Council fined for boiler carbon monoxide leak

A council in Newcastle will have to pay out £47,000 after a boiler leaked out the poisonous gas carbon monoxide.

People had to be evacuated from a community centre in Whitfield when fumes were emitted into the building’s roof space via a flue. And then an investigation from a Health and Safety Executive found that the building didn’t have the correct safety procedures in place. In fact, none of the gas appliances had been properly checked.

Having regular check-ups on boilers is a real advantage because any problems can be caught early or prevented entirely. The engineer will check the whole system and any faults can be dealt with on the spot. Your boiler’s efficiency can also be checked so you can save money on bills and reduce annual costs.

It’s recommended to have checks every six months or annually. If you combine this with boiler insurance, you won’t have to fork out a large sum of money if something does go wrong.

This scenario could have been quite different if the monoxide leak hadn’t been caught early enough, and many are killed and hospitalised each year from monoxide inhalation.

Simon Belfield, prosecuting, said: “Faulty and badly maintained gas equipment was leaking potentially fatal fumes into the roof space of the building. People were playing bridge and smelled something that gave cause for concern.

“The flue in the roof space was disconnected and has leaked the products of combustion into the roof space. They took no action.”

These players seem to have struck lucky as carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless killer. The only real detector is a carbon monoxide alarm, which works in a similar way to smoke alarms.

Boilers over 15-years-old are particularly susceptible to gas leaks so if this concerns you, it’d be best to look at installing a new energy efficient and safe boiler. You’ll reduce your energy bills, cut carbon dioxide emissions and have peace of mind.


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