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Boy survives gas nightmare

A potential death trap was created by a double glazing company when it built a conservatory which completely enclosed the external flue of a gas boiler.

A 12-year-old boy needed hospital treatment after carbon monoxide built up inside the conservatory and then leaked through into the lounge of the property in November 2007.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said a double fatality was only avoided because the boy's mother came home slightly later from work than usual and discovered her son being overcome by carbon monoxide. If she had arrived earlier she too might have been poisoned by the fumes.

Supaglazing, based in Stroud, was fined £4,500 and told to pay a victim surcharge of £15 after pleading guilty at Maidstone Magistrate’s Court to breaching the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning companies that they must only use competent, registered gas fitters when carrying out property alterations which might affect a gas fitting.

'Double fatality' narrowly avoided

Lisa Skinner, HSE inspector, said: 'We are pleased that justice has been done. A 12-year-old boy was hospitalised as a result of this incident.

“If his mother had not returned home later than usual that day she too may have been exposed to the build up of carbon monoxide and this could have resulted in a double fatality.

'It is essential that companies who carry out work on homes that affect existing gas fittings adhere to the guidance given, including the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 and its approved code of practice, to stop incidents like this from happening again.'

For further information about the new gas register click here

For more information on gas health and safety click here.