Gas safety checks and coronavirus – the facts

Published: 15 June 2020

Some of our tenants have contacted us about our gas safety checks process during the coronavirus outbreak.

To help prevent any confusion, we’ve produced this fact checker which we hope addresses how we approach gas safety during these unusual times.

Working with Avela Home Service we’ve got a robust process in place. From when you’re alerted that your gas safety check is due, through to the completion of the check and any remedial work, your safety is always our number one concern.

We know that sometimes we haven’t always got it right but with our new contractor in place we’re working hard to ensure that completing this vital annual check causes you and your household as little stress as possible in these difficult times.

Do you have to do gas safety checks during the coronavirus outbreak?

It’s a legal requirement for all landlords to complete annual gas safety checks and this hasn’t changed. The latest guidance from the Government states that “landlords should take all reasonable steps to carry out annual gas safety checks at this time as failure to do so could put tenants at risk of serious illness or fatalities from gas explosions or carbon monoxide poisoning, particularly as people are spending all or most of their time at home.”

I’ve got a right to not allow operatives into my home to do gas safety checks

Your tenancy agreement states that you must allow SLH’s contractors access to your home to complete annual gas safety checks. The latest Government guidance states that you must “continue to meet your legal and contractual obligations as a tenant, including paying your rent”.

What if I’m clinically vulnerable, shielding or self-isolating?

The guidance for gas safety checks is different depending whether you’re clinically vulnerable, shielding or self-isolating. In each case you should tell us straight away when we contact you to book the appointment.

  • If you or someone in your home is clinically vulnerable, but not shielding, you should let us know so when booking the appointment and we will ensure that the operative takes extra care to avoid face to face contact. As with all our visits we will maintain social distancing and hygiene in accordance with the latest guidance on working in people’s homes.
  • If you or someone in your home is shielding, we will look at this on a case by case basis using guidance from the Government and Gas Safe Register. We would prefer to keep you safe by completing the check. Some tenants in this situation have waited outside or in another room while the check takes place.
  • If you or someone in your home is self-isolating the gas safety check can be delayed until the isolation period has ended. So it is important that you respond early to our request for access so that we have a better chance of completing the service while there are no symptoms in the household.

How long will the gas safety check take?

The gas safety check usually takes less than an hour to complete, minimising the contact between our operatives and our tenants.

What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will operatives wear when working in my home?

Since the start of the outbreak our operatives have been wearing extra PPE following a thorough risk assessment incorporating government guidelines and industry best practice, to ensure the safety for our tenants and the operatives themselves. PPE includes:

  • Face masks – FFP3 grade masks are worn, these face masks give a high level of protection against the risk of spreading the virus and meet the guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • Eye protection, disposable gloves and disposable paper suits: These are also worn according to the risk assessment to enable a barrier to skin and offer protection.
  • Antibacterial wipes are also used to clean surfaces when worked on and all items are taken away on completion and disposed of in the correct manner.

Will SLH cold call to carry out gas safety checks?

We will always contact you to arrange a mutually-convenient time to complete your gas safety check. This process will start approximately 50 days before your gas safety check is due. We will only cold call if we have been unable to make contact and your gas safety certificate is due to expire. At this point we will establish if anyone in the home is clinically vulnerable, shielding or self-isolating and then make the appropriate adjustments.

Are operatives tested for coronavirus before being allowed to work in people’s homes?

At this time our operatives are not routinely tested for coronavirus. However, if any of our operatives are displaying coronavirus symptoms they will be told to self-isolate in accordance with government guidance. 

Let’s work together

Now more than ever it’s important for us to work together to get our gas safety checks done and keep you and your families safe.

If you’ve got any more questions about gas safety checks during the coronavirus outbreak please get in touch.

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