Have a  safe Christmas and New Year

Carbon monoxide and more generally gas safety is a critical issue at any time of year for landlords, tenants and lettings agents.

However, it is particularly important to remain vigilant ocer Christmas and New Year when heating and fuel burning appliances can be running more frequently than usual with families on holiday and welcoming visitors.

The Council of Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring, which is the trade association for gas detection experts, has taken the opportunity to dispel some of the myths about carbon monoxide alarms.

It says that sensors complying with the British Standard EN 50291 will continue to work at   -10 C even after storage at -20 C; they are also tested at +40 C.

The Council said that alarms will have been designed and manufactured with very sophisticated atmospheric sensors and electronics to be able to achieve this large temperature range. 

According to the Council, the EN 50291 standard also requires every alarm to test its own CO sensor automatically and identify any faults.

Legally, landlords or their lettings agency are legally responsible for the gas safety of tenants.

They must ensure that appliances and flues are in a safe condition, and are checked annually by an engineer listed with the Gas Safe Register.

Reputable landlords and lettings agencies have their tenants’ best interests at heart. If they follow regulations, a carbon monoxide alarm should never be needed but it better to be safe than sorry.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) – Chinneck Shaw is a member of both – have guides about gas safety and alarms on their websites which are well worth looking at.

Don’t hesitate to contact a member of the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) for more about expert advice about the issue and visit the Gas Safe Register website to find a local gas engineer.