TDC logo TCD’s Simple Guide to Part J Regs

Compliance Deadline - 31st December 2012

Danger - Carbon Monoxide Part J Regulations Understanding the additions to Part J Building Regulations
New guidance was added to Approved Document 'J' of the Building Regulations in 2010 applying to dwellings with fixed combustion appliances to safeguard occupants from the threat of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. These new guidelines advise on the provision of access panels (or inspection hatches) to be fitted in properties where the flue or chimney system is hidden within a void. Mains powered CO Alarms for detecting Carbon Monoxide leaks are also advised.

What does Part J mean?

Part J Regulations

If your property has a room-sealed fan-assisted boiler, with a flue that is hidden behind a wall or ceiling void, inspection hatches must be installed.

Particularly relevant in flats and apartments where flues may pass through multiple dwellings, these inspection panels are to allow Gas Safe engineers to visually inspect the entire length of the flue for essential safety checks and maintenance.

Who will be affected by Part J Regulations?

  1. Homeowners
  2. Housing Associations
  3. Landlords (public & private sector)
  4. Building Professionals
  5. Local Authorities

If you're unsure whether your property is affected we recommend taking advice from a Gas Safe Engineer .

What is the Deadline for compliance?

Deadline for compliance

31st December 2012 is the deadline for all inspection panels to be installed.

From 1st January 2013, Gas Safe registered engineers will turn off the boiler, with the householder’s permission, until all access panels are fitted in the appropriate places.

Hidden Flue & Chimney Systems


  • Inspection hatches should be fitted to provide access where there are hidden flues and chimney systems concealed in voids
  • The term ‘Void’ includes: ceiling voids, floor voids, purpose-built enclosures, service risers, certain roof spaces & any other enclosures that restrict access to a chimney system

Specifying the right access panel

Specifying the right access panel

Like their owners, every property is individual. With countless different factors to take into account such as fire safety, thermal and acoustic requirements, design, architecture and budget, there are many things to consider when choosing the right inspection panel for the job.

TCD’s Simple Guide to choosing the right panel

  1. Safety
    • The most important factor is that the Inspection Hatches should never adversely affect the existing fire, thermal and acoustic provisions of a building particularly where you are dealing with flats and apartments.
    • TCD offers a wide range of Fire Rated & Acoustic Metal Access Panels (with 60 & 120 min fire rating). You can find off the shelf sizes available for Next Day Delivery or Bespoke Sizes available within 5 - 7 working days.
    • If your installation does not require fire rated or acoustic access panels, you can save £s off your budget with our wide range of affordably priced Plastic Access Panels and Non-Fire Rated Metal Access Panels .
  2. Size
    Where practically possible, access hatches should measure no less than 300x300mm.
    It is not necessary to create physical access but the access panels fit should allow visual inspection of the entire flue/ chimney system.
    View our Part J Access Panel Category for a wide range of 300x300mm plus sized Access Panels.
  3. Quantity
    Depending on the number of bends and joints in the flue, more than one access hatch may be required.
    Inspection hatches in a void should allow the Gas Engineer to visually inspect that the flue is:
    • Continuous throughout its length
    • That all joints are correctly assembled and sealed
    • That it is adequately supported throughout its length
    • That any required gradient or drain points for condensate are provided.

Diagram of Access Hatches from Part J
View larger image

Save £s and buy our Plastic Access Panels in Bulk Packs or use our Custom Access Panel Quote for Quantity Breaks on multiple Metal Access Panels.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms (See Clause 2.34)

  • Carbon monoxide alarms must now be provided in dwellings with fixed combustion appliances (applies only to solid fuel and biofuel appliances).
  • If appropriate inspection hatches are fitted to allow full inspection of the flue, the installation of CO alarms is not essential, but they will provide an increased level of protection.


  • Carbon monoxide alarms should be sited between 1m and 3m of an appliance.
  • Alarms should have a suitable long term power supply.

For more on Carbon Monoxide Alarm requirements in Part J read Clause 2.34

View TCD’s range of Carbon Monoxide Alarms

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