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 only. 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 − which take fumes away from the boiler − as part of essential safety checks whenever the boiler is worked on. A flue in poor condition, combined with a room-sealed 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 room-sealed boiler is situated on an outside wall, it is unlikely you have this type of flue. Alternatively, if your engineer can examine all of the flue, you will not need to take any further action in relation to this matter.
If you do have a room-sealed 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.
Room sensing carbon monoxide alarms are not an alternative to being able to see the flue and you will still need to have inspection hatches fitted so that the flue system can be checked. 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 classify the boiler as At Risk, this means that they 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.