Five Years of Which? Trusted Traders

Celebrating 5 years of Which? Trusted Traders

Nationwide endorsement scheme celebrates anniversary of its launch.

Which? Trusted Traders has come a long way since 2013 when we launched a pilot programme with just 18 businesses.

The scheme, which has grown to a membership of more than 9,000, is now celebrating five years of endorsing reputable traders.

Which? set up Trusted Traders to help people choose the right trader for their needs and give good traders the recognition they deserve.

Several traders who’d been positively reviewed by customers on the former Which? Local site were approached to be the pioneers.

Tony Byrne, A Byrne Carpentry and Joinery, has been a Trusted Trader since 2013 and is pictured above, left, comments:

‘I jumped at the invitation [to join] and it was the best thing I have ever done. Everyone knows the Which? logo and as Which? is known as the people’s champion, the customers have faith in the trader.’

Amy Jones, client relationship team leader, Trusted Traders (pictured above, right) also comments:

‘I joined Which? Trusted Traders at the start of the pilot back in 2013. It was such a busy, exciting time talking to all these businesses about our brand new service and everyone absolutely loved it. So much so that the pilot was a huge success allowing us to continue and grow the service even more.’

Trial

The first 18 businesses trialled the Trusted Traders assessment process, including credit checks and face-to-face interviews from trading standards professionals.

The assessment remains a key part of the scheme to this day, and only those who meet our high standards can become Which? Trusted Traders.

Once endorsed, Traders receive the full use of our logo, an online profile on the website, an alternative dispute resolution service should any complaints arise and a subscription to the Which? Magazine.

‘I stay with Which? Trusted Traders because I think it adds further credibility to my business. It is a robust system backed by a great, trusted brand. You have a massive reputation to protect so don’t cut corners.’ suggests Tim Mycroft, Mycroft Heating & Plumbing Ltd, Trusted Trader since 2013.

Raj Kakar-Clayton, Managing Director at Which? Trusted Traders says of the success of the scheme.

‘The success of Trusted Traders over the past five years is testament to the hard work put in by traders to pass the assessment and maintain high standards, to the dedication of my team in supporting them, and to the input of many thousands of customers who have taken the time to write reviews.’

Partnerships

Since 2014, the Which? Trusted Traders scheme has continually expanded to cover traders, trade associations and retail brands based across the UK, including the partnership with HETAS.

The way we recognise traders has evolved, with the creation of Trusted Trader of the Month, and our involvement in the annual Which? Awards.

Thousands of customers have added their voices too, rating our endorsed traders to help other consumers make informed choices. Since day one we’ve moderated all the reviews and and continued to add checks to prevent abuse of the system.

Further Success Stories

‘Customer reviews are genuine and monitored. It’s great for both traders and customers, and it’s fair. I dedicate my endorsement to a lifelong customer, Mrs Pearce, who posted my first ever review on Which? Local. She sadly passed away this year.’ Anthony Sawczuk, Bourne Plumbing and Heating, Trusted Trader since 2013.

‘I think client reviews are a fantastic way for new customers to find out more about myself and my company. I think it gives customers real peace of mind. Which? gave my company such a boost, I can’t Dave Newman, Newman’s Electricals Limited, Trusted Trader since 2013.thank them enough.’

Thank you to all our traders and customers for five successful years.

Join the scheme and get endorsed!

If you would like to find out more about how to get endorsed as a Which? Trusted Trader, you can give us a call on 0117 456 6032 or visit our website to request a call back from one of the team. As your a HETAS member, you get 50% off the first 6 months of being endorsed, subject to an application fee of £200 + VAT to get assessed by our Trading Standards professionals (for businesses with less than 19 employees).


 

Hearth Guidance

Further Hearth Guidance

Hearth GuidanceIn the latest HETAS Technical Bulletin which we sent out last month Brian Bailey, Senior Product Evaluation Officer at HETAS expands on his recent hearth article providing clarification on brining a hearth up to specification.

In a previous hearth article (HETAS Technical Bulletin #11, June 2018) a number of queries were raised which we hope to address here with additional guidance notes.

Guidance

The guidance given in Approved Document J (ADJ) for using only a single sheet hearth seems to exclude their use if the appliance is situated in an appliance recess (ref: ADJ paragraph 2.23). Unfortunately, as explained  in my previous article, there may be circumstances whereupon the constructional hearth of an appliance recess has been “modified”.

Be wary when bringing fireplaces back into use when they they have been redundant for some time. If the construction of the fireplace recess and hearth has been modified in any way then it may require correction to enable it to be used as a fireplace once again. In particular the hearth base may have been structurally changed or may have been incorporated with a damp proof membrane that will degrade or even disintegrate or flame off if the fireplace is used again particularly if used for an open fireplace.

ADJ Guidance

In such circumstances it may not be ideal or desirable to bring the hearth back up to specification. ADJ does offer some guidance which offers a “work-around” via paragraph 2.27 in that any hearth can be adjusted to suit the particular appliance. Based on the assumption it would be acceptable to use a non-combustible sheet hearth within a fireplace recess (where the constructional hearth is of inadequate dimensions or materials) provided:

  • The appliance can be situated on a single sheet hearth (see ADJ paragraph 2.23 (a)) and the appliance manufacturer is able to provide written confirmation that it can be installed in this situation (i.e in a recess).
  • The single sheet hearth complies with ADJ Note 2.23 (a)
  • The dimensions of the sheet used will provide at least a hearth that satisfies the minimum hearth perimeter dimensions detailed in ADJ Diagram 26 (a) or alternatively the appliance manufacturer’s specified dimensions where the appliance can satisfy the caveats given in ADJ paragraph 2.27.

Measurements given in ADJ Diagram 26 (a) Fireplace Recess are shown below.


Further Reading


 

How to use social media

How to use social media to promote your business

Social Media tips from Which? Trusted Traders

How can sites like Facebook, Twitter and and Instagram help your business? Which? Trusted Traders talked to some of their endorsed traders who have built up their social media presence to get their tips.

All Which? Trusted Traders have an online profile on our website and most also have their own site beyond that. But what about using social media? To the uninitiated Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the rest can seem a bit pointless – broadcasting selfies and food pictures to the void.
But some of our traders have successfully taken on the social media challenge, using it to generate work, increase customer awareness and communicate with their customers.
Get the recognition you deserve from the UK’s largest independent consumer body. Find out more about the Which? Trusted Traders endorsement scheme. HETAS members get 50% off for the first 6 months. Request a call back here.

How to get started on social media

Most traders we spoke to use Twitter and Facebook. Twitter restricts you to short posts but you can reach more people, building followers in your local area to raise awareness of your company and networking with other local businesses. On Facebook, a business page enables you to share information about the services you offer, the personalities behind the services and the human side of the business.
Think about what you want to achieve with your social media use and which platforms would best help you achieve this – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or others.

Find other traders and companies in a similar field with a lot of followers and see what they are doing. Copy their tactics – if they work for them, there’s no reason why they can’t work for you. Gareth Williams from Gareth Williams Heating told us: ‘one of the big things I did was follow a guy in Newport, who was a newsagent with about 10,000 followers. I picked his brains. He told me the ins and outs and I could see who he was following to find people in the area, and start following them myself.’

Think about what you could feasibly post and what it could do for your business. Common uses of social media include advertising services, publicising changes to your business or general interest stories. Sharon Hack from Prestige Plumbing told us that her company tends to share stories about extraordinary jobs, such as when the firm helped a bride who had dropped her ring down the sink at her wedding reception. The company also promotes itself, the Which? Trusted Traders scheme and news from within the business.

Keep going. ‘Stick with it,’ advises Mark Chadwick of Stadium Garage Ltd. ‘You can’t get bored – you’ve got to keep at it, keep going. Until you’ve built your followers then it’s not doing much.’

adding website content

Using Facebook groups

Most local areas have their own dedicated Facebook groups. These are a great place to advertise your services. Gareth Williams finds Facebook really brings in the business. ‘I probably get about five or six boiler installations a year just from Facebook groups,’ he said. ‘It’s really good advertising and most of it is free.’ He has also found success on Twitter, building up over 1,700 followers.
Gareth shares before and after images of boilers. ‘It’s not very glamorous because it’s boilers, but people seem to like looking at these things. They like to see that we work cleanly and in a nice way.’ He made sure that he joined groups associated with the different areas of Newport and posted his articles and photos there.It takes Gareth around an hour a day in total to maintain his social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. That might seem like quite a lot, but as it nets him jobs worth thousands of pounds, he is confident that it’s time well spent.

Engaging your social media audience

All the traders agreed that the best way to build your audience is to really engage with your friends and followers. Tapping into local networks is one way to do that. ‘Use the correct hashtags for the location, so things to do with the local area,’ said Mark Chadwick. ‘Just search on the hashtags that are available, and people will retweet your posts.’
Mix personal and professional posts on your timelines – to present the human side of your business. ‘I did have two accounts on Twitter and Instagram, my personal ones where I’d share holiday photos and then just purely work,’ Gareth Williams told us. ‘I decided that wasn’t the way forward and to try and put my face on the business if you like. Some of my most popular posts are nothing to do with boilers.’
Competitions are a great way to get people’s attention. Mark Chadwick used to run a guess the car competition, using #guessthecar on the Stadium Garage Ltd twitter account, and this boosted the firm’s followers in the early days. It became so popular he had to stop running it as it took up too much of his time.
Gareth Williams uses competitions to get more likes of his Facebook page and shares of his posts. It’s cheap advertising, as giving away a boiler service costs him £60 plus around £40 to Facebook to place the ad on the timelines of people in the areas he chooses. A recent example reached over 6,000 people in Newport.

Keeping your social media accounts active

Not everyone wants to spend hours on social media. One option to keep your Twitter account active is to use a retweeting service in addition to your own posts. You set your parameters of what subjects you would like it to retweet, based on hashtags and it retweets on your behalf. You can add in as many or as few tweets as you want.
This works well for Mark Chadwick. ‘It’s all about people being aware of us’ he explained. ‘If we run a campaign on local radio it probably pays for itself but with social media, the brand, the name is out there all the time.’ Sometimes he will tweet a lot himself, ‘It’s so convenient,’ he says, ‘You’ve always got your phone on you, so you can always tweet something. You take a picture and pop it up on there.’
Alternatively you can link your website and social media accounts. Prestige Plumbers’ Sharon Hack told us that her company uses a system that automatically posts website updates to Twitter as they happen.

Outsourcing your social media network

Some companies outsource their social media activities altogether. Barton Electrical Services has over 4,000 followers on Twitter, with a work-focussed account that is updated with relevant content several times a day – but all of the tweets are created by an external agency.
The growing company wanted a social media presence but felt it lacked the skills in-house to manage it. ‘We are working hard to brand ourselves and expand the business generally,’ Matthew Barton told us, ‘I would advise anyone who hasn’t got Twitter to get it, to keep up.’ Like many traders he felt that social media helped with branding and creating an awareness that the business was there.

Whether you manage your social media activity yourself, or outsource it, the message from all our traders who are using it successfully is that you can’t be half-hearted. Growing the relationship between you and your customers takes time and energy but persistence does reap rewards.


HETAS members get 50% off for 6 months

To learn more about what an Endorsement from Which? can do for your business, give Which? Trusted Traders a call on 0117 981 2929 and quote PA -LEAF. Due to the long standing partnership between HETAS and Which?, members get 50% off for 6 months. Don’t miss out!


 

Heat Shielding Requirements

Heat Shielding Requirements

Back in the September Technical Bulletin, HETAS provided an update on the development status of the BS8303 standard for installation of domestic heating and cooking appliances burning wood and solid mineral fuels. HETAS was pleased to announce that on the 26th October 2018 the BS8303:2018 standard was officially published; this supersedes the requirements contained within the previous 1994 version.

The newly released standard contains some significant amendments, which HETAS will continue to inform registrants about through its Technical Bulletin publications and refresher training sessions. For the purposes of this article, the provisions surrounding the protection of combustible materials via an appropriate heat shield in freestanding configurations (not situated in an appliance recess) are covered, particularly in scenarios whereby the property in part is constructed of lightweight construction materials (i.e a timber stud inner leaf).

When can a heat shield installation requirements be applied?

In most cases, the heat shielding provisions will be applied in situations whereby the installer is limited for space and is unable to meet the appliance manufacturers required clearance distance to combustible materials stated within the appliance installation instructions.

Using an appropriate heat shield will allow for these distances to be reduced to those prescribed within the newly released BS8303 standard, and in doing so ensuring adequate protection to adjacent combustible materials is maintained at all time, in compliance with J4 Protection of Building, stipulated in the UK Building Regulations requirements.

Appliance Selection

Before commencing works using the prescribed shielding techniques, it is important to ensure that the installation design incorporates the use of a solid fuel appliance of suitable performance and also a heat shield manufactured from suitable materials. Under all circumstances, the following criteria shall at least be met:

  • The appliance installed has a nominal heat output not exceeding 7kW, as referenced on the CE data plate or as referenced in the manufacturers installation instructions technical data
  • The heat shield is manufactured from a minimum 1.5mm galvanized steel, and is appropriately affixed to the surrounding structure using non-combustible fixings
  • In instances where the appliance manufacturer provides the heat shield, confirmation of clearances within the manufacturer’s installation instructions when using a heat shield shall be followed

The heat shield shall at all times remain open at both the top and the bottom to allow for a flow of cool air between the heat shield and the combustible materials it is installed to protect.

Installation

If the appliance selection criteria and heat shield construction caveats as stated above are met, then the clearance distances to combustible materials as stated by the appliance manufacturer can be reduced to a minimum distance of 95mm from the rear of the appliance to the front face of the heat shield when installed at 90° angle parallel to two internal walls. If the appliance installation is at an angle of 45° to each to each wall, then these distances may be reduced to no less that 65mm from the nearest point of the appliance to the front face of the heat shield as stated.

Heat Shielding RequirementsImportant installation points to meet the heat shielding installation caveats of BS8303 include:

  • An air gap of 25mm is maintained at all times between the rear face of the heat shield and front face of the protected combustible material
  • Clearance distances from the size of the appliance to the front face of the appliance shield when installed in a 90° configuration is a minimum of 95mm
  • The shield extends to at least the extremities of the hearth, and at least 300mm above the top surface of the appliance
  • There shall be no protrusions above the shield to hinder flow of cool air behind (i.e shelves)

HETAS has created a series of diagrams  to help visually illustrate required heat shielding clearances and other measurements. Click the images to download the guidance images.


Further Information

For more information and guidance on the new heat shielding requirements prescribed within BS8303, HETAS registrants can contact the HETAS Technical Helpline on 01684 278194 (please have registration number to hand) or email technical@hetas.co.uk.


 

Clean Air Strategy 2019

Government Announces Clean Air Strategy 2019

Clean Air Strategy 2019Today the Government published the Clean Air Strategy 2019, a key document in tackling air pollution, making our air healthier to breath, protecting nature and boosting the economy. The strategy looks at a range of actions to reduce emissions/pollution, including:

  • Transport
  • The home
  • Farming
  • Industry
  • Clean growth and innovation

For our industry, chapter 6 of the strategy is of real importance, actions to reduce emissions at home. One of the aims of the strategy is to raise awareness of the breadth of everyday activities that contribute to air pollution.

The government’s objective is to raise awareness of the potential impacts of air pollution at home and ensure that consumers are armed with reliable information enabling them to make informed choices to protect themselves, their families and their neighbours.

 As you will no doubt be aware open fires and wood burning stoves have risen in popularity over the years, providing an additional form of heating for many, and for some, the sole heat source. While emissions from domestic burning have reduced significantly since the 1950’s, there is more that can be done to reduce pollution.

What does the strategy tell us?

It is clear that not all forms of domestic burning are equally polluting. Appliances, how well they are used and maintained along with what fuels are used can all make a big difference to how much pollution is produced.

The strategy also identifies that “using cleaner fuels, in a cleaner appliance which is installed by a competent person, knowing how to operate it efficiently, and ensuring that chimneys are regularly swept, will all make a big difference”.

Strategy Key Actions

HETAS summarised many of the key developments in a post last year in a post about misleading headlines relating to the banning of wood stoves, with many of these points remaining applicable to the strategy.Here are the key action points from the Clean Air Strategy 2019.

  • Legislate to prohibit sale of the most polluting fuels

We have already seen the launch of Woodsure’s Ready to Burn scheme which now has a large number of accredited suppliers committed to the scheme and HETAS is updating it’s list of Approved smokeless fuels to meet future legislation requirements.

  • Ensure that only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022

HETAS appliance approval is already recognising appliances that are ahead of the game and already Ecodesign compliant. By 2022 HETAS will only accept Ecodesign compliant stoves. HETAS also works with the SIA to list Ecodesign Ready Stoves on the website.

  • Make changes to existing smoke control legislation to make it easier to enforce

HETAS recognises that enforcement can be challenging so any developments made through the Environment Bill will be welcome. Dealing with polluters is an important step in improving air quality.

  • Give new powers to local authorities to take action in areas of high pollution

HETAS is keen to see a uniform approach across the UK to enforcement to avoid confusion, again with a focus on tackling polluters.

  • Work across government to look at opportunities to align work on air quality, clean growth and fuel poverty in future policy design

In recent years we have seen the important role Defra has in working with key industry organisations like HETAS, Woodsure, the Stove Industry Alliance and chimney sweeping organisations. It is pleasing to see a joined-up approach taken at government level regarding future policy.

  • Develop a dedicated communications campaign targeted at domestic burners, to improve awareness of the environmental impact of their actions

HETAS recognises the vital role our registrants play in any consumer awareness campaign. From retailers offering advice on the right appliance and fuel, installers commissioning appliances to sweeps and service engineers offering ongoing advice. HETAS along with Woodsure and other industry organisations continue to liaise with Defra on any awareness campaigns.

  • Work with industry to identify an appropriate test standard for new solid fuels entering the market

Again, both HETAS and Woodsure are playing a key role in these developments. HETAS was recently awarded the Defra contract as the Contractor to provide technical support to enable it to meet its legal obligations under the Clean Air Act 1993, with effect from 1st December 2018. For now, ensure you check the HETAS approved fuels list for solid mineral fuels, Woodsure for woodfuels along with the manufacturer’s instructions for specific advice on what to burn.

HETAS will continue to update our registrants through our monthly newsletters and Technical Bulletins, all of which are available in the Technical Area of the website. We do expect further details on this strategy over the coming months, make sure you stay tuned to the website and newsletters for further updates.


Further Reading


 

Know what you notify

Know what you notify

Know what you notifyThere are occasions where you might be asked to install something out of the ordinary. Whilst they might look unique, you need to make sure you are applying your knowledge of the Building Regulations.

 When installing a solid fuel, wood or biomass appliance you must satisfy yourself that the installation and associated works meet all the relevant Building Regulations (which in England or Wales are primarily Regulations 4 and 7).

The following points must be considered ahead of any new installation.

  • The relevant Building Services Compliance guide must be followed for any new combustion appliance. For instance, a domestic solid fuel fuel dry room heater (categories E1 to E3) must have gross efficiency of at least 65% – click here for more information.
  • Ensure the appliance is sized correctly (nominal output) to meet optimum efficiency in accordance with Part L of the Building Regulations
  • Flues and hearths must be sized and positioned correctly for the specification of that appliance
  • Manufacturers clearance distances to combustibles are maintained at all times to comply with Requirement J4 of the Building Regulations (see also Approved Document J)
  • Other manufacturer prescribed guidance is followed in terms of installation and use

Installers would only be able to verify these caveats above by one of the following means;

  • Checking against a listing (in the HETAS Guide/website search for example)
  • Taking verification of efficiency, output & clearances from the CE data plate (which would also give you the name/model)
  • Taking verification of efficiency, output and clearances from Declaration of Performance (again you would need to know the name and manufacturer of the appliance)

All of these steps would require knowledge of the appliance model. Without obtaining this important pre-installation information, there is no means of confirming a compliant installation. All of this information is only available in areas that give the appliance/model reference. Under no circumstances should a combustion appliance be identified as “unknown”, whilst at the same time ticking the “meets Building Regulations” box on HETAS notifications.

Completing the certificate

When completing the HETAS Certificate of Compliance please ensure you have all the appliance and chimney/flue details in order to fully complete the notification. Notifications must identify the appliance installed.

From 1st July 2013 any solid fuel products are required to have a CE mark under the Construction Products Regulation. The requirements for manufacturers are straightforward – everything sold from July 1st 2013 must be CE marked. The only exception is for appliances which were manufactured and had been placed on the market prior to that date to allow for a transition period.

You should also ensure that any work carried out is within the scope of your registration with HETAS in order for it to be notified via HETAS. Detailed guidance on this can be found in the HETAS Technical Area.

The HETAS Technical Helpline is available to registrants during office hours on 01684 278194 or via email on technical@hetas.co.uk. Additional guidance is available in your Technical Handbook (Section 2) and via the HETAS Guide.


Further Reading


Defra contract appointment

Defra contract appointment

Defra Contract AppointmentWe are pleased to announce that Defra has appointed HETAS as the Contractor to provide technical support to enable it to meet its legal obligations under the Clean Air Act 1993, with effect from 1st December 2018.

The Assessment of Appliances and Fuels contract will run until 31 March 2020, covering the requirements of sections 20 and 21 of the Clean Air Act 1993 and other associated sections.  Following this period, there will be an option to extend the contract for a further two years.

Under current legislation, the Clean Air Act controls smoke and emissions from domestic and small industrial sources and gives local authorities powers to create smoke control areas. In smoke control areas, it is an offence to emit smoke from the chimney of a building or acquire an ‘unauthorised fuel’ unless it is used on an ‘exempt’ appliance.

Perfect Fit

The award of the contract is a perfect fit for HETAS – the specialist organisation approving biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels and services. Led by Bruce Allen, HETAS will provide the assessment of fuels and appliances for use in Smoke Control areas across the UK throughout the set period.

Bruce says, “We are delighted to have won this contract, allowing us to extend our work alongside Defra. The Clean Air Act 1993 is vital in addressing the needs of environment in the UK, and the Assessment of Appliances and Fuels is something HETAS places in high regard. To be managing this in conjunction with Defra is extremely important to us. We would also like to acknowledge the excellent work of the outgoing contractor Ricardo Energy and Environment, who has done a great job.”

HETAS operates a range of registration, certification and approval schemes covering solid fuel, wood and biomass installers, fuels and appliances. The new contract fits well in to the portfolio of technical and environmental activities. For further information on HETAS, visit www.hetas.co.uk.

To find out more or to make an application contact the team on smokecontrol@hetas.co.uk or call 01684 272990.


Further Reading

Details of the current Clean Air Act 1993 application procedures can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/smoke-control-area-rules.


 

Fire Rated Foam Products

Important Note – Fire Rated Foam Products

HETAS has recently been made aware of a number of incidents relating to the use of self-expanding polyurethane fire rated foam, used in applications for the sealing of materials in proximity to solid fuel appliances and installation components. Some of these cases have involved callout and attendance from the Fire & Rescue service due to the foam products being at risk of igniting under continued appliance operation conditions. Due to the significant risks involved with this type of installation practice, HETAS has below clarified the situation in more detail on these types of products, and their suitability for use in solid fuel appliance installations.

General Guidance

The majority of fire rated filler products available on the market today are designed for use in applications in sealing cavities, to improve the insulation of building materials by reducing the escape of heat and air from the building and in effect improving its overall energy performance. Particular applications include the sealing of fireproof doors, windows and cable ducts, as well as sealing of connections between walls, ceilings and floors, as specified by the product manufacturer and within the relevant instructions.

As these products are solely designed to be used in these types of construction applications, under no circumstances should these products be used for the sealing of any materials in installations concerning solid fuel and biomass burning appliances. Further clarification for the reasoning behind this can be found below.

Fire Foam Applications

In practice, fire rated foam filler products are required to have a verified “Reaction to Fire” rating, confirmed under laboratory test conditions, meaning that the product material does not contribute to the spread of flames in situations of fire and reduce the buildings overall fire protection performance. These ratings in most cases are designated on a letter and number scale (i.e. A1, B3), dependent on the EN test standard used for testing and confirmation. It is important when commencing solid fuel installation works to check the suitability of any materials used, as a reaction to fire rating does not necessarily mean that a product has been verified as a “non-combustible material”.

For non-combustibility of products, Approved Document J provides further guidance, making some reference to reaction to fire, mainly by definition of non-combustibility against the requirements of BS EN 13501-1:2002, ensuring only those products verified as A1 non-combustible are used in solid fuel installation applications.

A reaction to fire rating does not guarantee a period of time in which products can withstand fire, only confirming that the product will not contribute to the spread of fire during its intended use.

In cases such as this where products are used as a material insulator, the product manufacturer is also required to undertake additional testing to confirm the products “Fire Resistance” rating against the relevant BS or EN standard. This testing confirms that the product can withstand fire for a specified period of time, to allow occupants enough time to vacate the premises in incidents of fire. The long-term exposure temperatures stability for materials is determined in a very different test and in most cases, the temperature resistance of these types of foam filler products are only verified to a temperature of around 100oC (based on the caveats of the test).

The required standards to be met for sale in the UK and generally prescribed within the BS 476 series of standards.

Solid Fuel Appliance Applications

Although these products may have test evidence to confirm both their reaction to fire and fire resistance properties, this data will not provide sufficient evidence to enable an installer to confirm that products will provide stability for the longer periods of time at elevated temperatures they will experience near a solid fuel appliance.

During winter months, solid fuel appliances operate for a much more sustained period of time, much longer than the periods verified during the testing of the product. Certain components of solid fuel fired appliance installations can operate at temperatures as high as 400oC+.

It is important therefore that any product used in proximity to solid fuel installations is a suitably rated non-combustible material, and has a verified long-term exposure temperature confirmed by the product manufacturer to withstand the higher exposure temperatures that can be found during continued solid fuel appliance operation.

Technical data sheets supplied by the product manufacturer will include the permissible temperatures and rating information in which installers can make reference against before use of the product. It is important in any incidents whereby the relevant fire rating or performance cannot be confirmed, that the product should not be used under any circumstances. Specialist advice can be obtained from the HETAS technical helpline in instances of uncertainty.

Installers should always ensure that the Building Regulation requirements J4 Protection of Building is met in reducing the significant risk of the building catching fire in consequence of use of solid fuel burning appliances.


Further Information

Contact the HETAS Technical Helpline to discuss this article further. Click here for contact details.


 

Out of the Dragons Den

Out of the Dragons Den

Former HETAS Registered Installer David Gattie is fresh out of the Dragons Den and interest in his innovative ventilation product Find out how it went for David in front of the four Dragons and life out of the den.

Although David and his son Max were not successful in the den, their TV appearance has certainly sparked interest in the product.

Why DR21?

Between 2008 and 2016 David was a HETAS registered installer and fitted over a thousand appliances before heading off for retirement.

David always hated putting in the air vent, and if a draught free vent was specified with a 5” diameter hole instead of 4” it was even worse.  Customers also hated the vents and often ended up blocking them up as soon as he completed the job. Many of you will be familiar with this problem.

The Solution

David wanted to find a solution to overcome his challenged experienced as an installer and this led to DR21.

DR21 Ltd is a family business, based in Knutsford, Cheshire. The product is made entirely in England and is manufactured to ISO 9001:2015 standards. It was independently tested on the 24th October 2016 by BRE and has approval with HETAS.

The Product

TheDR21 air vent uses a labyrinth baffling system which regulates air flow. It ensures there is enough air flow for a stove to burn efficiently, but will not admit gusts and breezes and no annoying draughts in your room.

Find out more

The DR21 website has a number of videos introducing the product. Click here to see the videos.

You can watch David’s appearance of Dragon’s Den here.

To view the DR21 and all the HETAS Approved ventilators click here.


Further Reading


 

Latest HETAS Approvals

Latest HETAS Approvals

It’s been a busy few months for product approvals with the heating season now in full flow. We have welcomed a number of new manufacturers into the HETAS Guide. With nearly 1,500 products, you’ll find the right one for you.

New to HETAS

In recent months we have welcomed a number of new manufacturers into the HETAS Guide, including Jøtul, Henley Stoves, The Woodford Collection, Hase-Kaminofenbau, Scandia and Zero Ridge.

Jøtul

Jøtul is one of the world’s oldest producers of stoves, inserts and fireplaces. Building on a proud Norwegian heritage, they have combined fine craftsmanship with the art of coping with the cold for 160 years. Jøtul is a worldwide brand and a global market leader sold in 43 countries on six continents.

Click here to view Jøtul’s products.

Jøtul website: jotul.com/uk/home

 Henley Stoves

Henley Stoves is one of Ireland’s leading stove companies based in Kerry with an extensive background in the stove industry. The core aim at Henley is to provide a genuine quality product at affordable prices and to provide an exceptional customer service.

Click here to view Henley’s approved products.

Henley website: henleystoves.com

The Woodford Collection

Brought to you by the team at Flue & Ducting, The Woodford Collection is a hand-picked luxurious range of Multi Fuel Stoves and Fireplace packages, designed for modern living but keeping the traditional values of every British home at heart.

Click here to view Flue & Ducting’s approved products.

Woodford Collection website: woodfordcollection.co.uk

Hase-Kaminofenbau

Based in Trier, Germany, where all their products are hand built with a goal is to create stoves that are balanced and harmonious in shape and form. Simple, classic and timeless and in combination with outstanding fire know-how and skilled craftsmanship.

Click here to view Hase-Kaminofenbau’s approved products.

Hase-Kaminofenbau’s website: hase.eu

Scandia

An Australian owned family business based in Melbourne, Scandia has been manufacturing wood fires and stoves for over 65 years. They take inspiration from Scandinavian design, their quality of life and their strong ideas around democracy.

Click here to view Scandia’s approved products.

Scanida website: scandiastoves.com.au

Zero Ridge

Zero Ridge is one of the UK’s leading biomass heating solution provider, with a high quality product range, of meticulously designed and efficient wood log, wood pellet and wood chip boiler systems from HDG and SHT.

Click here to view Zero Ridge’s approved products.

Zero Ridge website: zeroridge.co.uk

Also adding products to the HETAS Guide in recent months:

HETAS approves a wide range of products, from stoves and biomass appliances, chimneys and liners through to a arrange of ancillary equipment. Visit the Product Search to find the right product for you.