Gas Safe Register - the official body for gas safety in United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey - recently released a technical bulletin advising on new regulations relating to flues in ceiling spaces.
The advice involves properties - mainly flats and apartments - that were built with boiler flues hidden behind walls, ceilings and voids, which cannot be inspected.
As of January 2011, all Gas Safe Register registered engineers need to be able to check and inspect the flue in its entirety as part of essential safety checks whenever the boiler is worked on. Gas Safe Register have reiterated that “a flue in poor condition, combined with a boiler that is not working properly, could put you and your family in danger from carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause death or serious injury.”
In short, if you have a boiler where all or part of the flue is hidden, the homeowner or landlord is required to have inspection hatches fitted. You have until 31 December 2012 for this work to be completed.
Gas Safety Register went on to explain that the new ruling does not mean that the flue system is suddenly unsafe. As long as the boiler passes a series of safety checks − including having audible carbon monoxide alarms fitted − it can be used normally for the time being.
From 1 January 2013, any Gas Safe Register registered engineer will be required to turn the boiler off and formally advise you not to use it until inspection hatches have been fitted in the appropriate places.
If you have any questions about this, don't hesitate to call your gas-elec regional office and we'll be happy to explain it to you: 0800 587 9999. (free from a landline)
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