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Every year in the UK around 30 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances such as cookers and hobs. The law places a duty on any person who rents a property and owns gas appliances to make sure that they are maintained and safe to use. The later 1989 Gas Regulations replace the Gas Cooking Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1984. Under the new regulations it is an offence to supply a used gas cooking appliance, unless it complies with certain safety requirements. The safety requirements cover all aspects of the appliance including; all gas carrying components must be sufficiently sound to prevent leaks of gas or poisonous fumes, oven door seals must be effective, burner ignition devices must work to ensure prompt ignition, all of the flame ports must ignite, after one minute following ignition the flame must be stable enough so that it does not move away from the burner port or return inside the body of the burner, the quantity of carbon monoxide in the products of combustion is not such as to give rise to death or personal injury, gas shut-off devices must work promptly and safely, tap handles must be designed so that they cannot be switched on by accident, shut-down lids with automatic shut off devices must work, surface temperatures must not be so high as to cause possible injury or fire (apart from working surfaces), all accessible parts must be free from sharp edges, and information for the safe installation, adjustment, maintenance and operation must be clearly marked on the appliance or in accompanying documentation.
Gas cookers which meet the safety requirements will bear the CE mark, showing that they complied when they were manufactured. However, it is still necessary for a skilled and competent person to periodically check the appliance to ensure that it complies with the current safety requirements. The maximum penalty for a single breach of one of the Gas Cooking Regulations is an unlimited fine or up to 2 years imprisonment.
Only someone who is competent under the terms of The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, can install gas appliances, for example a person registered by Gas Safe. All gas appliances should be installed by a person registered by Gas Safe and periodically checked on a regular basis at least every 12 months, and records kept of the test dates, any defects and subsequent remedial action taken. Landlords must make this information available to their tenants. Gas cookers installed must have legible and durable markings on the controls, have adequate pan supports,, have tap handles which are easy to operate, but difficult to be turned on accidentally, must ignite promptly, have oven doors which seal and have clear instructions for safe use. It is illegal to work with gas cookers without being Gas Safe Register, all gas installers must have passed recognised exams to prove their competence.
Many local gas engineers will offer a standard gas cooker installation service which will usually include checking the existing gas connections are safe to use and meet the legal requirements, disconnecting the existing cooker, un-boxing and checking the new cooker, connecting to an existing gas pipe and check that the gas supply is gas tight, testing the new cooker to make sure it's working and ready to use, then performing a full health and safety check to provide a Gas Appliance Installation certificate. Some will even take your old cooker and packaging away if you want them to. Typical costs are around the £80 to £100 range, but this assumes there is an existing supply pipe for the cooker, or the gas mains supply is no more than 1.5m from the position of the new cooker. Use the "post your job" button on the left hand side of this page to easily find recommended gas fitters in your local area for prices and advice on gas hobs and oven safety, maintenance and installation.
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