Help & Advice

image of question markLegal Requirements For Gas

  • The Gas Appliances Directive

The Gas Appliances Directive sets out legal requirements that in future will apply across the European Union. Member countries are required to amend their existing legislation, or to introduce new legislation that conforms with the requirements of the directive. The United Kingdom has implemented that gas appliances (safety) regulations to conform with the directive.

  • Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995

The main provisions of the new regulations are:

a) Appliances must be safe
b) Appliances must be tested
c) Appliances must be quality guaranteed. This means that during the manufacturing process the manufacturer must operate a quality scheme of some type, such as BS 5750, to ensure that all appliances conform to the tested design. This scheme will be monitored by the 'notified bodies'
d) Appliances must carry the CE mark

  • European Standards

European Standards are currently being compiled. For some appliances, where no European Standard is planned, the National Standards (in this country, British Standards) may be recognised. This, for example, will apply to the British type of gas fire.

  • Regulations and Standards Affecting Installation and Maintenance
    • Health and Safety at Work, ACT 1974 (HSW Act)

    This act applies to everyone concerned with work activities, ranging from employers, self-employed, and employees, to designers, suppliers and importers of materials for use at work, and people in control of premises. The duties apply both to individual people, and to corporations, companies, partnerships, local authorities etc. Employers have a duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees, and not to expose people who are not their employees to risks to their health and safety.

    • Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations 1999 (MHSWR)

    These regulations impose a duty on employers and self employed persons to make suitable and sufficient assessment of risks to the health and safety of employees, and non-employees affected by their work. It also requires effective planning and review of protective measures, health surveillance, emergency procedures, information and training.

    • Reporting of injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR 95)

    These regulations require employers to report specified occupational injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences (events) to the HSE. Certain gas incidents are reportable by suppliers of gas through fixed pipe distribution systems and gas installers are required to report certain dangerous gas appliances to the HSE.

    • Building Regulations 2000 and Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004

    These regulations address the various aspects of building design and construction which include energy conservation and health and safety. The secretary of state has approved a number of documents under the building regulations 2000 as practical (non-mandatory) guidance to meeting the requirements under the regulations. Similar 'deemed to satisfy' guidance is provided in technical handbooks of the building (Scotland) regulations 2004. The documents that particularly relate to gas work in domestic premises are:

    • Building Regulations 2000 (England and Wales)

    Part A - Structure
    Part B - Fire safety
    Part F - Ventilation
    Part G3 - Hot Water Storage
    Part J - Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems
    Part L - Conservation of Fuel and Power
    Part M - Access to and Use of buildings
    Part P - Electrical Safety

    • Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004

    Section 1 - Structure
    Section 2 - Fire
    Section 3 - Environment
    Section 4 - Safety
    Section 6 - Energy

  • British Standards

British Standards' specifications are an invaluable guide to the installation of gas appliances. If Followed, These Standards will satisfy the requirements of current regulations. The following is a selection of some of the important British Standards Specifications relating to Domestic Gas Appliances, which give guidance on the minimum standard that appliance installations should comply with, to satisfy current Regulations:

  • BS 5546: 2000 - Specification for installation of gas hot water supplies for domestic purposes.
  • BS 5588: (Domestic) - Fire Precautions in the design, construction and use of buildings (part 1 1990).
  • BS 5864: 2004 - installation and maintenance of gas fired ducted warm air heaters of rated input not exceeding 70 kW net (2nd and 3rd family gases)
  • BS 5871: Part 1 2005 - Gas fire, convector heaters and fire/back boilers (2nd and 3rd family gases)
  • BS 5871: Part 2 2005 - inset fuel effect gas fires of a heat input not exceeding 15 kW (2nd and 3rd family gases)
  • BS 5871: Part 3 2005 - Decorative fuel effect gas appliances of a heat input not exceeding 20 kW (2nd and 3rd family gases)
  • BS 6700: 1997 - Design, installation, testing and maintenance of water supplies for domestic purposes
  • BS 8423: 2002 - fire- guards for fires and heating appliances for domestic use - specification
  • BS 6172: 2004 - installation and maintenance of domestic gas cooking appliances (2nd and 3rd family gases) - specification
  • BS 6798: 2000 - Specification for installation of gas fired boilers of rated input not exceeding 70 kW net.
  • BS 6891: 2005 - Installation of low- pressure gas pipe work of up to 35mm (R 1 1/4) in domestic premises (2nd family gases)
  • BS 5440: Part 1 2000 - Flues
  • BS 5440: Part 2 2000 - Air supply
  • BS 5482: Part 1 2005 - Code of practise for domestic butane and propane gas burning installations. Installations in permanent buildings, residential park homes and commercial premises up to 28 mm.
  • BS 7624: 2004 - installation and maintenance of domestic direct gas fired tumble dryers up to 6kW heat input (2nd and 3rd family gases) - specification
  • Manufacturer's Instructions

Manufacturer's instructions are important for the installation, commissioning, maintenance and use of any gas appliance. These instructions must be read and followed. After installation of the appliance or subsequent maintenance of it, the instructions must be returned to the consumer so that they may store them for future reference. This includes user and installation/servicing instructions. (This is a requirement of the Gas Safety Regulations)

Legal Requirements For Electrical

  • Housing Health and Safety Risk Assessment

Here a landlord is expected to do the following:

  • Ensure that the installation meets the standard as detailed in BS7671:2008
  • Ensure that there are an adequate number of suitably sited socket outlets
  • Ensure that the system is adequately earthed
  • Ensure that the installation has not suffered deterioration to an extent that it impairs safety
  • Landlord and Tenant act 1985 - This legislation lays out a landlord's duty to ensure that the electrical installation is safe
  • The consumer Protection act 1987 - Details that the electrical equipment must be maintained and checked before the property is offered for rent
  • Supply of goods and Services act 1982 - Places a responsibility on the landlord to ensure that goods should be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and free of defects

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