Oil heating appliances have a very good safety record where carbon monoxide is concerned and is among the safest fuel choice for domestic use. However, while oil is a very safe fuel, it would be wrong to be complacent.
An oil heating engineer from Malswick has been fined £250 after installing an oil fired boiler at a property that had the potential to cause death from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
A forty eight year old from Malswick in Gloucestershire recently pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act, after Cheltenham Magistrates’ heard the boiler was installed in a compartment with inadequate ventilation and an unsuitable flue liner.
Initially, the boiler worked as expected, following installation and commissioning. However, 6 months after the boiler was installed, a householder came home to find the house full of smoke and fumes. Following an investigation, the oil fired boiler installation was identified as the source of the fumes.
Unbeknown to the householder, the flexible flue liner had dipped and formed a moisture trap, fully or partially blocking the flow of flues gases into the chimney. These conditions led to incomplete combustion, with fumes and potentially lethal CO, then entering the home.
Each year in the UK, around 40 people tragically die as a result of CO poisoning with c.200 admitted to hospital. Almost all deaths and hospital admissions from CO poisoning are entirely avoidable.
Any fuel-burning appliance that is not properly installed or maintained can release carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a clear, odourless gas that is extremely poisonous. If inhaled in sufficient concentrations it can be fatal. It’s something that all homeowners should be aware of and take precautions to avoid.
Regular servicing by an OFTEC registered technician will help minimise the risk of an incident occurring. It is also worth considering installing a carbon monoxide detector as an additional safety measure.
The symptoms of CO poisoning include tiredness, muscle pains, upset stomach, dizziness and headaches. If you think there is a carbon monoxide leak in your home, you should leave the property immediately and contact the free 24 hour national emergency line 0800 111 999 straight away. If you or anyone affected has these symptoms, get urgent medical attention from your GP or A&E department.
As with your heating oil tank, your boiler should be serviced once a year by an Oftec-registered technician. Regular servicing will help minimise the risk of an incident occurring. It is also worth considering installing a carbon monoxide detector as an additional safety measure.
If you are think that your existing boiler is due for a service, please contact your local Barton Petroleum depot and we will be happy to provide you with guidance and advice on finding an OFTEC registered technician.
To find out more about insuring your oil boiler against faulty boilers and for a free no obligation quotation call Boilerplus on 0800 195 9407 quoting ‘Bartons.