangers, they’re no substitute for routine preventative checks when it comes to ensuring your safety. So that leads us neatly onto the most pressing question at hand – when do you need to renew your gas safety certificate?
Gas safety certificate renewals
Your gas safety certificate must be renewed annually, no matter the nature or location of your premises. At least once every twelve months, you’ll need to ensure that each and every gas appliance or flue in your premises is inspected and certified by a registered professional. If you rent your premises from a private landlord or company, they will generally organise the renewal on your behalf.
However, if you’re a new tenant, or you’ve recently moved in, it’s still also your responsibility to check that a gas safety check has been done within the last 12 months of your move-in date. Obviously, the law is very clear that all work needs to be carried out by someone who is on the Gas Safe register, whether the property in question is a factory, mine, quarry, construction site or sewage works, or located on agricultural premises (all of these are covered by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974). Meanwhile, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 cover work on gas fittings – both natural and LPG – in other types of premises, chiefly places where the general public are more likely to have free and easy access. These include shops and restaurants, schools and hospitals, and of course private residences.
If you are responsible for organising your own Gas Safety check, the early or middle months of each year are generally good months to schedule it in. It can make it easier to remember and plan for, especially if it coincides with other annual or bi-annual risk assessments.
Gas safety in commercial and industrial sites
If you work in a commercial or industrial location, you’ll still need to schedule your gas safety check at least once a year. In addition though, it’s also a good idea to carry out regular risk assessments throughout the year, depending on the level of risk associated with the equipment, processes, systems or locations involved. Ensuring adequate ventilation should always be one of your top priorities.
Here are a couple of other key considerations it’s worth bearing in mind:
The potential requirement for explosion relief and / or flame-failure protection
The importance of interlocking the gas supply with the ventilation of the appliance
The design, operation and maintenance schedule of individual pieces of equipment, to mitigate their chances of emitting harmful levels of carbon monoxide (CO)
Sufficient ventilation to ensure adequate removal not just of harmful gases themselves, but also materials that may be in danger of igniting, such as dust
A high level of training for operators, and anyone else whose duties may bring them in close proximity to dangerous equipment
The development and implementation of safe procedures for purging, lighting up and shutting down the plant
In case of emergency
The Health and Safety Executive is very clear about what to do if you suspect a leak. Your first steps should be:
Turn off the supply immediately
If the danger is a natural gas, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999, or for liquified petroleum gas, call your LPG supplier
If in doubt, evacuate your premises immediately, and let the police know in addition to the NGES, or your gas supplier
Don’t turn the gas supply back on until the danger has been inspected and certified by a qualified person
And if you’re ever in need of any new or replacement gas detection equipment for your premises, that’s exactly where we can help here at Gas Alarms Systems. With more than 25 years of experience behind us, we’re market-leading experts in the design, development and maintenance of gas leak detection equipment. Feel free to take a look at our range of fixed products or portable products, or if you have any questions or need any advice, by all means call us on 01423 862240, and we’ll be happy to see how we can help.