In mid-July it came to light that an elderly couple were exposed to dangerous living conditions after a roofing contractor undertook work that he shouldn’t have. The contractor worked with a chimney above a gas fire while he was working on a water leak on the couple’s roof despite not being on the Gas Safe register or qualified to carry out any work involving gas.
The contractor dismantled the couple’s double-stack chimney as part of his work on repairing the roof and then subsequently rebuilt it incorrectly as a single-stack chimney after the work was done. The rebuilt chimney blocked the flue for the gas fire in the couple’s back room, which is the one that they used, and left the flue open for the boarded-up unused fire in the front room. This resulted in the fumes from the fire going into their loft rather than escaping through the flue and chimney.
These conditions were potentially very dangerous and put the couple more at risk as time progressed. While the problem should never have occurred in the first place, a smoke test would have revealed the issue but the contractor failed to undertake even this simple safety measure.
All these issues stem from the lack of qualifications and knowledge the contractor had about working with gas, therefore, it is essential that you check someone is Gas Safe if you suspect any work you may be undertaking on your house might be in-directly linked to your gas heating or appliances.
Source: Heating and Plumbing Monthly (July 2014)