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The Risks facing home gas installations and your insurance cover

Under the Occupation Health and Safety Act, gas appliances installed in property are brought in line with electrical installations.

 In short, any person installing a liquid gas appliance onto a property, from 1st October 2009, must have a Certificate of Conformity issued in respect thereof.   

The certificate is  issued  by  an  authorised  person  registered  as  such  with  the  LIQUIFIED PETROLEUM GAS SAFETY ASSOCIATION of SOUTHERN AFRICA (LPGAS), after he has inspected the installation, and is satisfied that it is safe, and leak free.  

 Gas installations for which certificates of conformity are required would include built in gas fires or braai's, gas stoves and hot water systems and the like. Furthermore, in terms of Regulation 17(3) of the Pressure Equipment Regulations, any person disposing of a property on which such gas appliance is installed, must obtain a Certificate of Conformity in respect thereof, and must deliver a copy thereof to the Purchaser (rather like an electrical compliance certificate).  

 Indications are that insurance companies may seek to avoid liability for damage caused to a property  by  a  defective  gas  appliance,  should  there  be  no  valid  Certificate  of  Conformity therefore. This being the case, it won't be long before banks granting the Purchaser the mortgage finance to purchase property will require a copy of the Certificate of Conformity, should a gas appliance have been installed thereon.



Homeowners with gas appliances stand the chance to have insurance claims denied if it is found that their appliances did not meet the safety requirements set by the South African Bureau of  Standards  (SABS)  and  the  Liquefied  Petroleum  Gas  Safety  Association  of  South  Africa (LPGSASA).


This  is  according  to  Marike  van  Niekerk,  Legal  and  Compliance  Manager  at  MUA  Insurance Acceptances, who says that insurers expect their policyholders to prove that they have taken every reasonable measure to manage the risks associated with their insured assets.

“Gas is becoming more and more popular for household use, and a report by South Africa’s Competition Commission1 reveals that gas is used in one way or another, in at least 20% of South African electrified households and around 13% of households that are not connected to the electrical grid.” 


She says that in the event of an accident involving a gas appliance, insurers may insist on proof that the appliance and its installation complied with safety standards. “For this, the policyholder needs a Certificate of Conformity, which confirms that the appliance was inspected by an authorised person who is registered with the LPGSASA.

It is proof that the appliance is safe, leak free, and installed in accordance with the SABS regulations.”  Van Niekerk adds that if a homeowner cannot produce the required safety documentation, there is a good chance that their insurance claims could be denied. 


She says that the LPGSASA has a number of requirements that should be on every homeowner’s checklist when installing a gas appliance.

Here are a few Tips to assist in making better decisions, when it comes to home gas installations:

   ·  Only use a registered installer. Approved installers must be able to show you their LPGSASA registration certificates and have to be able to provide you with an installation certificate once the installation is completed.

 ·  Only buy gas from a qualified gas dealer. Approved gas dealers are listed on the LPGSASA website, and will always secure new and refilled bottles with their distinctive gas bottle seals.

 ·  Make  sure  that  all  of  your  gas  products  have  been  verified  and  tested  by  the  correct regulatory bodies. This includes making sure that the appliance has SABS and LPGSASA certificates of approval. LPGSASA also maintains a database of approved appliances on its website, if you need to confirm that it is indeed certified. 

Regularly check whether the seal on a cylinder matches the brand of the cylinder.

·  Regularly check gas appliances before use. No matter which appliance it is, always ensure that no pipes are damaged, no gas is leaking and that all valves open and close correctly. 

Lastly homeowners need to turn off gas appliances immediately if they suspect that the equipment may be leaking.
 “All windows and doors should be opened and a  registered gas engineer should be contacted to come and inspect the appliance.”   To further prevent any possible claims rejections, Van Niekerk advises homeowners to get registered installers  to  perform  annual  maintenance  checks. 

 There  are  major  implications  to  using  non-compliant gas appliances, and homeowners place themselves in peril – both financially and physically - if they do not manage their risks to the best of their ability.


For any further assistance and advice on the contents of this article, please phone our office on 031-5021922 or visit our website or reach Andrew directly on


Article courtesy of MUA Insurance Acceptances (insuring the High Net-worth client) written by Peter Bowes