fined £5,500 after double carbon monoxide poisoning in Hackney,
14 October 2008 Press
and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning landlords to ensure gas appliances are safe
for tenants after two people were poisoned by carbon monoxide (CO), from a boiler
in their flat that had not been properly maintained.
Soley Fikret, landlord of a block of flats in Mare Street, Hackney, was fined
£4,000 and ordered to pay £1,500 costs at the Old Bailey, after pleading guilty
to two breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 today.
Inspector Gavin Pugh said: "Landlords must act responsibly. This case should be
a warning to landlords who don’t bother to look after their tenants. In this instance
it was very lucky that no one was killed. Had the carbon monoxide poisoning happened
slightly later in the night, this incident could have resulted in a terrible tragedy.
is the responsibility of every landlord to maintain gas appliances in a safe condition
and have them safety checked by a registered gas installer at least once a year,
and it is not difficult to arrange for a registered installer to carry out the
annual checks. Also, it is essential for any new gas appliances, which includes
flues and ventilation systems to be installed by a registered gas installer".
the evening of 11 January 2007, an ambulance was called to Mare Street, where
one of the occupants of one flat, was reported to have symptoms of a heart attack.
Paramedics gained access to the flats and took the individual to hospital. Meanwhile
other residents of the building were unable to wake another tenant, and another
ambulance was called.
poisoning was diagnosed and all residents and guests of the property and the paramedics
(13 people in total) were treated for the effects of CO poisoning.
HSE attended the
next day with British Gas investigators, who put warning notices on the gas appliances
in one flat. They returned the property on the 15 January 2007 to test the boiler
and found it was emitting high levels of CO.
HSE investigation showed that Mr Fikret had failed to ensure that the three separate
boilers and flues in the flats at Mare Street were checked for safety in the previous
about this HSE Press Release
Regulation 36 (2)
of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 states Every landlord
shall ensure that there is maintained in a safe condition -
a)any relevant gas fitting; and
b)any flue which serves any relevant gas fitting,
as to prevent the risk of injury to any person in lawful occupation or relevant
premises. Regulation 36(3) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations
1998 states: " A landlord shall ensure that each appliance and flue to which that
duty extends is checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and at
intervals of not more than 12 months since it was last checked for safety (whether
such check was made pursuant to these Regulations or not);
The levels of CO in the blood of the individual from one flat was measured (after
pure oxygen was administered) at 20.9% and the second individual taken to hospital
had levels of 38.4%. Coma can be brought about by levels of 50-60%.
Further information on the duties of landlords, letting agencies, tenants and
owner occupiers, in relation to the safety of gas appliances, can be found at
Frequently answered questions by landlords on the subject of gas safety can
be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/faqlandlord.htm
Gas installers undertaking gas installation and maintenance work must be registered
with a body approved by HSE. HSE has announced that CAPITA has been awarded the
contract to provide a new gas installer registration scheme in Great Britain from
April 2009. Until then, gas installers must be registered with CORGI. For further
information about the new gas registration scheme see http://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/safetyreview.htm
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