Flues In Voids
From January 2013 Gas Safety inspections must include visual inspections of gas flues every 1.5 metres or at bends in the flue.
To comply, hatches will have to be fitted to enable the engineer to inspect the flues.
A gas flue is the flue/pipe which takes the waste from a gas boiler to the outside. If the flue has a break in it or your boiler is not operating correctly, carbon monoxide could enter the property. If the engineer cannot access the flue it will fail the gas safety inspection and you will be responsible for any eventual risk which could result in a serious incident. The penalties for injury or death are a fine and/or imprisonment.
Flues can be concealed. In blocks of flats the flues can pass through flats above before eventually venting to the outside. You do not have a flue in a void if the boiler is fitted to an external wall and directly vented out to the outside. You would be clearly able to see a grille with a vent immediately on the outside of the building.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
This applies to properties in England only.
CARBON MONOXIDE AND SMOKE DETECTORS REQUIREMENTS FROM 1ST OCTOBER 2015
From the 1st October 2015 regulations require smoke alarms to be installed in rented residential accommodation and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with a solid fuel appliance. Changes are also made to the licence requirements in relation to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), such as shared houses and bedsits which require a licence and also in relation to properties which are subject to selective licensing. The Regulations apply both to houses and flats. Failure to comply can lead to a civil penalty being imposed of up to £5,000.
Landlords of residential accommodation have responsibilities for combating Legionnaires’ Disease. Health and Safety legislation requires that landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ Disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced.
This note is intended to give a brief guide to what the landlord should do. Further advice is available from the Health & Safety Executive.