Bruce Allen’s Insight | July 2021

July has seen some welcome changes to our daily lives for many, whilst for others there are still concerns surrounding coronavirus. It’s worth remembering that some of the more vulnerable people in society are taking a more cautious approach to the relaxation of social distancing measures and respecting their position. Here at HETAS we are steadily increasing our office numbers back to the levels we saw pre-pandemic, whilst ensuring our employees are kept safe. We have our teams fully set up to work either from the office or working from home, so you shouldn’t experience any problems in getting in touch with the team, either by phone, email or across our social channels. We will continue to support our registered businesses.

You might have seen on our social channels that we had our busiest ever 12 month period on the HETAS website and that trend continues into July. As always, our searches continue to prove popular, with consumers choosing the trusted HETAS brand for installers, retailers, chimney sweeps, servicing, and appliances. We continue to grow our consumer contacts, through PR, direct communications and through our online presence, developing our social media and search engine optimisation. We hope this is being reflected in work levels for you, our valued registrants.

This month HETAS published Technical Bulletin #22. Part of our role as an organisation is to ensure your competence is kept up to date and provide ongoing technical help and advice to you as required. We do this through formal training courses, distance learning, Bulletins, Guidance & Technical Notes and through our trusted technical helpline. All of our Bulletins are available through the Technical Area of the website, with each article available as an individual download. These updates keep you in touch with technical changes in between the statutory refresher training period of 5 years. We are pleased to offer such unrivaled levels of technical support to you and will continue to do so. Get in touch with Stephen, Oliver and Kevin on the helpline on 01684 278170 (option 1). They are there to help and support you.

Last month I touched on our work in the carbon monoxide sector. I’m pleased to confirm that recently I became a Trustee of the recently renamed Carbon Monoxide Research Trust (previously the Gas Safety Trust). The change in name allows the Trust to expand it’s area of work and over the next five years they want to understand the level of risk in the use of solid fuels. This isn’t to say that there is risk, but greater research can be a good thing for our sector as we further ensure consumer safety when using wood or solid fuel for heating. I’m pleased to be part of this work through my role as a Trustee. Further updates will be available through our regular monthly newsletter. Other areas of focus for the trust over the next five years include:

  • To improve the diagnosis of CO poisoning – by finding a new biomarker
  • To understand the mechanics of CO poisoning – to improve treatments
  • To understand the co-morbidities in vulnerable groups – to develop solutions to mitigate risk
  • To measure the scale of CO poisoning in the UK
  • To understand the impact of building regulations and energy efficiency on CO safety
  • To improve detection where the risk of CO exposure cannot be eliminated

Coming up at the end of next month we have Chimney Fire Safety Week. Dates for the campaign this year are week commencing Monday 30th August. The campaign always falls at the start of the heating season and it’s a good time to promote the benefits to consumers of chimney sweeping, choosing the right fuels and using an appliance as it is intended to be used. We will have a range of assets available for everyone to use over the coming weeks to support the campaign. Stay tuned to your emails and the HETAS social channels for more. We will also be bringing back the #getfiredup campaign at the start of the heating season, encouraging consumers to get their wood and solid fuel appliances ready for the heating season.

I hope you all enjoy the warmer weather over the coming weeks and find some time for a well earned break. As always, stay safe.