Don’t get caught out by the flue
The NFRC have recently had a number of enquiries from members about how to deal with vertical gas flues that vent through roofs – a common feature of houses built in the 1980s. The answer is simple: call a Gas Safe Registered engineer, as domestic gas boilers produce carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste and which can be fatal.
If a flue is damaged, blocked, restricted, badly fitted or poorly serviced, the risk of carbon monoxide exposure is high. As a roofing contractor, you need to make sure you take the proper precautions and advice if you come across a flue, as they can not only endanger life, they may also lead to a hefty fine. In 2015, for example, a contractor re-roofing a flat roof above a flat in Paignton, Devon was fined £2,000 plus legal costs for failing to reconnect a flue to the boiler. The fault was only detected after the resident contacted a Gas Safe engineer to inspect what they thought was a faulty boiler; the engineer duly got in touch with HSE.
So, always seek advice from a Gas Safe Registered engineer before starting work and remember that only a Gas Safe Registered engineer can ever work on a gas flue. The engineer will assess the work being carried out, and in most cases, will disconnect the appliance from the gas supply until the work is completed. On completion, the engineer will reconnect the appliance and carry out several specific tests as required in the Gas Safety (Installation & Use Regulations), before classifying the appliance as safe to use.