Commercial Gas Certificates, And Why They Matter

There are different types of gas certificates, but today we’re focussing on the Commercial Gas Certificates. The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations in 1998 states that a gas certificate is a legal requirement for commercial premises.

Commercial premises include restaurants, pubs, cafes, offices, and other public buildings.  Commercial Gas Certificates certify that the gas system has been examined by a qualified gas safety engineer who has permission to issue a commercial certificate.

Your business may use a range of different gas appliances from cookers, to boilers, to heaters. The appliances are likely crucial to the everyday tasks and goals of your business operations. Whilst your business may be nothing without these functional appliances, the equipment brings specific risks to your business.

These risks are things such as the increased danger of explosions and fires within your business if the appliances are incorrectly installed.

Additionally, carbon monoxide can be released when certain fuels – including natural gas – do not fully combust. This colourless, odourless gas results in 60 accidental deaths from carbon monoxide poising in England and Wales each year, according to the NHS.

There are strict rules in place in the UK to govern the installation and maintenance of gas appliances because of these potential dangers. One of these legislations is requiring your business to have an up to date (every 12 months) Gas Safety Certificate.

Want to discover more about what Gas Safety Certificates are, how to get one, and the potential penalties which can be incurred, then keep reading…

What is a Gas Safety Certificate?

First it is important we clarify what a Gas Safety Certificate actually is, you may hear it referred to as:

 The Full Document TitleIn the Trade
Also Known As…Gas Safety Record FormCP12

It so important to be clued up in this area of business energy due to the big repercussions for owners and customers alike should something go wrong.

How A Certificate is Obtained

Certificates can only be issued by Gas Safe registered engineers.

  1. the engineer must attend your premises and carry out a number of tests on each gas appliance,
  2. any appliance that uses extraction systems to expel gases created during a combustion process must also undergo inspection,
  3. the tests include a visual inspection, as well as pressure, functionality and operation tests,

The results of these tests are recorded on a Gas Safety Record form. This document includes all the information gather by the engineer about your premises, including a description of each appliance which was checked and a guide to the appliance’s location within the premises.

The Gas Safety Record form should also include the name and registered number of the engineer who was responsible for the assessment. This accredits accountability to the engineer should anything go wrong.

What else is include on the form?

  1. the date of the inspection,
  2.  the inspected premises’ address,
  3. any problems or defects found by the engineer (along with the actions required to fix them).

In order to get a Gas Safety Certificate, you will need to book a visit from a Gas Safe registered engineer. This can be done through providers, or through a local-known engineer.

It is CRUCIAL when you are booking your appointment that you are sure the engineer is on the Gas Safe Register. Only those who are certified and correctly registered are legally allowed to provide you with the required certification.

A certificated issued by an unregistered engineer is void.

Research has shown that thee are thousands of unlicensed engineers operating in the UK; 65% of the jobs they conducted were considered to be unsafe. Remember to keep yourself safe by doing your research into the people you contract to do your work.

The Gas Safe Register lists all companies who are legally allowed to issue your certificate. Be sure to check you engineer chosen is on the list using the search tool! Additionally, all those who are registered will be issued with a Gas Safe ID card. ALWAYS request to see this before you allow the inspection to take place.

What should feature on this card?

Gas Safety Certificates
  1. a personal license number,
  2. start and expiry dates,
  3. the company name,
  4. a photo of the engineer,
  5. a security hologram with the Gas Safe logo on it,
  1. a full list of qualifications held by the engineer on the reverse of the card.

How Much Does a Gas Safety Certification Cost?

There is no set fee for the certification in the UK, the amount you pay will depend on a range of factors including:

  1. the company you choose to contract,
  2. whereabouts you live,
  3. the number of appliances which need to be checked in your premises,

Typically, prices start from around £30, rising to more than £150. It is because of this range in price that it is important to get a selection of quotes to compare and contrast, as well as making sure the deal you’re agreeing on definitely includes every aspect you need it to (see above).

The Rules for Different Business Premises

The regulations for businesses are mostly the same; simply, it is a criminal offence not to have a valid, annual Gas Safety Certificate.

What varies? I’m going to spotlight two particular commercial premises to explain differences which may arise.

Catering CompaniesAs all businesses, catering companies are required to have valid, annual Gas Safety Certificates. They are also required to have a suitable maintenance scheme in place for all their gas appliances. If appliances need to be serviced or installed, the companies must us a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must follow the appliance’s manufacturer’s instructions and ensure all staff are properly trained on how to use the equipment. Catering businesses also face additional requirements for kitchen ventilation. These extraction systems should provide good quality, general ventilation. The ventilation systems should also be interconnected with the gas supply. This prevents the gas from being turned on if the extractor is not running. This measure helps reduce risks such as fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
SchoolsJust like commercial organisations, schools are still required to have valid, annual Gas Safety Certificates. In the case of local authority-run schools the respective council is responsible for ensuring gas safety, including providing the necessary certification, as opposed to them having to outsource it themselves.

What is the Gas Safe Register?

We’ve used this term a few times throughout the article, but what does it actually mean?

The Gas Safe Register was launched in 2009 and is the UK’s official registration body for gas businesses and engineers.

ALL gas businesses are legally required to be on the register. Engineers who are on the register are the only ones who are issued with a license to undertake the necessary gas certification businesses require.

DID YOU KNOW? every year more than 40,000 engineers are inspected by the Gas Safe Register to check that they are practicing within the required standards and rules.

Who Needs a Gas Certificate?

As aforementioned, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations in 1998 require that gas systems are installed and correctly maintained.

The rules apply to both natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and include all gas appliances in commercial and public premises, as well as rented accommodation.

An additional consideration to be aware of is that your building’s insurance is invalid for all the time the property is without a Gas Safety Certificate. This means the premises is unprotected against fire, flood, and other disasters your insurance protects you from.

When Can You Arrange Your Safety Check?

You need a Gas Safety Check to be arranged once a year. The check can be carried out any time between the 10th and the 12th of the month which follows the 12-month time frame (If your check was issued in April, you can arrange the renewal for the 10-12th of May).

If you fail to renew the certificate in time then you are breaking the law. You could face fines or imprisonment; the nature of the imprisonment depends on the nature and severity of the case in question.

The ‘standard’ penalty is a fine of £6,000 per item and/or six months in prison.