The rapidly increasing cost of electricity has resulted in a growth in popularity among many South African home-owners to utilise gas installations in their homes. However, most homeowners are unaware that there are specific regulations that they must comply with when installing gas equipment in their homes to ensure their insurance policy remains valid.
According to the regulations that were introduced in 2009, all gas installations must have a Certificate of Conformity according to the Pressure Equipment Regulations that have been promulgated under the Occupation Health and Safety Act (No 85 of 1993).
While this may sound like a complex legal document – essentially it is a certificate that states that the installation has been properly inspected and is determined to be safe and leak free. It is critical that this certificate is also issued by an authorised person who is registered with the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Safety Association of Southern Africa (LPGAS).
According to the regulation, any home-owner who has a liquid gas installation installed in their home must have this certificate, which is usually obtained during the installation phase. However, all home-owners considering gas installations need to know that the onus is on them, the homeowner, to ensure that they have this certificate in their possession, not the installer.
If your home is damaged or destroyed, as a result of a defective gas appliance – and you do not have a valid certificate issued by someone registered with LPGAS – the insurance implications could be significant. An insurance company would be well within their rights to repudiate a claim, which could have severe financial repercussions for the home-owner.
Having the installation inspected and approved is a quick and easy process – provided the installation has been done correctly – much in line with similar requirements for electrical installations, which also requires a certificate of compliance under the Machinery and Occupational Safety Act of 1983.
The types of gas installations that require this certificate include gas fires or braais, gas stoves and ovens, as well as hot water systems. It is vital for all home-owners to realise that such an inspection is not just essential for their insurance policy to remain valid, but even more importantly, that it is conducted to ensure that the installation is safe and their family is not put at risk. If a gas appliance has been incorrectly installed and results in a gas leak this could have major health implications for a family, not to mention the huge danger involved of an explosion.