On 1st Oct 2015 the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force. From that date, private rented sector landlords are required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every floor of their properties on which there is a room. This is regardless of whether it is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and includes a bathroom or toilet.

Where there are no inspection hatches within flats, Gas Safe engineers will carry out a simple risk assessment to ensure that any carbon-monoxide risk is minimalised in the short term because a flue in poor condition, combined with a boiler that is not working properly, could create a danger from carbon monoxide poisoning.

CO does not occur naturally in the atmosphere and is the result of oxygen-starved combustion in improperly ventilated fuel-burning appliances such as gas water heaters, oil and gas furnaces, gas ovens, gas or kerosene space heaters, fire places and wood stoves. CO is generated by any gasoline engine that does not use a catalytic converter.

Note: In the view of the HSE, a non-functioning purely decorative fireplace would not constitute a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.

Engineers will look for signs of leakage from the flue route and carry out a flue-combustion analysis check and will also check for the presence of suitable audible carbon monoxide alarms and installing such alarms where they are not fitted.

Warning signs that gas appliances are not working correctly are lazy yellow flames, black marks or stains around the appliance as well as too much condensation in the room.

The 6 main signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are:

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizziness
  3. Nausea
  4. Breathlessness
  5. Collapse
  6. Loss of consciousness



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