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Vaillant launches new flue safety training

Vaillant is using its commercial training programmes to bring installers of light commercial appliances up to speed with flueing regulations.
Gas engineers are legally required to check the flue after carrying out any work on the boiler, which includes making a visual inspection to confirm that the flue is safe. The regulations concern fan-flued gas appliances which are frequently installed to maximise internal space. The flues to these boilers are, in many cases, routed through voids in ceiling spaces and behind stud walls.

John Bailey, commercial heating & systems director at Vaillant said: 'When installers fit a boiler they have to be clear that it can be used without it constituting a danger to anyone and that requires them to confirm that the flue is safe. Moreover, every time the boiler is serviced the engineer must be able to check that the flue is still safe, that it is continuous and properly supported throughout its length and that all joints are correctly assembled and are appropriately sealed.'

As a consequence, new regulations (announced in HSE bulletin OPSTD 10-2010 which came into force on 1 January 2011) now require inspection hatches to be available in ceilings or stud walls to give engineers proper access to the flue. Homeowners or landlords have until December 31st 2012 to arrange for inspection hatches to be installed. Any gas engineer working on such systems after January 1st 2013 will have to advise the homeowner that the system is 'at risk' and, with the owner's permission, will need to turn off the gas supply to the boiler so that it cannot be used.

Until then however, where no inspection hatches are fitted, engineers can carry out a simple risk assessment which should ensure that the risk from exposure to CO is managed in the short-term. This risk assessment includes looking for signs of leakage along the flue route by carrying out a flue combustion analysis check and checking for the presence of suitable carbon monoxide alarms and installing such alarms where they are not already fitted. As long as the boiler passes the series of safety checks and the risk assessment does not identify any concerns about its safety, it can be left on.

For further information on Vaillant's commercial training course click here.

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1 August 2011

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