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Disconnection when there is a gas leak

This content applies to England & Wales

The responsibilities of gas transporters for taking action in the event of a gas leak.

Gas transporters, for example National Grid and Centrica, are the bodies responsible for taking action in the event of a gas leak or escape. The transporter will usually be a different part of the same company that supplies the gas (eg the company which issues gas bills for the property).

Disconnection

Gas transporters have powers under which they can disconnect and seal off any gas fitting or any part of the gas system in residential premises for safety reasons.[1] They do not have to give notice of disconnection in emergencies, but must send the customer written notice within five days of the disconnection, detailing the nature of the defect, the danger involved, and what action has been taken.[2] If occupiers want to object they have 21 days to appeal to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.[3] The meter stays disconnected until the fault is remedied or the appeal is successful.[4] It is a criminal offence to reconnect any gas fitting or any part of the gas system without the consent of the appropriate authorities (eg the gas transporter or the Secretary of State).[5]

Where a disconnection takes place for safety reasons suppliers can provide alternative appliances, such as electric heaters and cookers, although the supplier is unlikely to do so if it suspects that the leak or escape was caused by tampering.

Entering the home

Gas transporters have the right to enter premises to do any necessary work or to cut off the supply if they have reasonable cause to suspect that gas is, or might be, escaping or that escaped gas has entered the premises.[6]

[1] s.18(2) Gas Act 1986 and Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/2535.

[2] reg 6(1) Gas Act 1986 and Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/2535.

[3] reg 7 Gas Act 1986 and Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 SI 1996 No.2535.

[4] reg 9 Gas Act 1986 and Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/2535.

[5] reg 10 Gas Act 1986 and Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/2535.

[6] reg 4 Gas Act 1986 and Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 SI 1996/2535.

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