Gas taps - picture by Erik Kroon

Is the gas safe in my tower block?

Gas safety is important in every home, but in tower blocks there are additional reasons for checking that everything is secure.

A gas explosion can be really serious — and as has been shown by previous disasters, it can even make the entire building collapse.

What does the law say?

The relevant law is the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

This says that landlords must make sure there is a gas safety check at least once every twelve months. It must be done by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Within 28 days after this check, your landlord must provide tenants with a copy of the gas safety record.

Landlords are also responsible for making sure that all gas pipes, fittings and appliances are kept safe and in good working condition.

There is an extra consideration if your block was built with the Large Panel System, in which gas explosions are a particular concern. 

The government has instructed the removal of gas systems (for heating or cooking, etc) from all blocks that could not withstand an explosion of five pounds per sq inch (psi). However, at the time of writing, there are several blocks in England for which this has not been carried out.

What action to take

If you think there’s a gas leak, or you can smell gas

  • Open windows.
  • Call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999.
  • Also let your landlord know.

If you think your landlord has not been conducting annual gas safety checks

Things to think about 

If you live in a block that was constructed using the Large Panel System, see this page for more information on what to do.

Links to read

Related guides

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Tools you can use

Contacting your landlord

Tips and letter templates to help you communicate with your landlord when there’s something wrong, or you want to find out more.
cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Chris Upson - geograph.org.uk/p/119968 cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Chris Upson - geograph.org.uk/p/119968

Guide

I’m worried my building is Large Panel System

Large Panel System is a method of construction that was popular in the 60s but has since been found to be potentially unsafe. If you think your building may be LPS, here’s what to do.
Image by Nicolas Nova - a broken window with cardboard over the missing pane Image by Nicolas Nova - a broken window with cardboard over the missing pane

Guide

My landlord isn’t making repairs

Your landlord should be keeping your tower block, and your flat, in good repair. If they do not, there are several things you can do.
Two women discussing over a laptoip. Image by WOCintechchat Two women discussing over a laptoip. Image by WOCintechchat

Tools you can use

Starting or joining a Residents’ Association or an Action Group

Joining together with other residents in your block or community can make you much more powerful.
Two people in front of a wrold map. One is filming the other in an interview. Two people in front of a wrold map. One is filming the other in an interview.

Tools you can use

Contacting the media

Sometimes, if you’re not getting results through any other means, it can help to get some coverage in the local – or even national – press.
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Tools you can use

Using Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information is a way of getting information from public authorities, like councils or housing authorities. It’s available to everyone and you don’t have to be an expert to use it.

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