HSE Press Release, 2 October 2008

The HSE has issued a safety alert aimed at builders, developers, managing agents, landlords and occupiers of residential properties with gas central heating boilers sited on internal walls. The risk arises when the flue runs through a ceiling void – if the flue is not in good condition, the boiler may produce high levels of carbon monoxide that may enter the ceiling void through any breaks in the flue (for example, joints that are not sealed properly) and into the adjacent living space, placing occupants at risk of CO poisoning. If no access has been provided to the flue, the joints can never be checked. The HSE is working with developers, the gas industry and construction trade associations to try to ascertain how may properties have been developed with flues in ceiling voids but without means of access for inspection and to agree appropriate action.