Installation and maintenance
There are a number of laws and regulations that you must take into account when upgrading, converting, replacing and maintaining your boiler or fireplace. The following is a brief summary of them.
Sweden’s Planning and Building Act (PBL) is the overarching legislation regulating how construction works are produced. In the case of new builds and conversions, you must follow the Act on Technical Requirements on Construction Works, etc. and the Ordinance on Technical Requirements on Construction Works, etc., which regulate the technical requirements for buildings. These laws and ordinances are supplemented with the building regulations (BBR) and the application of European construction standards (EKS) issued by Sweden’s National Board of Housing, Building and Planning, which regulate in detail the functional requirements of a building. These include various sections containing rules for the installation of a fireplace, how flues are to be built and how a boiler room is to be designed to be approved.
The municipality can supplement
If you are unsure how to interpret the rules, Svensk Byggtjänst, a service company for the construction industry, has published a series of books (in Swedish) providing an overview of and explaining in detail the different parts of the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning’s building regulations. In addition to these rules, each individual municipality can specify in its development plan for an area how a building is permitted to affect its surroundings. The local geography and nature, as well as the other buildings found in the area, influence these decisions. In other words, the exact provisions can vary between areas. When it comes to the maintenance and sweeping/cleaning of fireplaces and boilers, house owners need to comply with the Civil Protection Act (LSO) as well as the associated ordinance and recommendations. These regulate how often fired heating systems in different types of buildings must be swept and how often flues and chimneys must be inspected. Anyone failing to comply with the rules risks losing their insurance cover in the event of a fire. The chimney sweep has an authoritative role when it comes to monitoring fire safety and inspecting heating systems, and as such can issue prohibitions on using these systems if the fire risk is considered too large.
How much is a fireplace permitted to pollute?
The Planning and Building Act and other legislation regulate the extent to which a building’s heating and water systems can affect the surrounding nature. This includes, for example, provisions on the amount of pollutants that can be released during wood burning. There are also ordinances specifying how much smoke and pollution a fireplace or boiler can produce without being considered a health hazard. You can read more about this (in Swedish) on the website of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency at www.naturvardsverket.se
The regulations also allow each municipality to establish its own rules on, for example, chimney sweeping and fuel burning. Contact a master chimney sweep for more information.
Consumer Sales Act and Consumer Protection Act
In addition to the aforementioned laws, house owners are also covered by Sweden’s Consumer Sales Act and Consumer Protection Act, such as when buying or installing a fireplace. These laws offer consumers protection when purchased goods or services have shortcomings. They regulate what you are entitled to expect from a seller or service provider.
Would you like detailed information about what applies to your particular property and your particular heating system? If so, do not hesitate to contact your chimney sweep for help and advice!