Re: New Regulations Regarding Boiler Safety – Flues in Voids
I am writing to inform you of some VERY IMPORTANT new legislation that will affect any owner or landlord of a property where there is not adequate access to inspect the boiler AND the flue carrying the toxic fumes out of the property. In the main this will relate to Flats & Apartments built after 2000 (however there are some exceptions and all pr operties should be checked) where a boiler is placed on an internal wall or an inside cupboard, and the pipes (flues) run in the space behind walls or ceilings to the external wall. To re-iterate:
If your boiler is not situated on an outside wall, and you cannot see the full length of the flue because it is hidden behind walls or ceilings, this new legislation will probably apply to you.
The flue removes poisonous fumes from the boiler and out into the open air, so if the flue is damaged in any way or not installed correctly, it cannot be checked. There have been a number of fatalities in apartments with these boilers, where the flues are not accessible for inspection, and have been leaking Carbon Monoxide, a deadly substance which you cannot see, smell or hear, and can cause severe damage or death.
This legislation applies to every property in the country, not just rental properties, so please check your own homes as well as your tenanted properties and pass this advice on to any friends and family.
The legislation is supplied in accordance with advice developed by the Flues in Voids Cross-industry Team, which is made up of Gas Safe Register, house builders, home warranty providers, registered gas engineers, appliance manufacturers (including HHIC) and others assisted by HSE, to provide clear communication to industry and consumers around the issues of flues being located in voids which do not allow inspection, which has led to the decision that inspection hatches have to be fitted across all relevant properties.
• The gas industry requires that any boiler flues that cannot be
inspected because they are concealed behind walls or ceilings have to have inspection hatches fitted to enable visual inspection.
• From 1st January 2012, all properties that need inspection hatches have to have an audible Carbon Monoxide alarm (to BS EN 50291:2001) fitted in the property to pass a Landlord Gas Safety Inspection.
• From, 1st January 2013, if inspection hatches have not been fitted, the boiler will be turned off and deemed “at risk”, this applies even if the property has an audible
Carbon Monoxide Alarm. The boiler cannot be turned back on, leaving your tenant with no heating or hot water until the hatches have been fitted.
• An audible Carbon Monoxide alarm is not an alternative to being able to see the flue, inspection hatches still need to be fitted.
Please be advised that if access to the flue is not currently available, this does not mean that your flue is suddenly unsafe. As long as the boiler passes a series of safety checks, including the fitting of an audible carbon monoxide alarm, it can be used normally until 31st December 2012. However, you only have one year to ensure that the hatches are in place, so please do not leave this to the last moment and suddenly find yourself with a disgruntled tenant claiming compensation for lack of heating & hot water!
If you wish us to carry out these vital works, our gas engineer and maintenance team can inspect, supply & fit the series of hatches required at a cost of £450.00 inc. VAT. detailing all about the process of installing the hatches, and if you would like more information or to book the work, please contact either myself or my colleague Susie Griffiths on 01923 721900.
Thanks very much for taking the time to read this inportant info!