Gas Safety Checks: What Property Managers and Residential Rental Providers Must Know

As a Victorian property manager or landlord, it is crucial to prioritise the safety of your rental properties and ensure they meet the necessary standards for the well-being of your tenants. 

One essential aspect of property safety is conducting regular gas safety checks, as mandated by Consumer Affairs Victoria. 

Gas safety checks are recommended to be performed at least every two years to comply with Australian standards and prevent potential risks associated with gas appliances.

Neglecting gas safety checks can expose owners, property managers and tenants to serious dangers, including gas leaks, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other hazards that may result in property damage, insurance claims, and personal injuries. 

Failure to adhere to regulations may also lead to substantial fines, emphasising the importance of conducting thorough gas safety checks alongside other essential rental safety checks.

In our experience, many agents have employed plumbers to complete gas and plumbing works without the relevant licenses, registrations and experiences and as such, we have found many instances of non-compliance likely driven by cost-cutting exercises. 

While we understand that cost is a key driver for choosing a contractor, safety is often compromised and in the event of a fault/hazard, insurance may not cover these works – further emphasising the importance of choosing the right contractor to complete gas safety checks on your property.

What does a gas safety check involve?

Similar to electrical safety checks, gas safety checks aim to ensure that the gas system (gas consumer piping) and gas appliances within a property comply with safety standards and pose no risks to occupants. 

The gas safety check is actually a misnomer as there are multiple components to the gas inspection to be considered:

1. Gas Consumer Line Test

A pressure test on the main gas line from the gas meter to the property and appliances to check for any gas leaks.

2. Gas Appliance Safety Check 

A test to ensure each gas appliance has been installed correctly and safely. 

Gas Appliance Safety Check 

3. Gas Appliance Service

A service of each gas appliance to ensure all components are functioning properly, clean from dust and debris, and operating efficiently.

Gas Appliance Service

What is tested, the relevant regulations and methods of testing for each of the above components varies but is compromised of a mix of the below:

Visual Inspection: A comprehensive visual inspection of gas appliances, connections, and ventilation systems is conducted to identify any visible issues or potential hazards.

Testing Verification: Functional tests are performed to verify the proper operation of gas appliances, ensuring correct connections, and assessing safety features such as flame failure devices.

Leak Detection: Testing using specialised equipment to check for leaking gas that is either natural gas/LPG (gas fuel) or combustion product (carbon monoxide) leaks 

Negative Pressure: Tests to ensure open-flue indoor gas appliances have adequate ventilation and that gas products are not ‘spilling’ back into the property to cause harm to the occupants. Further information can be found on ESV here.

Components tested during a gas safety inspection

As per the above, a gas safety inspection is multi-dimensional and the below items are all covered:

  • Gas appliances: For example: heaters, cooktops, ovens, gas hot water systems, etc.
  • Gas connections and pipework
  • Ventilation systems
  • Flame failure devices and safety mechanisms

Let’s delve deeper into some key components of gas safety checks to understand their significance:

Gas Appliances:

Gas appliances play a crucial role in residential properties, providing heating, cooking, and hot water. During gas safety checks, each gas appliance is tested to ensure correct installation, proper functionality, and the absence of any potential safety hazards.

Gas Appliances

Gas Connections and Pipework:

The integrity of gas connections and pipework is essential to prevent gas leaks and associated risks. Gas safety checks involve inspecting these components for any signs of damage, corrosion, or inadequate connections that could lead to leaks.

Gas Connections and Pipework

Ventilation Systems:

Proper ventilation is critical for the safe operation of gas appliances, as it helps prevent the accumulation of harmful gases and ensures proper working condition of the appliance. Gas safety checks assess the condition of ventilation systems to ensure they are functioning correctly and are not obstructed.

Ventilation Systems

Flame Failure Devices and Safety Mechanisms:

Many gas appliances are equipped with safety features such as flame failure devices, which shut off the gas supply if the flame goes out. Gas safety checks verify the functionality of these safety mechanisms to ensure they provide reliable protection against potential hazards.

It’s important to note that gas safety checks cover all accessible gas components within the property, emphasising the significance of a comprehensive inspection.

Gas Safety Check Reports:

After completing a gas safety check, a qualified professional, such as a licensed gas fitter, will complete a detailed report outlining the findings of the inspection. 

This report includes information on any identified issues, recommended repairs, and the overall safety status of the gas systems in the property. Property managers, landlords, and tenants should be informed of the results to address any necessary repairs promptly – noting that tenants are entitled to access of the report as well.

How often should gas safety checks be done?

Gas safety checks should be conducted on all rental properties at least every two years, aligning with consumer affairs standards. 

However, in some instances where items are clearly degrading, it may be advisable to schedule more frequent inspections. This is especially true for older properties or if there have been significant changes, additions, or repairs to the gas systems. Regular checks help identify potential issues early on, mitigating the risk of serious safety hazards.

Who can perform gas safety checks?

Gas safety checks must be performed by qualified and licensed professionals, typically known as gas fitters with a Type-A servicing ticket on their license

Type-A servicing ticket

These professionals have the necessary expertise to assess gas systems, identify safety concerns, and conduct repairs or maintenance as needed. Hiring a certified gas fitter ensures that the inspection is thorough and complies with all safety regulations.

Property Managers’ Responsibilities for Gas Safety Checks:

Property managers play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of their tenants, and gas safety checks are a fundamental aspect of this responsibility. To effectively manage gas safety in rental properties, property managers should follow these key steps:

Hire Qualified Professionals: Engage licensed gas fitters or professionals with specialised training to conduct gas safety checks on your rental properties. Their expertise ensures a comprehensive assessment and adherence to safety standards. The expertise should extend to also repairing non-compliance issues or faults to save both time and money chasing multiple suppliers – especially with things like cooktop repairs or hot water repairs.

Inform All Parties: Ensure that property owners, tenants, and relevant stakeholders are informed of the results of the gas safety checks. Transparency is essential to address any identified issues promptly.

Regular Inspections: Schedule gas safety checks at least every two years, in line with consumer affairs standards. Reliable providers like Appliance Fixer have a scheduling and reminder system for each inspection to ensure no property is missed from service.

Detailed Reporting: Obtain detailed reports from gas fitters outlining any issues, recommended repairs, and the overall safety status of gas systems. Use this information to prioritize necessary actions.

Compliance with Regulations: Stay informed about local regulations, such as the Rental Tenancies Act and any specific gas safety requirements in Victoria. Compliance helps protect both property managers and tenants.

What’s the process of arranging a gas safety check?

arranging a gas safety check

At Appliance Fixer, we prioritise the safety of rental properties through thorough and hassle-free gas safety checks. Here’s what property managers can expect when scheduling a gas safety check with us:

Appointment Setup: We initiate the process by setting up an appointment with the renter/s to schedule the gas safety inspection.

Certified Type-A Gas Fitters: Our team of certified gas fitters conducts a comprehensive inspection of each area of the property, identifying potential risks and noting any issues that require attention.

Detailed Report: We provide a written report outlining the results of the gas safety check, including any necessary repairs or maintenance. The report serves as a valuable reference for addressing safety concerns.

Findings Discussion: After completing the inspection, our team are readily available discuss their findings and quotes with the property manager or owner, providing clear information on identified issues and recommended repairs.

Automated Reminders: Our system automatically emails property managers/owners (whichever is the relevant contact) prior to the next inspection date for approval to proceed with the next inspection – ensuring that no property is forgotten.

Gas Safety Check Reports – How to Read

At Appliance Fixer, we implement a traffic light system for findings of each component of a gas safety check.

Traffic Light System:

Urgent and Unsafe – Requires urgent attention (usually this will be via a phone call) (eg: gas leak)

Attention Required – Required to be completed for safety/compliance but not urgent (eg: gas hot water system too close to the openable window)

Attention Recommended – Only recommended for safety/compliance (eg: faulty cooktop ignition on 1 of 4 burners where it can still be lit manually with a lighter )

Adequate and Satisfactory – Tested and approved for use 

Rental Tenancies Act of 2021 and Gas Safety Checks:

The Rental Tenancies Act of 2021 (RTA 2021) sets out regulations and standards for gas safety in rental properties, reinforcing the importance of regular gas safety checks. 

Rental Tenancies Act of 2021 and Gas Safety Checks

Compliance with Australian standards and local Victorian Building Authority regulations is essential to ensure the safety of tenants and protect property owners and managers from liability.

Victorian Regulations and Standards for Gas Safety in Rentals:

All rental properties in Victoria must comply with the RTA 2021 and adhere to Australian standards for gas safety. 

Gas safety checks are crucial components of property management, ensuring that gas systems are safe, functional, and free from potential hazards. Compliance with these regulations protects both tenants and property managers from the risks associated with unchecked gas systems.

Safety Concerns and Tips for Gas Safety Checks in Melbourne:

Melbourne, being a bustling city with numerous apartments and rental properties, requires heightened awareness of gas safety concerns. Gas safety checks are essential for preventing fires, gas leaks, and other potential dangers associated with gas appliances.

Gas Safety Checks in Melbourne

Local Resources and Authorities for Gas Safety:

Staying informed about local resources and authorities is essential for property managers and tenants in Melbourne. Key contacts for gas safety information and assistance include:

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV):

Victorian Building Authority (VBA):

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV):

Affordable and Competent Gas Safety Check Service Provider:

Prioritising gas safety through annual safety checks is crucial for property managers. At Appliance Fixer, we offer reliable, affordable, and competent gas safety check services to ensure the well-being of tenants and compliance with safety regulations.

Our experience and expertise extends beyond the gas safety check and servicing to repairs and installations – so we are a one-stop-shop with further expertise in electrical work also (in case switching from a gas to electrical appliance is more viable).

Contact us today for professional gas safety checks on residential properties in Melbourne and beyond. Our services extend to plumbing, gas heating, and various maintenance needs, providing a comprehensive solution for property managers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gas Safety Checks:

How much does a gas safety check in Melbourne cost?

The cost of a gas safety check in Melbourne can vary based on the size and complexity of the property. For an accurate price quote, property managers can contact Appliance Fixer directly to discuss their specific needs.

What are the Australian standards for gas safety?

Australian standards for gas safety are outlined in various documents, including AS/NZS 5601.1, which covers the installation and operation of gas appliances and gas systems. Compliance with these standards is essential for ensuring the safety of gas installations in residential properties. The gas servicing regulation which covers how to service a gas appliance is AS/NZS 4575.

Are gas safety checks compulsory in rental properties in Victoria?

Yes, gas safety checks are compulsory in rental properties in Victoria. Property managers must ensure that gas safety checks are conducted at least every two years to comply with regulations and protect the well-being of tenants.

Who can perform gas safety checks?

Gas safety checks must be performed by qualified and licensed gas fitters or professionals with expertise in gas systems. Hiring certified professionals ensures that the inspection is thorough, accurate, and complies with safety regulations.

What does a gas safety check report include?

A gas safety check report includes detailed findings from the inspection, highlighting any identified issues, recommended repairs, and the overall safety status of gas systems in the property. Photos may accompany the report as evidence of compliance or areas requiring attention.

At Appliance Fixer, we are committed to providing property managers with reliable and professional gas safety check services. Contact us for more information or to schedule a gas safety check for your rental properties.

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