HSE Advises Tenants And Home-Owners To Carry Out Safety Checks

The Health and safety Executive (HSE) is advising tenants and home-owners to have any gas-fired appliance carefully checked and serviced by a qualified and competent person if they have doubts about its operational safety.

Currently, only CORGI is approved by HSE to register competent gas installers.

In 2005/6 16 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by appliances and flues that have not been properly installed or maintained. Tenants should also ensure that they are provided with current gas safety certificates.

The warning comes after landlord Peter Neil Ingram from Lowsonford was fined a total of £2,000 with £1,777 costs by Stratford-upon-Avon Magistrates Court. Prosecution follows a HSE investigation into the removal of part of a flue on a rented house in Wetherby Way, Stratford-upon-Avon. Mr Ingram pleaded guilty to breaching the Gas safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998 and was fined £1,000 for breaching each of Regulations 8(2) and 36 (2).

In July 2006 the tenant called out an engineer after a Carbon Monoxide detector had activated and the tenants 18-month-old son had displayed sickness symptoms. The engineer disconnected the gas supply and served a Warning Notice marked immediately dangerous. The engineer noted that the flue of the central heating boiler, on which Mr Peter Ingram, husband of the property owner, had been working, was incorrectly fitted and highly likely to cause the generation of toxic Carbon Monoxide gas within the property.

Mr Ingram knew that work on gas appliances was to be conducted only by suitably qualified Corgi-registered installers but even when challenged by a neighbour had continued to undertake the work. A flue terminal was absent, the height of the flue was insufficient over a conservatory roof and the installation was left with other potentially dangerous faults. access to the flue terminal had been gained via a neighbouring property and the occupier of that property informed their neighbour that his landlord had altered the gas flue installation in a way that was obviously incorrect, even to a layman.

Prosecuting Inspector Neil Craig said: "The dangers of incorrectly fitted gas installations are well known. Such dangerous work, like that seen at the property in Stratford, puts lives at risk from both carbon monoxide poisoning and fires in the home.

"This case should serve as a reminder to home owners and tenants that any work undertaken on a gas-fired appliance should only be carried out by a suitable and qualified specialist in that field. This instance should also be a warning to landlords that they must provide tenants with a current Gas safety Certificate and work should only be conducted by persons who are qualified, competent and Corgi-registered."

Bookmark and Share
video's construction news project news week news our services
search and subscribe subscribe to BR daily newsvideo search news