Housing Plus Group becomes one of the first to install life-saving gas safety technology in their homes

A Staffordshire-based housing association has agreed to install life-saving gas safety technology in 12,000 homes across Shropshire and Staffordshire.

Housing Plus Group has partnered with property technology company – Gas Tag – to use ground-breaking tech that will help to keep their tenants safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Annual gas safety checks are a legal requirement for all landlords. However, with the current ‘locally-stored’ method there is no standard way of managing this information, making monitoring very difficult.

“Keeping track of the paper trail for annual gas certificates, replacement boilers and new appliances for many homes presents a serious challenge for housing providers”, says Steve Collins, Director of Property for Housing Plus Group, a housing association formed last year from the merger of Severnside Housing in Shropshire and Housing Plus in South Staffordshire.

Pic of Steve Collins, Director of Property for Housing Plus Group

Steve Collins, Director of Property for Housing Plus Group

All of the Group’s 12,000 homes will be fitted with technology that has been heralded as “the most significant quantum leap in domestic gas safety compliance in 20 years” by Barry Sheerman MP – the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Carbon Monoxide.

For the first time, these life-saving checks will be captured using an app on a smartphone – allowing the work to be monitored in real time – which will help keep tenants safe from the scourge of illegal gas fitters and enforce gas safety regulations.

The concept is simple; a physical Gas Tag is placed in each property and tracks that all of the gas appliances, services and installations are carried out by Gas Safe Registered engineers.

Each engineer is able to evidence their competency and their completed job gets uploaded to a centralised portal where the data can be monitored. Illegal gas fitters are unable to access the Gas Tag app and are not able to carry out any work through the Gas Tag portal.

Mr Collins says that compliance has been a priority of the board since the merger last October. “Compliance should be at the heart of every housing provider,” he says.

Mr Collins oversees compliance for over 12,000 homes including gas, fire risk assessments, asbestos, water and lift management. He sees the potential for Gas Tag to go beyond the annual gas check.

“When you’re using different partners and different databases it’s a challenge. We have monthly audits and labour intensive processes to make sure things don’t happen.

“The beauty of Gas Tag is that it’s a single system. There’s nothing in the market that provides a holistic application. Currently our seven or eight compliance obligations are managed separately and then we bring them together. This is the most exciting thing to happen to the sector in the last 10 years.”

Paul Durose, co-founder and chief executive for Gas Tag said: “We are excited to be working with such a forward-thinking company as Housing Plus Group that clearly puts tenant safety at the heart of what they do. Our technology is an industry first and gives Housing Plus real-time data to monitor lifesaving gas safety checks.”

 

*See the feature in Housing Technology

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