Gas Boilers - Flues in Voids
Advice for Builders and Developers
01 January 2011
The HSE has issued a safety notice (dated 2 December 2010) to coincide with the publication by GSR of Technical Bulletin TB 008 (edition 2).
The HSE safety notice provides updated information to that contained in their safety alert issued 2 October 2008.
Both the safety notice and safety alert are available on the HSE website http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/safety.htm. These provide background to the issue of flues in voids.
The latest edition of Technical Bulletin TB 008 is available from Gas Safe Register:
In June 2007 CORGI issued the original Technical Bulletin (TB 200) which required new installations with a flue routed within a void to have appropriate means for the gas engineer to visually check the flue. This is achieved by inspection hatches located in the ceiling. The new TB 008 does not change the requirement to provide access for new installations. NHBC has given advice to registered builders about inspection hatches in Standards Extra publications.
The main change to TB 008 is to require inspection hatches to be fitted retrospectively to properties where the flue is concealed within a void and cannot be inspected. TB 008 has interim arrangements which Gas Safe registered engineers will follow where they find this situation.
- Builder / developer advice for customers with homes in years 3 to 10 after completion
The NHBC cover in years 3 to 10 includes the cost of putting right any defect relating to the original installation of a flue or chimney, which causes a present or imminent danger to the physical health and safety of anyone normally living in the home.
Builders / developers should advise homeowners with concerns or queries about flues to arrange a check by a Gas Safe registered engineer and if any problems are identified these should be detailed in a formal report to enable the homeowner to discuss the matter further with NHBC Claims. (Telephone 0844 633 1000 and ask for "Claims"). Any details that builders / developers can provide in respect of installations would be helpful.
- Builder / developer Liability Period
The builder / developer liability period is normally for the first two years after completion. The first Technical Bulletin was published in June 2007 and it is therefore likely that all installations that remain within the two year period will have been installed to current standards, including the provision of inspection hatches.
However, should there be any exceptions where installations within the first two years are not to current standards, including where inspection hatches have not been provided, this would be considered a defect and builders / developers will have responsibility under the Buildmark Warranty to carry out rectification works.
In this situation the builder / developer should arrange a check by a Gas Safe registered engineer or alternatively advise the homeowner to do so and notify the builder / developer of any problems identified.
Where the property is more than one year old, the homeowner should have arranged for regular servicing to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. If this has not been carried out, the homeowner should be advised to arrange this.
Where the check or service within the builder / developer liability period identifies any breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 or GSR TB 008 relating to the original boiler and flue installation, the builder / developer would be responsible to rectify these.