Sometimes when a boiler has been installed in the past, the flue needed to run behind walls or through ceiling voids. However, when a gas safe engineer carries out the annual gas safety inspection, the engineer needs to see the flue.
If you have a flue that cannot be seen in full, then, an inspection hatch is required to allow the engineer to see.
Currently, if no hatch exists during an inspection, landlords are advised by the engineer and on the report that an inspection hatch is required allowing time for the installation of one. Also, as long as the boiler passes a series of tests, the record will be issued showing the boiler as safe to use.
However, from 1 January 2013, any Gas Safe registered engineer will turn the boiler off with your permission and formally advise you not to use it until inspection hatches have been fitted in appropriate places. It is therefore time to install inspection hatches now to avoid conflict.
Carbon monoxide alarms are not an alternative according to the Gas Safe Register website where also more information and help can be found.