AMAC celebrates 13 years of British manufacturing

AMAC Celebrates 13 YearsAMAC celebrates 13 years of British manufacturing

AMAC Engineering Limited, a leading supplier of chimney inspection cameras across the UK and Europe, is celebrating its 13th anniversary this month. The firm is renowned for its commitment to British design and manufacture in the face of increasing competition from imported products.

The firm works closely with end users and industry bodies like The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) and The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps to improve and develop the technology they use in their cameras. Customers benefit from an industry-leading two year parts and labour warranty and 24 hour support.

Speaking on the anniversary, Quaerina Chorley, AMAC’s Sales Director said,

“Thirteen years of successful trading is a tremendous milestone for AMAC. We are incredibly proud of the British design and manufacture of our inspection cameras.”

“When a customer invests in inspection technology, they need to be confident that it will serve them reliably for many years. AMAC’s quality manufacturing, CE marking and PAT testing provides the reassurance that they’re buying the best.”

The AMAC range of chimney cameras is HETAS Listed and can be purchased in the HETAS Shop or via AMAC directly.

Ready to Burn Latest News

Ready to Burn Latest News

Ready to Burn Latest NewsYou spoke: We Listened!

Following a recent governance meeting for the Ready to Burn initiative, it was agreed that the scheme would accredit suppliers based on a moisture content of 20% or less.

Burning dry wood on modern stoves can further significantly reduces the amount of particle emissions and improve air quality compared to burn wet wood on open fires.

Moisture Content

The Ready to Burn certification mark is available to wood log suppliers who demonstrate to Woodsure their firewood logs have a moisture content consistently below 20%.  Note: whilst less than 20% is a key requirement of the scheme the message we are promoting to consumers’ and the industry is to burn dry wood fuel, ie the message is: burn wood fuel that is dry and ‘ready to burn’. The scheme is open to firewood and briquette suppliers who we are expecting to supply ready to burn fuel.

The scheme focuses on fuel that is purchased with the intent to burn within a short period of time; including small pre-packed retail woodfuel bags, and bulk delivery bags less than 2m3. Any suppliers offering the sale of wood for seasoning should contact Woodsure to talk through our other wood schemes options.

The scheme has the support of DefraHETAS, the Stove Industry Alliance and Industry representatives, including large producers of pre-packed woodfuel have committed to a scheme that will clearly identify the wood that is ready to burn at the point of sale. Woodsure and HETAS will raise awareness for wood fuel consumers to only burn low moisture, ready to burn firewood.

Scheme requirements

The ‘Ready to Burn’ initiative is for wood log suppliers, having a distinct certification category for dry firewood logs where they are able to demonstrate through audit and point of sale moisture checks that woodfuel they sell as ‘Ready to Burn’ is:

  • Labelled as ‘Ready to Burn’
  • Is less than 20% moisture content
  • There is point of sale information, labelling and support
  • Where appropriate, retailers provide information on how to effectively store and keep the firewood in good condition

Is your firewood Ready to Burn? Contact the Woodsure team on 01684 278188 or click here to complete an enquiry form.

Find out more about Woodsure: Click here to subscribe to their quarterly newsletters.

HETAS Training Update

HETAS Training UpdateHETAS Training Update

The heating season fast approaching – summer turns to autumn and heating engineers across all technologies find themselves entering the busy period.

HETAS registered Installers, Service and Maintenance Technicians and Approved Chimney Sweeps are called upon for their expertise by customers seeking professional services and peace of mind in readiness for the winter months.

CPD

This trend repeated year on year identified across industry at all levels facilitates numerous opportunities for us to reflect during the quieter times and consider options for training and continual professional development often referred to as CPD.

CPD can be achieved in a variety of ways, required at all levels, whether Installer, Service & Maintenance Technician, Approved Sweep, Trainer, Manager, Technical Helpline Advisor, and Inspector – the list isn’t exhaustible! Vitally necessary so as to ensure we stay current with the innovation within our industry.

Refresher Training

The Refresher requirement recognised across industry as 5 yearly training which is necessary as a route to demonstrate competence is long established, considered unpopular by some at times, who however on attendance realise the worth in bringing themselves up to speed. The refresher training, which is a requirement for competent person schemes such as HETAS, is continually updated to reflect latest standards and requirements for installers and trade professionals.

On a less formal level HETAS supports its registrants in achieving appropriate CPD in a variety of ways, constantly available to all registrants and industry stakeholders through monthly E-News articles such as this, regular Technical Bulletins, HETAS Technical Area and of course the highly valued HETAS Technical Helpline.

Sharing Knowledge

The information cascaded to all and contained within is gathered from all areas, elements of inspections, training, manufacturers, installers, retailers, HETAS Technical Committee (HTC) and much more; constant 360 degree communication and feedback ensuring timely, appropriate advice is available, all of which is appraised by the HETAS Training department, reflected upon, enriched and embedded within the HETAS Training Material for delivery by highly experienced and knowledgeable HETAS trainers at any of our accredited training centres across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, affirming HETAS as the leading training provider for the industry.

Your Helpline

Your HelplineYour Helpline

The HETAS Technical Helpline is here to help our registrants and with a wealth of experience across the team the helpline has now taken in excess of 40,000 calls. The Helpline exists purely to help HETAS registrants and we want to hear from you.

The Helpline, introduced in 2013, is heralded as one of the major benefits of registration by HETAS registrants, unsurpassed, the team consisting of industry experts with backgrounds as installers, technicians and teachers. Now in its 4th year the team have taken in excess of 41,000 calls discussing a multitude of topics. The technical@hetas.co.uk email is also comprehensively covered by the team. Again, highly popular for those occasions when we just want to seek reassurance or guidance on a range of scenarios.

The technical helpline team can also call upon additional technical support from the training team, Product Approval team and inspection services, meaning you have the extended support of industry professionals who a just a call or email away. The Woodsure team also provide additional support for wood fuel based enquiries.

Get in touch

Have you got a technical question for the team? Get in touch now on 01684 278194 and have your registration number to hand. Alternatively send an email to technical@hetas.co.uk.

HETAS Registrants can also access a range of technical support documents in the HETAS Technical Area.

 

Show Your Support

Show your support!

Show your support for Chimney Fire Safety WeekChimney Fire Safety Week

Show your support this Chimney Fire Safety Week. It is our industry’s opportunity to promote a strong safety message to consumers. Make sure you make use of the statistics and support material in the HETAS Technical Area.

Chimney Fire Safety Week takes place from the 4th to the 11th September 2017 and HETAS is pleased to working in partnership with the Home Office Fire Kills department on the campaign. Other industry bodies including WoodsureAPICS, The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, The National Association of Chimney Sweeps, the Stove Industry Alliance, the BFCMA and The National Landlord Association have offered to show their support.

The HETAS Technical Area has a range of statistics and information about chimney fires, including regional fire counts for England. There was a small rise in chimney fires in England in the period April 2016 to March 2017 of 19. A total of 4,221 chimney fire were recorded by the 45 Fire and Rescue Services.  Here are some other statistics that you might find of interest and worth sharing during the campaign:

Statistics

  • 41% of chimney fires from April 2016 to March 2017 took place between January and March
  • April 2010 to March 2011 saw over 7,600 chimney fires in England
  • Chimney fires in 2016/17 represented just 2.6% of total fires in England

Further statistics relevant to chimney fires and the campaign logo can be accesses via the HETAS Technical Area.

Please offer your support to the campaign and help promote the safe and effective use of appliances and chimneys. The campaign is called Chimney Fire Safety Week, but HETAS is keen to promote further messages: appliance servicing, the correct use of appliances, using the most effective fuel for the appliance and storage of fuel.

Show you support this Chimney Fire Safety Week and get social using the hashtags #CFSW17 #ChimneyFireSafetyWeek #ChimneyFire

 

Notifications

NotificationsChecklist Image January 2016

Ahead of the heating season, we wanted to advise installers on some of the common mistakes when notifying work that can delay your notification being processed. Whilst the majority of the notifications we receive are correct, we do receive a small number that can be delayed as some details might be missing or not completed correctly. We want to avoid delays in notifying to the relevant Local Authority. Our notification team has put together a handy guide to help reduce your time notifying over the heating season.

Top Tips

  1. Make sure you have the right competence for the work you are notifying
  2. Only self-certificate the work you installed – there is no requirement to notify existing work
  3. Ensure you tick the ‘Testing and Commissioning’ box for each installation
  4. Have you got the right installation address? Check the address online at Directgov or using the Royal Mail Postcode Finder
  5. Work completion date must be accurate
  6. When notifying online, ensure you add any chimney/liner installation work undertaken

Detailed guidance on notifications can be downloaded via the HETAS Technical Area.

Another alternative is to notify your installations online with HETAS. The notification process is more cost effective and saves you having to post your notifications to HETAS. There are three options for purchasing online notifications:

The support team is always on hand to discuss either paper or online notifications and guide you through the process. Contact info@hetas.co.uk or call 01684 278170 and press option 1.

 

 

HETAS Live – a busy September!

HETAS Live – a busy September!HETAS Live Events

With September fast approaching and the heating season on the horizon, we have three HETAS Live events during September to keep you up to speed with industry developments and latest news. Hosts for these events are Pojoulat, Robinsons UK and Kiwa. For more information on each event and to book your free place head over to our booking page.

HETAS Live Events

During September we have three HETAS Live events around the country and it would be great to meet you at them. The upcoming events include:

The events are free to attend and a great opportunity to meet the HETAS team, your local training providers and to ask those all-important industry and technical questions.

The Poujoulat event is being supported by Worcester Bosch who will have their stove trailer in attendance. Dennis Milligan will be presenting the Stove Industry Alliance Ecodesign Ready Scheme and answering questions on the initiative. The teams from HETAS and Poujoulat will be discussing training and Cheese and wine will also be available for visitors on the day. Sign up here to attend HETAS Live at Poujoulat on the 21st September.

We will also have additional information on the events at Kiwa and Robinsons UK over the coming weeks. You can sign up for free to attend these events at www.hetas.co.uk/live.

With more events on the horizon, find out where the HETAS team will be over the coming months at http://www.hetas.co.uk/hetas-events/.

Chimney Fire Safety Week

Chimney Fire Safety Week 2017HETAS Supports Chimney Fire Safety Week 2017

We are now less than a month away from Chimney Fire Safety Week 2017. Once again, HETAS will be supporting the Fire Kills campaign which works with industry and Fire and Rescue Services to promote this positive safety message to consumers. How will you be supporting the campaign?

In 2016 HETAS launched a campaign logo that is available for everyone to use during Chimney Fire Safety Week 2017. The team has developed a campaign pack that can be downloaded via the HETAS Technical Area. We will also be including statistics on chimney fires by county, so you can share chimney fire statistics in your area on your website or through your social media channels. We hope to have the information for April 2016 to March 2017 available from the Home Office before the campaign starts.

Statistics

In England, Wales and Scotland the overall trend since 2012/13 has been positive in recent years, with chimney fires on the decrease. The figures below demonstrate this trend. Figures run from April to March and are yet to be released for 2016/17. HETAS will make these available as soon as they are published by the respective Fire and Rescue Services.

2012/13 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17
England 7,251 5,986 5,179 4,193
Wales 771 578 549 432
Scotland 1375 1,093 975 882

Regional statistics can be downloaded in the HETAS Technical Area and will enable you share chimney fire statistics for your area.

Make sure you are following HETAS across our social media channels too!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

Please login to the HETAS Technical Area in advance of the campaign which starts on the 4th September and do what you can to promote Chimney Fire Safety Week. Let us know if you are planning an event and share the details with us on hello@hetas.co.uk.

 

HETAS Technical Bulletin 8

HETAS Technical Bulletin 8HETAS Technical Bulletin 8 Cover

Last week we published HETAS Technical Bulletin 8 with updates on hot topics, including an update on direct air guidance, system chimneys and distance to combustibles, commissioning records and the latest FAQ’s from the helpline team. All the Technical Bulletins are available in the HETAS Technical Area.

The eighth installment of the HETAS Technical Bulletin. In this edition of the bulletin we include updates on the following topics:

  • Complying with the Energy Labelling Directive
  • Revision of the HETAS Commissioning Record
  • Further Guidance for Direct External Air Supply
  • Latest from the Technical Helpline
  • Metal System Chimneys and Clearances to Combustibles

As well as giving our stakeholders this sort of support, HETAS is very much involved with standards setting in the UK and Europe. Part of our role is to support installers, retailers, sweeps and manufacturers by encouraging safe, but pragmatic standards and Building Regulations guidance that is fit for purpose but not over burdensome on our industry and we hope you find 5the bulletins informative.

Find out more

Click here to access the HETAS Technical Area where you can download each of the bulletins and much more information exclusively available to HETAS Registered Installers, Approved Sweeps and Retailers. Detailed guidance can be found on the following topics:

  • Direct External Air Supply
  • Energy Labelling
  • Support Documentation – risk assessments | complaints | quotation templates
  • HSE guidance links
  • All of our monthly e-newsletters

If you have a technical question you can contact the helpline team on 01684 278194 or email technical@hetas.co.uk.

Copies of the new External Air Supply Commissioning Record can be purchased by installers in the HETAS Shop.

The articles produced as a result of conversations we have with registrants, training centres and inspectors, but we are always welcoming of suggestions on articles that would be of benefit to our registrants.

Click here to get in touch with the HETAS team.

Introducing CSS Worksafe

Introducing CSS WorksafeCSS Worksafe Logo

HETAS has developed an exciting new partnership with CSS Worksafe to provide functional, cost effective control measures against falls from height when carrying out works on domestic properties. CSS Worksafe has supplied in excess of 50,000 systems and trained over 34,000 operatives in the use of its system since its introduction some 18 years ago.

 

Adaptable, cost effective protection for work at height

Providing functional, cost effective control measures against falls from height when carrying out minor works on domestic properties can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Work at Height Regulations (2005) requires that where work at height cannot be avoided, suitable and sufficient measures are taken to “prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury”. Where it is not possible to carry out the work from an existing place of work or using an existing means of access to that place of work (unlikely when working on the outside of a domestic property), the employer must provide “sufficient work equipment for preventing, so far as is reasonably practicable, a fall from occurring”.

Collective protection measures must be given priority over personal controls. However, when working at height on domestic properties, providing collective controls such as scaffolding, for relatively short duration tasks, can actually increase the overall risk. Someone has to erect and dismantle the scaffolding, which introduces an additional risk which needs to be controlled. Where tube and fitting scaffold structures are erected at the relatively low level heights associated with typical domestic housing stock, it is unlikely that standard control measures, such as a harness and energy absorbing lanyard will operate within the available clearance distance.

Where uneven ground, a lack of space, a flat roof or other obstructions are present, use of a mobile tower scaffold will be unsuitable. Use of mobile elevated work platforms also require a level surface and clear access to operate, and in the limited instances where they could be considered, hire and delivery charges are generally a prohibitively expensive control measure for a short duration, low risk task.

Where it is not possible or reasonably practicable to provide work equipment to prevent a fall from height occurring, we are required to provide sufficient work equipment to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall.

Often, the only practical option for short duration, light works on domestic properties is a portable leaning ladder. Where ladders are used only for access and egress, or for short duration, light duty tasks that allow the user to maintain ‘a secure hand and foothold’, provided the ladder is secured the risk is low and no further control measures are required.

Where the ladder is being used as work platform, for a task that requires the use of both hands, the risk is high. In addition to securing the ladder a means of either preventing or minimising the distance and consequences of a fall must be employed. As a means of preventing a fall from a portable leaning ladder has yet to be devised, we must use work equipment to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall.

Background

In the late 1990’s CSS Worksafe designed an innovative fall protection and work positioning system for use with a secured portable leaning ladder. The system was developed for the Aerial & Satellite Industry, where engineers are predominantly lone workers engaged in installing satellite dishes and aerials on domestic properties. The system provides fall protection from ground up to the work position plus support at the work position allowing the user to use both hands for the task. The system is designed and tested to be used with leaning ladders and roofer’s ladders, providing the ideal solution for controlling the risk of falls from height, where ladders are used as working platforms. Additional measures to control the risk of working around chimneys supplement the system and extend its capability.

Further developments of the system, during consultation with the Cavity Wall Insulation Industry, led to enhancements which allow the system to be rapidly moved between positions and the working height adjusted, without additional ladder securing fixings being installed. In essence, a whole elevation can be covered from a secured, portable leaning ladder with fall protection, from two small, removable fixings. Controls for accessing and working from flat roofs were developed creating a complete safe system of work for those carrying out minor works at height on domestic properties.

Today we see the system employed by a wide range of trades that work at height on domestic properties. A legal requirement for aerial & satellite and cavity wall insulation, the system has been adopted by many Local Authorities and Housing Associations, as well as roofers and installers of stoves & flues, solar energy collectors, security systems and central heating systems. CSS Worksafe have supplied in excess of 50,000 systems and trained over 34,000 operatives in the use of the system since its introduction some 18 years ago.

Find Out More

The system is available to purchase in standardised kits for ladder work, roof ladder work or flat roof work, and bespoke kits are often developed to meet a client’s specific requirement. Public and dedicated training courses are available, delivered at CSS Worksafe training centres or at client’s site.

To find out more contact CSS Worksafe on 01527 873850 , email info@county-safety-services.com or visit the CSS Worksafe website.

Additional information on Working at Heights and other HSE guidance can be found in the HETAS Technical Area.

Handbook Supplement

A HETAS Technical Handbook Supplement titled Safe Working at Heights, demonstrating use of the CSS Worksafe system, which can be used in conjunction with CSS Worksafe training courses is available from the HETAS Shop.