Social landlords have been warned to prepare themselves for new safety guidance that could see significant numbers of boilers deemed ‘at risk’ and then switched off from 1 January.

Landlords warned over gas guidance

New guidance, drafted by the gas safety industry, means from the new year any boiler with a concealed flue – meaning the boiler’s pipes are routed through the ceiling or walls – could be deemed ‘at risk’ by engineers. This will happen if inspection hatches have not been installed to allow engineers to inspect the flues. Then, with the homeowner’s permission, the boiler will be switched off until alterations can be completed.

Chris Yates, deputy director of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, is part of the working group preparing people for the change.

‘There is a risk that we will get a mass switch-off,’ he said. ‘We are trying to minimise the disruption.’ There are an estimated 30,000 homes with concealed flues in the UK.

Trevor Batt, technical safety manager at Corgi Technical Services, added: ‘Landlords need to make sure they have inspection hatches fitted by that stage. There will be no way around it other than to turn it off if it is not as it should be.’