Thursday, 24 January 2013

Gas Safe Regulations - Flues in Voids

Important advice for consumers who have flues which run in ceiling spaces

Some properties, mainly flats and apartments, have been built with boiler flues which cannot be inspected because they are hidden behind walls or ceilings. The boiler flues that this information relates to are connected to room-sealed fan assisted boilers.  If you live in one of these homes then please read on for more information so you know what to do.


Gas Safe registered engineers need to be able to see the flue. Boiler flues take fumes away from the boiler.  It is necessary to carry out essential safety checks on the flue whenever the boiler is worked on.  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.

If your boiler is situated on an outside wall, it is unlikely you have this type of flue. Alternatively, if your engineer can see all of the flue, you will not need to take any further action in relation to this matter.

However, if you do have a boiler where all, or part of, the flue cannot be seen, you, or your landlord, will need to arrange for inspection hatches to be fitted. This does not mean that your flue system is suddenly unsafe.

Carbon monoxide alarms are not an alternative to being able to see the flue and you will still need to have inspection hatches fitted. It is recommended that inspection hatches are fitted as soon as you are able to do so. From 1 January 2013, any Gas Safe registered engineer will turn the boiler off, with your permission and formally advise you not to use it until inspection hatches have been fitted in appropriate places.

Although most of the affected boiler and flue systems are relatively new (installed since 2000), the risk of faults leading to the release of carbon monoxide increases as the system gets older, especially if it is not serviced regularly. It is important that you have your gas appliances serviced annually.

The guidelines issued by Gas Safe recommend that any gas inspection hatches being fitted should be a minimum of 300mm x 300mm and when possible should be installed within 1.5 meter of any joints / bends. This is not always practical in all properties and in those cases our engineers will make sure to advise you of the best possible solutions for your requirements.

There are some properties in Chiswick which have flues in voids and which need to have inspection hatches.  Many of the Chiswick mansion blocks need to be changed. 

If you have any questions about flues in voids in London, we can send a gas engineer out to do a gas inspection for you. Please call Marion on 020 8996 2930.

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