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Follow regulations or risk lives warning over wood-burning stoves

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Installing wood-burning stoves without the correct permissions and checks can endanger lives.

That is the warning from the Planning and Building Control directorate of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) and the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service.

Property owners must seek permission to install wood-burning and other solid-fuel-burning appliances. Regulations in place since 1993 set down minimum installation standards.

DEFA says an increasing number of people are by-passing the requirements, with potentially fatal consequences.

Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:

‘Property owners must comply with planning and building regulations when fitting wood-burning stoves or other solid fuel-burning appliances.

‘Failure to do so may put properties at risk of fire and expose occupants and neighbours to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be fatal.’

In the 12 months from April 2014 to March 2015, firefighters attended eight incidents relating to wood or solid-fuel burning stoves, with faulty installation being the cause of several.

Property owners planning to install wood-burning stoves must either:

  •  Apply to the relevant building control authority – DEFA or, if resident in Douglas or Onchan, the local authority – for advice. A fee is payable.
  • Employ a tradesman who is either member of the Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (HETAS) or is otherwise approved by Government as competent to carry out installation and testing.

Property owners must notify their building control authority within 30 days of work being completed.

For further advice, the public can contact the Planning and Building Control directorate on 685902/686446, email or call at Murray House, Mount Havelock, Douglas.

The directorate has a list of tradesmen registered to install solid fuel burning appliances and this and general advice can be found at:

The Minister added:

‘Those who fail to follow the regulations also experience problems when they sell properties. Advocates for buyers will seek copies of the appropriate approvals and if the vendor doesn’t have these, sales can be jeopardised or delayed.’

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