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It was somewhat disturbing to read the claim by John Williams MD of Homecall+ in the article published in Residential Landlord. The Association of Registered Gas Installers (ARGI) gives technical advice and support to the victim support group CO Awareness and many of the victims will tell you that " An annual boiler inspection and a detector is NOT all that is required to prevent the potentially fatal effects of carbon monoxide leaks". In one incident in Oxford 10 engineers attended the appliance but the resident of the property, a young lady, still died. Many landlords are not aware that under the requirements of Regulation 36 of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all landlords are required to ensure the any appliance, or any flue serving an appliance in a property is regularly maintained to ensure that it does not cause injury or death to any persons in lawful occupation of that property. The Regulation further states that the landlord cannot divest themselves of this responsibility to either the tennant or a managing agent. This means that in the event of any occupant of the property suffering injury or death, because the requirements of Regulation 36 have not been met, action can be taken against both the landlord and the managing agent. This prime responsibility is also enshrined in the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been the basis for at least one successful prosecution this year, for a lack of a duty of care.

November 17th. to 21st. 2008 is national CO Awareness Week and events will be taking place in the House of Lords on the 17th., Stormont, Northern Ireland on the 18th., the Welsh Assembly on the 19th., the Scottish Parliament on the 20th. and the Town Hall Liverpool on the 21st. All of the meetings with the exception of the House of Lords are open to anyone wishing to attend and it may well be that meeting with the victims may alter your perception of what the exposure to the products of combustion can do to people. This in turn may encourage you to ensure that those appliances in the properties for which you are responsible are kept in good order and serviced properly on a regular basis. As it says on the new poster aimed at the student population, " Be CO Aware today, it may save your life tonight".

Kind Regards,

Tony Brunton.

A. G. Brunton IEng. FCIPHE. LCGI. MSOE. MIPlantE. RP.

Master Plumber.

Chairman, Association of Registered Gas Installers ( ARGI )

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