Trading Standards Institute Advice

Second-hand gas cooking appliances

In the guide

This guidance is for England, Scotland & Wales

Under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 it is an offence to supply (and this includes hiring out) a used gas cooking appliance unless it complies with certain safety requirements. For example, the gas carrying component must prevent leaks of gas, the gas shut-off devices must work properly and safely and surface temperatures must not be too high.

Only someone who is Gas Safe-registered can install a gas appliance.

What is a gas cooking appliance?

A gas cooking appliance is any equipment designed, or suitable, for domestic use in the home (including a ship or caravan) and is designed for cooking by the burning of gas, including LPG (liquefied petroleum gas).

Equipment is covered by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 even if it has additional functions. It is covered no matter where it is designed to be used:

  • floor, table or wall mounting
  • resting on a raised surface
  • fixed to any upright structure
  • supported by any other equipment

Second-hand equipment designed to be used outdoors or in a tent is also covered by these Regulations.

What are the safety requirements?

The main safety requirements for a gas appliance when in normal use are as follows:

  • all gas carrying components must be sufficiently sound to prevent leaks of gas or poisonous fumes
  • oven door seals must be effective
  • burner ignition devices must work to ensure prompt ignition of the burner
  • when a burner is lit by automatic or manual devices, all of the flame ports must ignite
  • after a period of one minute following ignition, any flame must be stable enough so that it does not move away, either in whole or in part, from the burner port and the flame does not return inside the body of the burner
  • the quantity of carbon monoxide in the products of combustion is not such as to give rise to the likelihood of death or personal injury
  • gas shut-off devices must work promptly and safely
  • any tap handle must be designed so that it cannot be switched on by accident and the closed / open positions must be clearly marked and identifiable
  • shut-down lids with automatic devices to cut off gas must work, and interrupt the gas supplied to the hot plate burners when the lid is moved 45 degrees.  
  • it must not be possible for a shut-down lid to fall accidently from its fully raised position
  • surface temperatures, apart from working surfaces, must not be so high as to cause possible injury or fire
  • any glass (such as doors, lids and splashbacks) must be of a type to prevent death or injury due to the glass breaking
  • all accessible parts must be free from sharp edges
  • it must not be possible for burner bodies to be displaced accidently, but they must removable so as to be easily cleaned
  • flames from grills should not extend beyond the length of the grill
  • any free-standing appliance, when subjected to certain tests, must be stable and any pan supports must ensure the stability of any cooking vessels placed upon them
  • information that is necessary for the safe installation, adjustment, maintenance and operation must be marked on the appliance or, if not practicable, in accompanying documentation. It must be in English

How do I know whether the cooker meets the safety requirements?

Cookers that state that they comply with British Standard BS EN 30: Domestic cooking appliances burning gas, or bear the CE mark (opens in a new window), will probably have complied when they were manufactured. However, that does not guarantee that they will comply after they have been used. Therefore, it will be necessary for a skilled and competent person (see below) to examine the appliance to ensure that it complies with the safety requirements.

Who can install an appliance?

Only someone who is competent to do so under the terms of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998; in other words, a person registered by Gas Safe (opens in a new window).

Penalties

Failing to comply with the above requirements is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment, although landlords supplying gas appliances may also be subject to other sanctions under the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The court may also forfeit any or all of your unsafe goods.

In addition, where a product causes personal injury or property damage, the supplier could be liable to pay substantial damages.

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: September 2017

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This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.

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