Thermaflue Gains HETAS Approval

therma flueThermaflue Gains HETAS Approval

Thermaflue is one of the latest products to gain HETAS approval. A high quality insulating sleeve that is owned and distributed by the Flue & Ducting team is available now with same and next day delivery available.

In early April 2017 David Gooding of Thermaflue retired and after working with David for the last 2 years the owners of Flue & Ducting Ltd saw Thermaflue as the perfect fit with their existing business and decided to acquire the business bringing the manufacture, phone lines, and website in house. Thermaflue’s head office is now based in Stockport alongside Flue & Ducting Ltd.

The two companies are completely separate Limited companies but Thermaflue now benefits from Flue & Ducting’s distribution network and sales force.

“We’ve recently had Thermaflue HETAS approved and the product is fast becoming a strong brand and popular item with the fitters. The advantages and benefits of Thermaflue are endless and to have this product in our offering is really pleasing” says Ryan Hancock, Thermaflue Director.

ThermaFlue is a high quality insulating sleeve for flexible flue liners. Each sleeve is hand manufactured and inspected to exacting standards. The sleeve is stitched steel-aramid sewing thread, ideal for high stress applications requiring extreme strength and heat protection. Each length has an overlap collar with a D-G link system that ensures consistent thermal insulation. Adjustable fire retardant Velcro hook and loop fasteners facilitate a taut fit around the flexible flue liner.

Thermaflue has been tested to BS EN1856-2:2009 with a designation number of T600 N1/P1/P2 D or W Vm(L*****) G. In the case of a chimney fire, like the liner, it must be replaced but it is capable of withstanding higher temperatures than a chimney liner and adds a real safety aspect to any installation to give the customer peace of mind.
By insulating the flue liner it also decreases the risk of condensation and enhances flue liner’s performance.

Stockists

Thermaflue can be purchased through one of our stockists Flue & Ducting Ltd or IMS-insulation, Thermaflue is available for same and next day delivery UK wide.

Please visit www.thermaflue.com for more details or email sales@thermaflue.com.

  • Revolutionary insulating sleeve for flexible flue liners The only chimney wrap on the market to be tested by BSRIA
  • Shown in testing to increase the efficiency of the stove
  • Patented linking system for ease of installation
  • Saves hours of painstaking installation time compared to using vermiculite
  • Temperature tested to T1000
  • Quality and safety assured

View Thermaflue and a full range of HETAS Approved Products in the HETAS Guide or search using the Product Search facility.

SEO Masterclass | PART 1 | Writing Content to Promote Your Business

SEO Masterclass | PART 1 | Writing Content to Promote Your Business

In the first of a series of three updates, the HETAS marketing team has put together some tips on Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, to help you make the most of your online presence. This moth we are talking about adding unique content and regular updates. Read more.

Adding unique and regularly updated website content

This is one of the most important things you can do to improve your rankings in search engines (i.e. your “SEO score”). Search engines love a site that is clearly in active use, and adding new relevant information is the way to prove this is the case.
Remember that fewer, good quality articles with 100% original content will help boost your site’s visibility much more than several quickly hashed together posts with text copied from other locations on the web. Copy-pasted content will not add to your sites position in search engine results – only the original website’s content will count.

Writing Content to Promote Your Business

Writing articles takes time and can be hard work if it doesn’t come easily to you. Perhaps consider starting a blog – this is one of the easiest ways to add regular content. If you are an installer or sweep and if your customers agree you could even write about jobs you’ve completed as individual case studies and include photos of your handiwork.

Calls to Action

An extra tip for content writing is to include “calls to action”; these are sentences such as “contact us now for your free quote”, or “search for your local showroom by entering your postcode below” that make the reader take action. Using the right phrasing for your audience will give a sense of urgency and increase enthusiasm for your services.

Newsletter

Depending on your type of business, you may decide start a newsletter which will include links to articles on your website. This will improve traffic on your site and therefore its rankings in search engine results. You may decide to include home improvement tips, offers, important safety information, industry event news or example case studies of your latest happy customers.

Tools such as Mail Tester will give you tips to reduce the chance of your email being marked as spam.

Before you start your newsletter, remember that UK and Irish law states that you need to receive consent from individuals to sign them up to a newsletter (i.e. they cannot be signed up to it by default). Similarly, you must allow your customers to opt out from receiving your newsletter at any time.

More information on electronic marketing law is available for the UK on GOV.UK and Ireland in Regulation 13 of the Electronic Privacy Regulations.

Spread the Word About Your website

Make sure you add your business to Google Business. This is one of the quickest and simplest ways to improve your visibility online. If you include the address of your offices, warehouse or showroom then you will show up on Google maps in local area searches.

Try leaving helpful, constructive comments on well-known industry-related websites and forums – if you say something productive, informative and interesting people will be more likely to click on the link to your website that you’ve added to your comment signature.

Producing printed media with your website and contact details (business cards, leaflets, pens etc.) may not be as expensive as you think. It may feel old fashioned, but hard-copy advertising that people can physically handle and/or use remains a fantastic way to promote your business.

Link Love

Link love is a term which describes the process of one website linking to another as it benefits the reader and acts as a compliment to the website being linked towards due to its content, without the need for anything to be given back, and passes value to the other website.

Make sure you are not only linking to useful websites such as HETAS and Woodsure, but also linking content across your website.

Next month, we’ll be talking about creating trust on your website.

Get in touch with the marketing team on marketing@hetas.co.uk if you have any questions or would like the team to offer further advice on a particular topic.

Click here to keep up to date with the latest news from HETAS or sign in to the HETAS Technical Area to read all of our newsletters.

HETAS Committee & Standards Work

HETAS Committee & Standards WorkHETAS Committee & Standards Work

In an ever-changing industry of legislation and regulatory requirements, HETAS remains at the forefront of solid fuel appliance and related technology standards development, to effectively promote and ensure continued improvement of the safe and efficient installation of solid fuel appliances, ancillary equipment and their maintenance.

Achieving Objectives

HETAS achieves these objectives through the leading, supporting and attendance at a wide range of industry technical and regulatory committees. Through these meetings industry shares information and drives discussions and actions in key areas of safety and technology. Current subjects include fuel quality, appliance test methodology, air quality and installation best practices, to name a few.

Most of our industry organisations work in close partnership and key players put a lot of time and effort in to working together e.g. for chimney safety HETAS would work with organisations like the BFCMA, Chimney Sweeps’ Associations (APICS, Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps and National Association of Chimney Sweeps), Stove Industry Alliance, Woodsure; and seeking technical back-up from the UK Test Labs like Kiwa, BSRIA and BBA. The committee structure includes work on dry and wet appliances, biomass boilers and heating systems so we also work with key industry organisations like HHIC, the Hot Water Association as well as manufacturer associations.

A particular area of importance where these technical activities are addressed further is through HETAS’s involvement within the BSI committee standards arena, whose responsibility it is to relay the UK’s agreed response to issues raised and actions required, and input these into CEN, and the relevant technical committee making decisions at a European level.

Committee Work

HETAS currently hold the Chairmanship of the national UK mirror committee for solid fuel RHE/28, which encompasses members from all areas of the industry, from manufacturers and installers to test laboratories and government representatives, who work through the development of appliance, installation and relevant code of practice requirements for the UK solid fuel industry. RHE/28 works closely with CEN TC295: the European committee looking after appliance standards to ensure future requirements meet the European legislation and future EU commission requirements.

Work items through these committees are an important step in ensuring future appliance manufacture and installation standards are robust, whilst at the same time promoting a safe and efficient environment for installers, retailers and most importantly the consumer. HETAS works hard to make these standards manageable and relevant to registered businesses.

Technical Committee

In support of this, HETAS also operates the HETAS Technical Committee, a forum to promote the safe design, installation and use of solid fuel and biomass appliances by way of;

  • Providing technical expertise to Government consultations
  • Ensuring the revision and creation of British and European Standards are made in a safe and usable manner
  • Work to reduce or remove future threats to the industry from unworkable regulations
  • Actively fight to stop the sale of illegal products
  • Work to ensure European Directives can be implemented without damaging UK industry
  • Provide HETAS with knowledge of industry issues, to allow HETAS to best target its resources when influencing government.

Matters of action within the HTC include research projects and some testing work which explore and provide evidence to back-up any suggested amendments or improvements on safety within national legislation and the Building Regulations, as well as development of alternative installation practice approaches in the absence of any such requirements for new and innovative products not yet covered by statutory guidelines.

More information on HETAS and its related activities can be found on the HETAS website at www.hetas.co.uk

Bruce’s Newsletter Welcome October 2017

The onset of autumn has brought about the usual significant increase in workload at HETAS and we have decided to invest in the future to support our ongoing success and growth. Most of the investment is longer term and over 3 to 5 years. This will involve new IT infrastructure and a longer term investment in software and database systems to allow us to work more efficiently and offer a better service to our registrants and stakeholders. A major project is a new on-line work notification system.

In August there were 3 businesses removed from the HETAS register for undertaking dangerous or unsatisfactory work. A further 17 were suspended for a number of reasons including poor work where further investigations were needed and for failing to undertake remedial works after complaints or routine inspections. Some suspensions will have been for more routine matters like not providing evidence of renewing their insurance; or not refreshing training in time. Most of the suspended registrants resolve these issues and are reinstated although a few will inevitably be removed.

We have been asked to clarify who can sign off installation work and the law (Regulation & Statutory Instruments) is quite clear and says that there are two choices for signing off controlled services under Building Regulations. One is by employing a registrant of a competent persons self- certification scheme (HETAS is the only specialist solid fuel, wood and biomass CPS); or to apply for a Building Notice via the Local Authority Building Control Dep’t, where a Building Control Officer (BCO) can sign off the work. Sitting within the Building notice structure is a possibility for some projects like new build housing sites for a licenced “Approved Inspector” e.g. NHBC has some Approved Inspectors who are licenced through legislation. But this is a special arrangement that only licensed approved inspectors can adopt. There are no other organisations that are not BCO’s or CPS schemes who can sign off work under Building Regulations. Any changes to these arrangements would require a change in the law and none is planned.

The vast majority of notifications of installation of solid fuel appliances through CP schemes are through HETAS and its registrants (Government figures say 99%). This says a great deal about the quality and professionalism of our registrant installers and about the support HETAS gives to them.

Benefits of HETAS registration continue to set us apart e.g. the Installer helpline that has full time specialist staff answering tens of thousands of safety and technical queries from our registrants; the regular Technical Bulletins; e-newsletters, representation on the major standards and regulatory committees; the HETAS Technical Committee influencing installation practices, manufacturing standards and all technical/safety aspects of our industry; the ethical debt recovery service has recovered over £100,000 for registrants; specialist insurance services to ensure each business gets high quality insurance advice and policies; access to Trading Standards at a senior level where we report and follow up rogue installers and abuse of the logo; up to date and effective training opportunities; and the list goes on. HETAS is dedicated to safety and standards and also to supporting professional installers. We are always pleased to receive constructive feedback.
We wish you a prosperous and busy heating season from all at HETAS.

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.