HEALTH & SAFETY


WHAT ARE THE HEALTH & SAFETY REQUIREMENTS?

GAS SAFETY  |  ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT  |  ELECTRICAL SAFETY  |  BUILDING REGULATIONS  |  THE FURNITURE & FURNISHING | SMOKE DETECTORS

 
GAS SAFETY (Installation and Use) REGULATIONS 1998

These Regulations were introduced under the jurisdiction of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. Landlords are required by law to ensure that all gas appliances and associated pipe work are maintained in a safe condition and inspected annually by a CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers) registered engineer.

To comply with these Regulations your landlord will give you a copy of the safety certificate at the beginning of the tenancy and all new certificates within 28 days of each annual check. Your landlord will also supply you with instructions for all gas appliances provided. They may also back up this annual check with a Carbon Monoxide monitor, but this is not a mandatory requirement.

Landlords are not responsible for maintaining gas appliances supplied by or belonging to a tenant.

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ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN DWELLINGS

The Landlord Tenant Act 1985 puts the onus on the landlord to ensure the electrical installation in their property is safe at the commencement of a tenancy and maintained in a safe working condition during the tenancy. Although it is not mandatory to have the main electrical installation inspected it is considered best practice to have a periodic check carried by a qualified electrician.

As best practice most landlords will supply you with a record detailing when the periodic inspection was completed, who carried out the test and when the next test is due.

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ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (Safety) REGULATIONS 1994

These Regulations make the supply of ‘unsafe’ electrical equipment an offence. The importance of electrical safety cannot be overstated given the potential risks of fire or electrocution. Although it is not mandatory to have electrical items inspected it is considered best practice to have an annual check carried out and to supply operating instructions for equipment supplied.

As best practice most landlords will supply you with a record detailing whom, on what and when the tests were carried out. Landlords will also supply you with operating instructions for any electrical equipment supplied with the tenancy.

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BUILDING REGULATIONS – PART “P” ELECTRICAL SAFETY IN DWELLINGS

In addition to the above as of the 1st January 2005, all domestic electric installation work (particularly in kitchens and bathrooms) has to be carried out by a government-approved contractor. All contractors must be able to demonstrate that they comply with British Standard Safety Requirements (BS7671).

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 THE FURNITURE & FURNISHING (Fire) (Safety) REGULATIONS 1988 (Amended 1993)

As of the 1st January 1997 all furniture supplied must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988, the Regulations apply to any furniture that is upholstered, including:

  • Beds, headboards of beds and mattresses.
  • Three piece suites, arm chairs and sofas.
  • Sofa beds, futons and other convertibles.
  • Nursery and children's furniture.
  • Loose, stretch and fitted covers for furniture.
  • Garden furniture, which is suitable for use within the dwelling.
  • Scatter cushions and seat pads. 
  • Pillows.
  • Extra or replacement furniture purchased for rented accommodation.

The Regulations do not apply to:

  • Antique furniture or furniture made before 1950.
  • Bedclothes (including duvets).
  • Loose covers for mattresses.
  • Pillowcases.
  • Curtains.
  • Carpets.
  • Sleeping bags.

Under these Regulations, upholstered furniture:

  • Must have fire resistant filling
  • Must have passed a ‘match resistance’ test
  • Should, as a whole, be able to pass the ‘cigarette resistance’ test
  • New furniture must also be labelled with specified information.

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SMOKE DETECTORS

The Building Regulations 1991 require that all properties built since June 1992 must have mains-operated interlinked smoke alarms fitted on every floor. There are no regulations governing the installation of such systems prior to this date.

Most landlords under their ‘duty of care’ will supply battery-operated smoke detectors in all circulation spaces.

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