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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
July 1, 2011

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Housing association failed to properly maintain pensioner’s fire

A pensioner died in his home from carbon-monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty solid-fuel fire, which had not been properly maintained by his housing association.

George Rutherford, 80, was found dead at his home in Penshaw, Sunderland on 18 June 2007. He rented the property from Gentoo Group Ltd, which provides social housing in Sunderland.

An HSE investigation found the property had a coal fire, which had not been properly maintained and was emitting carbon monoxide. The fire had a throat plate, which directs flames towards the front of the fire to keep the stove hot. But this causes a build up of soot in the stove, which can prevent gas from getting up the flue and being released up the chimney. €

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