Scheduled maintenance and safety inspections
More information is available in the Utilities section.
The Charity Trustees must ensure that the 5-yearly electrical testing and safety certification is up to date and carried out by a competent electrical engineer. COSIS insurance and the General Trustees recommend that they belong to member bodies such as SELECT or NIC/EIC to ensure demonstratable fire safety and electrical safety standards.
Gas safety inspections must be scheduled annually and must not be confused with servicing and maintenance. They must be carried out by a competent Gas Safe engineer.
It may be prudent to schedule gas safety inspections in line with the annual servicing schedules. A gas safety certificate should be obtained for each building, including the manse property.
Oil-fired boilers must be serviced periodically in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. There is still a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and the flues and pipework should be suitably maintained and serviced to ensure safety. All work done on oil boilers, from installation to maintenance to repairs, must be done by an Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC)-registered technician.
Lead pipework and storage tanks
The incoming main water supply pipe should be examined and any lead pipe work be replaced in accordance with water supply by-laws (local authority grants may be available for this work).
Any water storage or header tank(s) should not be constructed with lead. The tank(s) should be fitted with proper ventilated covers in accordance with water supply by-laws and be checked annually (6 monthly for vacant or closed buildings) for any evidence of sludge, animal carcasses or bio films forming over the water surface which would indicate bacterial growth in the storage tanks.
Legionella is considered a low risk for church buildings as they rarely have stored water tanks at the main church buildings. However, associated church buildings, such as halls or manses may be at a greater risk and this should be suitably risk assessed and monitored, especially during longer periods of closure or vacancy.