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The Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
Heating Appliances (Fireguards) (Safety) Regulations 1991
Oil Heaters (Safety) Regulations 1977
Gas Catalytic Heaters (Safety) Regulations 1984
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

Gas Fires and Oil Heaters

    The Heating Appliances (Fireguards) (Safety) Regulations 1991 impose an obligation on suppliers of gas fires and oil heaters to ensure that they comply with British or European Standards to the effect that all gas and oil fires have a fitted fireguard grill around the area of the flame.

    The Regulations do not apply to hearth fires that meet certain conditions as set out below.

    Supply would include making them available in a residential letting or holiday let.

    Most fires and heaters are specifically designed to meet the Regulations with the fire guard built into the design so that there:

    is no likelihood of personal injury from burning; and
    is no likelihood of ignition of any fabric, by reason of, in either case, contact with or closeness to any flame or any part of the appliance which becomes incandescent.

    The Regulations do not apply if the fire meets these design standards.  Oil heaters and used gas fires, which do not satisfy the specific design criteria, must be fitted with a guard that meets the Regulations.

    A "gas fire" includes:

    a gas burning heating appliance in which the source of the gas is in liquid form or the gas is contained in a portable container; and
    a gas burning appliance intended to simulate a solid fuel fire;

    A "heating appliance" means a gas fire or oil heater.

    "Residential premises" includes premises intended for temporary accommodation except tents but does not include any part of residential premises which consists of out-buildings such as garages or greenhouses.

    The fireguard is satisfactory if any vertical bars are 5mm or less apart. Otherwise the guard must not have an opening with:

    a major dimension exceeding 125mm, a minor dimension exceeding 12mm and a diagonal dimension exceeding 126mm, or

    a major dimension exceeding 50mm, a minor dimension exceeding 20mm and a diagonal dimension exceeding 53mm.


    Ensure that all fires and oil heaters conform to British or European Standards and carry the CE mark.

    For information on oil-fired boiliers

    Gas Catalytic Heaters:

    The Gas Catalytic Heaters (Safety) Regulations 1984 prohibit the supply of heaters that contain asbestos. The DTI and Trading Standards advise that it is best policy to completely avoid supplying any gas catalytic heater in rented accommodation.

    Gas Heath Fires:

    Gas hearth fires or fires supplied to be installed into a hearth do not have to have a guard provided that the installation meets the following specifications:

    No naked flame or incandescent part of the firebed projects more than 50 millimetres from the vertical plane of the fireplace opening.

    The forward projection of any naked flame or incandescent part of the firebed is enclosed on all sides except the front.

    There is a hearth which projects at least 300 millimetres in front of any naked flame (such as the pilot or burner) and any incandescent part of the firebed.

    The hearth and any surround that is fitted projects at least 150 millimetres beyond each side of the naked flame or incandescent part of the firebed at its widest point.

    The periphery of the hearth is at least 50 millimetres above the floor level.

    The Oil Heaters (Safety) Regulations 1977 apply to paraffin heaters. Controls cover stability, flame extinction and labelling.

    The Oil Heaters (Safety) Regulations 1977 apply to paraffin heaters and control the stability, flame extinction and labelling.

    If supplying such heaters in rented accommodation or holiday lets there are certain design and performance specifications, which must be compiled with, including:

    Labels which warn against:

    using petrol as a fuel
    carrying the heater when alight
    using the heater in an unventilated place
    using the heater where it may be exposed to draughts; and
    for certain oil heaters, filling when alight.

    Warnings and instructions must be set out in legible and durable characters and be displayed upon the heater itself or on a permanently attached label. They should be headed ‘WARNING’ or ‘CAUTION’.

    The flame regulator must be easily accessible and capable of easy adjustment when the heater is alight.

    Heaters (other than those designed to operate only when fixed to rigid support) must have a self-extinguishing facility so that if overturned whilst alight, the flame will be automatically extinguished within 15 seconds.

    Oil heaters with a self-extinguishing facility must carry instructions about attention needed to maintain or restore their self-extinguishing capability.

    Heaters designed to stand on floor must be constructed so that when standing unsecured and whether empty or full, they can be titled to an angle of 15 degrees from the vertical in any direction without overturning. They must also have screw holes, a hook and chain or other means of securing them to prevent overturning.


    Ensure that all paraffin heaters comply with British Safety Standards.

    The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989 apply to anyone who supplies electrical equipment in the course of a business.

    The safety of any electrical equipment that is supplied as part of furnished accommodation that is hired or let is controlled by the Regulations.

    Because the Regulations operate with the same definition of 'supplier' as the Consumer Protection Act, letting agents and landlords are liable as suppliers. 

    The Regulations impose the obligation on the supplier of such goods to ensure that they are 'safe', so that there is no risk of death or personal injury to humans or pets, or risk of damage to property.

    When purchasing such items, your supplier should only be selling items which comply but if you make those items available to third parties in the course of your business – eg in holiday accommodation or part of a furnished letting – then you are also liable.

    Both sets of Regulations relate to:

    the supply of electrical equipment designed with a working voltage of between 50 & 1000 volts a.c. (or between 75 & 1500 d.c)

    all mains voltage household electric goods including electric heaters but do not extend to fixed electrical wiring and built-in appliances (eg. central heating systems).

    For more information on the Regulations generally see:  Supply of Electrical Equipment


    Ensure that:

    All electrical equipment, including electric fires, comply with the current UK standards

    Where the safe use of the equipment relies upon the user being aware of any particular characteristic, suitable information or instruction booklets should be provided.  The instructions should be given in English.

    Any equipment is marked with the appropriate CE symbol

    Contact us to help you conduct a full risk assessment of your premises

Additional Reading:

Landlords and Oil-Fired Boilers
Gas Cooking Appliances
Gas Heating Appliances
Gas Installation and Maintenance
Landlords and Holiday Lets

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A Guide to Landlord's Duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations