The Gas Safe Register has issued an important statement this week regarding changes to legislation for flues in voids. Some properties, mainly flats and apartments, have been built with boiler flues which cannot be inspected because they are hidden behind walls or ceilings.
If you or your customer has a boiler where all, or part of, the flue cannot be seen then inspection hatches need to be fitted – this is the responsibility of the landlord in rented accommodation.
Gas Safe Registered engineers need to be able to see the flue, which takes fumes away from the boiler, as part of essential safety checks. A flue in poor condition, combined with a boiler that is not working properly, could put you or your customers in danger from carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause death or serious injury.
The deadline for flue’s to be made visible is 31 December 2012. It is advised that inspection hatches are fitted as soon as possible – from 1 January 2013, any Gas Safe Registered engineer has the jurisdiction to turn off a boiler and formally advise the owner not to use it until hatches have been fitted in the appropriate place.
If a property is less than two years old then the builder needs to be contacted. If a property is between two and ten years old then the home warranty provider needs to be contacted, as you may be covered if there are defects in the flue. If a property is 10 years or older then a Gas Safe registered engineer should be contacted.
For tenants it is the responsibility of the landlord that inspection hatches are installed and that the boiler and flue are checked every year.
The HSE’s guidance regarding flues in voids can be downloaded here: Flues in voids guidance
To find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your area:
• Call: 0800 408 550
• Visit: Find a registered business