Information on Gas Flues in voids
New Gas Safe regulations are coming into effect from December 31st 2012, which will require all flues that are hidden within ceiling and wall voids to have inspection hatches installed in order for gas engineers to inspect their safety.
For most people there is nothing to worry about, as boilers are often installed on walls that are external facing. In this case, the flue is often relatively short and leads directly outside the property.
However, for properties where the boiler is installed deeper within the property, the flue might run between walls or through the gap between the ceiling and the floor above. These gaps are called "voids".
Gas Safe, the government backed industry body who determine the legal health and safety standards that gas engineers are to abide by, have decided to introduce new relguations against flues that run through these voids.
The regulations require that the voids must have inspection hatches (see picture below) installed so that the gas engineer can easily access the flue for periodic Gas Safe inspections.
New regulations were introduced as a result of a recent death from Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning from a flue hidden within a void. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is the biggest threat when flues are not installed, positioned or maintained properly.
Installing inspection hatches will let your gas engineer inspect the flue to ensure its full and safe operation.
Currently all new flue installations taking place, where it's vital to run the flue through a void, will have inspection hatches installed as well.
How is your existing installation affected?
If your flue is running through a void without inspection hatches then from December 31st 2012 it will be classed as "at risk" when you have your annual Gas Safe inspection. This will mean that the engineer will ask your permission to cut off gas to the boiler due to the safety risks.
Please note that cutting the gas to the appliance in this case is something you can refuse, however by doing so you will accept all responcibility in the event of a related incident.
The best thing to do is to simply get inspection hatches installed. They vary depending on size but on average they will cost around £85+ VAT per hatch and will take approximately 30 minutes each to install.
This is something PGS Services can do for you, ensuring that the hatches you get are fire rated to British Standards and the installation is safe.
For more information please call us on 0203 674 1686.
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