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Explosion risk from redundant domestic back boilers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety alert aimed at homeowners, tenants, landlords and heating professionals following five incidents in the last five years where redundant solid fuel back boilers have exploded.

A number of these incidents led to injury and sadly, in one case, a fatality, the HSE said.

The risk can arise when a disused boiler has been left at the back of a fireplace and a coal or wood fire is lit in front of it. This can mean the boiler heats up causing the boiler casing to explode. If you have a redundant back boiler you should not light an open fire in front of it.

The health and safety watchdog said information in its recently-published alert should help identify whether individuals have this potential risk in their properties/housing stock and what steps they should take.

The HSE is urging those who are unsure of whether they have a back boiler behind their fireplace to seek further advice from their landlord or a competent professional such as a plumber or heating engineer.

For practical and technical advice individuals can contact the Solid Fuel Association helpline on 0845 6014406 http://www.solidfuel.co.ukhttp://www.solidfuel.co.uk/or HETAS, the body recognised for official testing and approval of domestic solid fuel burning appliances at http://www.hetas.co.uk http://www.hetas.co.uk/