Gas safety: changes to concealed flue requirements

Gas safety: changes to concealed flue requirements

From 1 January 2013, technical instructions to Gas Safe registered engineers will change in relation to concealed flues.

Landlords may need to take action now to avoid boilers being turned off after the deadline. Concealed flues run through voids in buildings, so the change will mainly affect landlords who own flats and apartments.

The Gas Safe Register is the gas safety registration scheme that replaced CORGI. Landlords have duties to keep gas appliances and flues safe, and ensure that gas appliances are checked every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

The Gas Safe Register has made the following recommendations:

  • Landlords should fit inspection hatches as soon possible to enable inspection of concealed flues. Inspection will ensure flues are correctly fitted, and safe from dangers such as carbon monoxide leaks.
  • Hatches should be at least 300mm square and positioned within 1.5m of any joint in the flue system.

From 1 January 2013, if the engineer cannot view a concealed boiler flue along its length, it will classify the installation as "At Risk" for the safety of the occupants (the previous classification was "Not to Current Standards"). The engineer will formally advise occupants that the boiler is "At Risk", turn it off with their consent and advise them not to use it until inspection hatches are fitted.

A tenant who is advised to turn off a boiler after 1 January 2013 might argue that its landlord is in breach of its repairing covenant or refuse to pay rent. It follows that landlords may need to act promptly, both as a matter of good practice and to avoid future conflict.

Source: Gas Safe Register: Technical Bulletin 008 (Edition 2.1) (2 April 2012).


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