A heating oil installer 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.
Forty eight year old Nigel Grinnell, from Malswick in Gloucestershire 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.