Highlighting the dangers of substandard flue work
Gas fitting and maintenance work must be carried out only by a suitably
qualified professional given the inherent risks to human health and safety.
A recent incident in the UK involving an unregistered gas fitter exposed
the potential dangers of neglecting this important aspect of gas maintenance
The gas fitter in Essex, England was given a prison sentence and ordered
to carry out 180 hours of community service after illegally conducting work on
two properties. In the UK, all professionals involved in gas maintenance are
obliged by law to be a member of the Gas Safety Register; however, the
convicted gas fitter failed to meet this requirement.
He was eventually caught out when he failed to complete a gas boiler
installation at one of the properties, leading to the occupant notifying the
Gas Safety Register. Further investigation from the Health and Safety Executive
(HSE) revealed that the flue of one of the boilers fitted by the worker was not
sealed properly, and was deemed ‘At Risk’.
According to the HSE, even a small movement of the faulty flue could
have led to combustion products including potentially lethal carbon monoxide
gas leaking into the home and posing a hazard to its residents.
Observing that the worker had shown a clear disregard for the law and
put his customers’ lives at risk, HSE Inspector Vicky Fletcher said that it was
important to hire only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent
to work on gas appliances and fittings.
Similar laws exist in Australia, where gas fitters, plumbers,
electricians and those in similar trades are required to register with the
local state authority.
In addition to the required qualifications, workers must also be
equipped with the right tools for the job including sophisticated gas measuring
equipment such as the testo 310 flue gas set with printer that will ensure
their clients are never placed at risk.
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