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Gas, fire, carbon monoxide

Information for rental tenants

Fires, Carbon monoxide and faulty gas appliances are killers. The Landlord has minimum legal responsibilities to meet to protect you and your loved ones.

Landlords are required to comply with their responsibilities under Gas Safety legislation.

The legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive and requires, among other things, that all gas appliances are checked once a year by a Gas Safe registered engineer and a copy of the certificate provided to the tenant.

If you are concerned that a gas engineer is not suitably qualified you can check  on the Gas Safe website.

If You Smell a Gas Leak call National Grid Gas Emergencies line straight away on 0800 111 999 (this is a 24 hour emergency line). Open your windows and doors to let air in, make sure all gas appliances are turned off, and turn the gas off at the mains if possible.

Do not turn lights on or off and avoid using other electrical switches and appliances. Do not smoke, light a match or any other naked flame. Do not try and investigate the problem or attempt to fix a leak or a faulty appliance.


All private sector landlords are legally required to install at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their rented property. A carbon monoxide detector is also required in any habitable room containing a solid fuel burning appliance, for example an open fire or a wood burning stove.

Landlords have a responsibility to make sure these alarms are in proper working order at the start of each new tenancy (excluding renewals of existing tenancies) made from 1st October 2015 and are advised to make sure that there is a record of these alarms being tested.

Additional alarms will be required in houses in multiple occupation e.g. bedsits

What you can do to prevent a fire:

  • in London, more than a third of all fires occur in the kitchen. Never leave the kitchen unattended when you’re cooking
  • chip pan fires are responsible for most of these fires. If you can, avoid cooking with large amounts of oil or fat; if not, never fill a pan more than one third of oil
  • prior to cooking with a large amount of oil, prepare your own fire blanket. Wet a good sized tea towel and wring out the excess water. If the pan should catch fire, turn off the hob, and gently place the blanket over the pan to extinguish the flames. Never try to extinguish the flames by pouring water into the pan, this could cause a splash back and dowse you with burning hot oil
  • don’t smoke if you feel you may fall asleep. Never smoke in bed and ensure ashtrays are never overfilled

Statistically, the majority of fires occur during the night at around 2am. Prior to going to bed, switch off all mains appliances except items such as fridges. Close doors to limit the spread of the fire and smoke

Free Home Fire Safety Visits

The London Fire Brigade can offer free Home Fire Safety Visits to certain people where they can advise and check fire safety in the home. The home fire safety visit is usually for people regarded as having a higher risk of fire in the home, such as:

  • Older people living alone
  • People with mobility, vision or hearing impairments
  • People accessing mental health service users
  • Those liable to intoxication through alcohol and/or drug use

For more information please see http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/HomeFireSafetyVisit.asp

If you have a problem

If you have a problem you should first inform your landlord to give them a chance to puit the situation right. If this does not fix the issue you can call the Private Sector Housing team who may be able to help you. The contact details can be seen at the bottom of this page.


  • Private Sector Housing Team
  • Environmental Health
    Barnet House, 1255 High Road,
    Whetstone, London N20 0EJ
  • Tel: 020 8359 7995
  • Email: housingconditions@barnet.gov.uk

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