The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 require that employers and landlords ensure that any gas appliances and installation pipework installed in properties for which they are responsible are maintained in a safe condition.
The Charity Trustees must also ensure that any gas appliances (including ovens, hobs and boilers) are inspected at least every 12 months by an approved person. The approved person must be a Gas Safe-registered engineer and it is important that their Gas Safe register ID card is checked before any inspection or repair work starts. It is unlawful for anyone other than a Gas Safe engineer to inspect or work on a gas installation, including pipework.
Records must be kept for each appliance to include dates of inspection, defects identified and action taken. These records should be kept in the congregation's property register.
The gas safety checks should not be confused with regular servicing or maintenance schedules. A gas safety check is specifically centred around the safety of the supply, pipework installations, gas pressures and the general safety of the connected appliances. A Gas Safety Certificate will be provided to certify the gas safety at your site in addition to your regular servicing and maintenance. For ease of management, it is recommended that they are both carried out at the same time by the Gas Safe engineer.
Any buildings which have been closed or unoccupied for a period extending 6 months since the last gas safety inspection and in which the gas and associated appliances have not been subject to regular should be deemed safe for use by a registered gas safety engineer before re-instatement and use.
If an appliance is found to be unsafe to use, it is unlawful to use it before suitable repairs are carried out. The Gas Safe engineer will place a prohibition notice on any gas equipment or installation that is unsafe to use and it is illegal to tamper with this notice.
A manse is regarded as domestic premises; therefore, there is no legal obligation to have gas appliances within the manse serviced annually. However, it is strongly recommended that appliances and pipework in the manse be included in the annual gas safety inspection.
If a manse or other residential property is to be let out to tenants, the landlords have a strict responsibility to have gas appliances checked before the lease commences and have these maintained and serviced once a year thereafter. Please seek advice from the Church of Scotland Law Department on all aspects of letting residential property before doing this.