Protect your van from theft

Protect your van from theft

HETAS Insurance Services LogoFor many business owners their van is a key part of their team. It’s not just vital for getting to a job but also carrying all the tools and materials you need to complete a piece of work. Unfortunately it’s not just the van owners that are recognising their value as a van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK[1]. In fact, last year 82% of vans were stolen without the owner’s keys[2]. Mainly because the criminal market have access to the same technology as the manufacturers. A criminal can easily hack a keyless entry system by using tech that they find online.

Keyless technology allows a vehicle to be unlocked and started when the key is within a certain distance. The problem for drivers of these vehicles is that by using a remote key thieves can extend the range of an owner’s key giving them easy access to the van.

Reduce the risk

Despite this heightened exposure to vehicle theft, there are steps that you can take to reduce your risk of being targeted:[3]

  1. Only park in secure garages, buildings or fenced-in areas. Alternatively, you could try and park somewhere that you would have a clear view of your vehicle.
  2. Keep your keys somewhere secure within your home, away from any windows.
  3. Don’t leave any valuables, high-end electronics or tools in your vehicle.
  4. Consider using anti-theft devices, such as a steering wheel lock or a fuel cut-off switch.
  5. Have a tracking device installed in your vehicle.
  6. Have your vehicle’s windows etched with its registration number or the last seven digits of the vehicle identification number, as this makes it harder for criminals to sell your van and easier for the police to identify it.

Don’t forget to check your van insurance policy. You need to check that you are adequately covered, and if there are any security conditions you need to follow to ensure your cover is valid. If you have any questions or queries regarding your van insurance, why not get in touch with HETAS Insurance.

This is a marketing communication.

HETAS Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Jelf insurance Brokers.

HETAS Insurance Services is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FCA.  Registered in England and Wales number 0837227. Registered Office: Hillside Court, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6JX. FP18.775



[3] Zywave Personal lines perspective newsletter February 2018

Christmas Closing Times

Christmas Closing Times

It’s heading towards that time of year when the HETAS office close for a Christmas break following a busy year. No doubt you will all be doing the same and having some well-deserved time with your family & friends.

The HETAS office will be closing on Friday 21st December 2018 at 4:30pm. It will be business as usual on Wednesday 2nd January 2019 from 8:30am.

We would like to remind installers to return any paper certificates of compliance to HETAS as promptly as possible so we can notify the relevant Local authority in a timely manner. Installers can also notify installations via the online system. Contact the HETAS team on 01684 278170 or if you would like to move to online notifications.

We will endeavour to dispatch all orders in advance of Christmas, Royal Mail deadlines are outlined below.

The HETAS team would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Rotary Power Sweep in

Rotary Power SweepingRotary Power Sweep inRobinsons UK Technical Training Academy Logo

Rotary Power Sweeping is the latest centre to offer HETAS training courses. Working in partnership with Robinsons UK Technical Training Academy, the Devon based centre is now offering a range of HETAS training.

Rotary Power Sweeping is based in Tiverton and was set up by Mark Hart, an experienced and respected chimney sweep. The training centre itself has over twelve installation rigs for training, including four 11 metre live installations connected to twin wall and flexi liner systems. In addition there are over 20 stoves that can be stripped down and rebuilt.

The partnership with Robinsons UK Technical Training Academy is a natural fit. Robinsons have been providing HETAS training for a number of years from centres across the country, including it’s centre in Worcestershire and previously in Exeter. Simon Robinson comments:

“We are very pleased to be working with Rotary Power Sweeping in the South West, using its excellent facilities for provision of our industry leading HETAS training courses. When looking for new premises to accommodate our hands on approach to training it made natural sense to speak to Mark Hart first, knowing of his excellent impartial reputation within the industry.”

HETAS Training & Technical Support Manager Mike Harvey has welcomed the development. Mike who recently attended the centre to experience some hands on training alongside chimney sweeps adds:

“The opportunity to bring together both sides of our industry and the combined knowledge, available to those undertaking training within the very well equipped centre will I am sure enhance the skill sets of all.”

In addition to the range of HETAS courses available at Rotary Power Sweeping, the centre also offers a range of in-house rotary sweeping training and also work with APICS.

Get in touch with Rotary Power Sweeping or Robinsons UK to enquire about HETAS courses.

Further Reading


Further Trading Standards Success

Further Trading Standards Success

Trading Standards September 2018This year the HETAS team has been working harder than ever to tackle rogues who mislead consumers. A recent court case has led to a large fine for a rogue installer of stoves based near Southampton.

Darren Carr, aged 50, from Poole, was found guilty at Southampton Crown Court of offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

He misled an 84-year-old resident of Broadmayne, near Dorchester by presenting a £12,500 invoice detailing work required to be done on the roof, which was not necessary. Carr took a £3,000 deposit from the customer, and it was only when a concerned neighbour intervened that the work was stopped. When installing a wood burner at the Swanage resident’s home, Carr also stated he was HETAS Registered when in fact he has never been registered. He pleaded guilty to this unfair commercial practice.

Carr was ordered to pay a £1750 fine and costs of £8,000.

Following the sentencing, Councillor Andrew Parry, cabinet member with lead responsibility for Trading Standards, said:

“Intervention by our trading standards officers is an important part of providing protection for vulnerable consumers from rogue traders. Cases like this emphasis how vital it is for all of us to be alert to this sort of behaviour.”

Further Success

In a separate case, a Crewkerne trader was accused of false and misleading practices towards his customers. The claims were concerning the installation of stoves. The trader from Somerset pleaded guilty at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on 5 November 2018 to three offences of publishing misleading claims. One was under the Fraud Act 2006 and two under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

While trading as ‘Flaming Burners’ in March 2017 Mr Park admitted to dishonestly making a false representation on his business’s Facebook page that he was registered with HETAS and a number of other schemes.

Park was sentenced to an 18-month conditional discharge and fined £400. He was also ordered to pay £800 towards the County Council’s prosecution costs. An additional £302 compensation was awarded to the victims.

Park was due to appear before Somerset Magistrates to enter pleas to 12 separate allegations but did not show up. A warrant has now been issued for his arrest.

HETAS comments

HETAS has been working with Trading Standards with a few the team required as witnesses in court for the Darren Carr case. Jo Courtney Wiggins, HETAS Registration Manager is keen to hear about instances where rogue traders are falsely claiming to be HETAS registered. Jo comments:

“We always want to hear about businesses falsely claiming to be HETAS registered, who appear to be misusing the brand or those who do not comply with standards, regulations and generally mislead members of the public. As an organisation, our purpose is to promote the safe and effective use of solid fuels, biomass and related technologies. We would implore anyone with any concerns about rogue traders in your area or non-compliant installations to get in touch.”

These cases follow on from several successful prosecutions throughout 2018. If you are aware of an issue with a rogue trader, please let the HETAS team know on 01684 278170 or by email on

Further Reading

Continued Trading Standards Success
Tackling Rogues
Dorset For You | Daniel Park case
Fife stove fitter fined £4,500

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 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

To find out more or to make an application contact the team on or call 01684 272990.

Further Reading

Details of the current Clean Air Act 1993 application procedures can be found at:



Bona fide and Labour only sub contractors?

HETAS Insurance Subcontractors articleIf you regularly use contractors it’s important that you are aware of the type of subcontractors you are hiring – specifically labour only or bona fide?  Not understanding the difference between these two types of contractors can put your business at risk from fines, penalties or claims.

Labour only subcontractors

  • Work under your supervision and direction
  • Use your material, kit, equipment and tools
  • Comply with health and safety policies
  • Do not have a guarantee for work completed
  • May leave part way through the job

Bona-fide subcontractors

  • Work under their own supervision and direction.
  • Provide their own materials, kit, equipment and tools.
  • Are responsible for their own health and safety.
  • May have additional employees.
  • Are responsible for their own guarantees and maintenance.

So, why does it matter?

These key differences can be very important when it comes to insurance. Labour only subcontractors are treated as direct employees so need to be included in your employers’ and public liability policies. Bona fide subcontractors are not classed as employees and do not need to be included under your employers’ liability insurance as they should have their own insurance.

Even though both subcontractor classifications are similar, confusing the two can expose your firm to costly and damaging risks. The most common risks include the following:

  • A bona-fide subcontractor has insufficient or no employers’ liability or public liability insurance. As a result, after an incident, your firm is liable even though the subcontractor was at fault.
  • Your firm had not notified your broker / insurer about hiring labour-only subcontractors so they were not covered under your employers’ liability or public liability insurance. As a result, if they were responsible for an incident or become injured or ill due to their work, you could be wholly accountable for the damages.

How can you protect your business?

To guarantee that you are safeguarded against the potential risks that can arise from taking on subcontractors, review the following best practices:

  • Contact your broker / insurer to ensure that your employers’ liability and public liability insurance covers labour-only subcontractors.
  • Confirm that bona-fide contractors have their own public liability and employers’ liability insurance. Even if they are insured, you should verify that they have at least the same indemnity limit as your firm, as you could potentially be liable to fill the gap.
  • Annually review your bona-fide subcontractors’ public liability schedule to ensure that you’ll be protected if they were to cause an incident while working for you.

If you have any questions or queries regarding your business insurance, why not get in touch with HETAS Insurance.

This is a marketing communication.

HETAS Insurance Services is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FCA.  Registered in England and Wales number 0837227. Registered Office: Hillside Court, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, BS37 6JX. FP18.711

Source: Zywave Risk Insights Construction 2017

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.


Why dry firewood?

Why dry firewood?

The Woodsure team, along with Steve Ellis from Elcombe Fire & Wood, have produced a short video highlighting the importance of burning dry firewood. The video demonstrates the benefits of Ready to Burn firewood.

As installers, retailers and sweeps, you will all know the positives behind burning dry firewood and share with customers the benefits of doing so. To support your advice, the team at Woodsure has produced a short video where they

This video clearly demonstrates the benefits of burning dry firewood, including the following benefits:

  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Increased heat output
  • Easier to light the fire
  • Less smoke
  • Less deposits of soot on the stove door

Head over to the Woodsure website and check out the video.

Feel free to share this video on your social media channels. If you have your own videos on the benefits of dry firewood, let us know on

Show your support

Woodsure flyers are available to advise your customers on the benefits of burning Ready to Burn firewood. The flyer can be downloaded at or contact to place an order for printed copies.

Further Reading


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