Gas boiler found responsible for house fire


Called in by the boiler manufacturer’s insurer, a GM Consultant loss adjuster specialising in investigating the causes and circumstances of fires (“RCCI”) arrived on the scene for a comparative appraisal meeting.

The boiler’s heating element was equipped with a safeguard against overheating. It was a Klixon (bimetal) thermal cut-out: the temperature rose high enough to open the electrical circuit and thus shut down the boiler.


The Klixon thermal cut-out was found in the debris during the damage survey. A meticulous examination of the cut-out and the terminals revealed an unusual mark. Indeed, there was a small area on the terminals with no soot, considered to be a “protected surface” in fire investigation.

Analysis of the scene of the fire and the device in question led the specialised loss adjuster to conclude that a shunt was present on the boiler’s safety mechanism, to prevent it from tripping accidentally. This case has not been concluded.