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Boiler Maintenance

Volume 407: debated on Friday 20 June 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has for further regulation of household boilers; and if he will (a) encourage and (b) require annual maintenance checks, including a search for sources of carbon monoxide. [120926]

Amendments to the Building Regulations that came into effect on 1 April 2002 significantly improved the requirements for the safe accommodation and energy efficiency of new and replacement domestic boilers. We announced in the Energy White Paper (EWP) that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will raise the energy performance standard even further to the level of the most efficient types of condensing boilers, and that we aim to bring the next major review of the Building Regulations into effect in 2005.The Government are well aware of the hazards associated with combustion appliances and encourage periodic maintenance checks. It is the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's view that the frequency of inspections should be determined by appliance manufacturers having regard to the type of fuel used. Guidance and encouragement supporting this position is conveyed in:

the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister leaflet, "Solid Fuel, Wood and Oil Burning Appliances: Get Them Checked, Sweep Your Chimneys and be Safe". This warns of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and encourages appropriate maintenance for solid fuel and oil appliances which includes checking for gas tightness; and
the HSE leaflet, "Get Them Checked—Keep Them Safe". This provides similar advice for gas users.

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) advises on annual servicing of domestic boilers and safety awareness through its network of Energy Efficiency Advice Centres (EEACs).

In addition to this general guidance and encouragement, the increased risks to health and safety in rented accommodation are addressed through the requirement in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations for annual checks. Advice to landlords is available from Letlink.

These sources can be accessed on the internet at the following addresses and copies are available in the library of the House: www.safety.odpm.gov.uk/bregs/ pdf/ca rbonm. pdf, www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg238.pdf, www.saveenergy.co.uk/about/energyeff.cfm, and www.letlink.co.uk/Facts/Lfacts7.htm