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Written by
on 06 January 2011


For homeowners and tenants that reside in a house where the flue is not visible, there are now new regulations that you will need to adhere to. Inspection hatches MUST be installed from January 1st 2011. 2 years will be given to the homeowner or landlord to ensure these inspection hatches are fitted, but carbon monoxide alarms must be installed until the hatch has been completed.

Hidden Boiler Flues

Safety checks need to be carried out by gas engineers that (by law) need to be able to see the flue. A flue takes fumes away from the boiler and if it is poorly maintained, or your boiler is not working correctly, can put you in serious danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. These safety checks will include the requirement for an audible carbon monoxide alarm to be installed – which will detect any problems with the invisible and odourless gas.

Gas engineers will legally be able to turn off the gas supply to your boiler From January 1st 2013, until the inspection hatches have been fitted in a suitable location in the home.

It is advisable to contact the builder if your property is less than two years old. If the property is between two and ten years old, then you may be covered by home warranty providers to have the inspection hatches installed. For older buildings – built pre-2000 – you will need to contact a Gas Safe registered engineer. Landlords need to ensure that the hatches are fitted and that the boiler and flue are checked every year, so tenants should contact their landlord to check he/she is aware of the new law.

Installing carbon monoxide alarms are essential to monitor any problems until the inspection hatches have been installed.

About the author

David Cant is a Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME’s favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick. You can find him across social media on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

  • Graham says:

    What Law is this – can you quote the Act please?

  • ashe says:

    the printed circuit on my boiler
    broke 3 weeks ag. I have insuance cover, but the plummer has refused up till now to repair it. my flat is 5 years old, he told me the builder would repair it. the builder said no. i am without my heat and hot water, as an oap i am really feeling the cold. i knew nothing about this new law, and have not know which way to turn.or indeed how much this will cost me. i own 75% of my flat, but the landlord emha have said it is my responsibility, nothing at all to do with them. i am not just concerned for myself but for the thousands of other people in this position both young and old. I have a wall hung electric fire in the lounge, yet i feel the cold so much. i cannot have a portable gas fire. surely people sould be informed and advised about this new rule that came into force jan 2010 and even if at all posible some sort of help to pay for the access doors.

  • Rob says:

    Thank you for this post. The installation and fixture of all CO alarms should be an absolute must now, to ensure the health and safety of all your loved ones and colleagues. carbon monoxide alarm

  • nitrodavidovski says:

    absolutely pathetic! I do not want my liunge ceiling dirtied up with stupid pointless inspection hatches.

    Why is this necessary when any comptent inspector should be able to disconnect the flue, block one end and pressure test it?!

    EU health and safety gone absolutely mental. Friggin paranoid idiots have enforced this and not thought it through at all.

    Unecesary costs and a complete and utter eye sore in my home. I will be protesting against this in every way I can.

  • Simon says:

    I am a landlord and i heard about this law through my management company. Unfortunately my flue travels through 2 other peoples properties so fitting inspection hatches is not an option.
    What are my options? Why cant gas engineers use a camera in the flue to inspect it rather than hatches?

  • G Cockshott says:

    New regs for hidden boiler flues. My flue is approx 35foot long and runs through a brick chimney void over 4 floors and the roof space-hence it can only be seen in the cellar where it attaches to the boiler and when it appears out of the roof. British gas will not help with advice on positioning of inspection hatches. Who would be best to advise and install please? Thanks,