Latest news from the SIA

Latest news from the SIA

If asked the question Are the PM emissions from wood burning increasing or decreasing, you might well have answered increasing. A new study from Kings College London has shown that across the country PM from wood burning is going down, even with increasing stove sales.

The main reason given for drop in emissions is the replacement of open fires and older stoves with more modern appliances that produce lower amounts of particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5). The study headed by Dr. Gary Fuller looked at the wood burning emissions across most of the main cities in the UK between 2009 and 2014. Most cities showed a decrease in emissions over the period

The outcome of the study reflects the fact that only DEFRA Exempt stoves, with emissions that meet strict DEFRA limits on emissions, can be installed in smoke control areas. The reduction may not have been as great as we would all have liked, as the decrease in emissions is partly offset by the continued use of open fires to burn wood. Although burning wood in an open fire in a smoke control area is not permitted under the Clean Air Act, 70% of the wood burnt in London is on an open fire.

New Ecodesign regulations will come into effect in 2022, and the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has already worked with stove manufacturers to have an accredited list of SIA Ecodesign Ready appliances that already meet these new regulations right now.

Burning wood on an open fire is the worst way to burn wood, both from point of view of heat generated and the emissions produced. An SIA Ecodesign Ready stove can reduce PM emissions by 90% compared to an open fire, 80% compared to a 10-year-old stove and over 40% when compared with a DEFRA Exempt stove.

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has proposed an upgrade scheme that would help consumers make the move from an open fire or an older stove to an Ecodesign Ready stove. This could help accelerate the introduction of Ecodesign Ready stoves and the reduction in emissions.

HETAS, the SIA, Woodsure and other industry organisations are continuing to work together to tackle the issues of air quality relating to wood burning.



GDPR is coming

GDPR is comingGDPR is coming

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, replaces the current Data Protection Act (1998) and comes into force on 25th May 2018. Regulated by the ICO, the GDPR strengthens the rules around personal data and requires organisations to be more accountable and transparent. It also gives people greater control over their own personal data.

Designed to help safeguard data protection rights for individuals, the GDPR introduces a single set of rules across the EU when it comes to how organisations handle data relating to identifiable individuals. That means if your business holds personal information such as names, addresses, staff records, customer lists and even online identifiers (such as a computer’s IP address), you could be subject to certain requirements of the GDPR.

Many of the GDPR’s main concepts and principles are much the same as those in the current Data Protection Act (DPA).  If you are complying properly with the current law, most of your approach to compliance will remain valid under the GDPR and can be the starting point to build on. However, there are new elements and significant enhancements, so you may have to make changes and do new things.

The GDPR toughens up penalties already existing under the DPA which include:

  • Fines up to £500,000
  • Prosecutions, including prison sentences for deliberate breaches
  • Obligatory undertakings, where your company has to commit to specific action

When the GDPR begins in May, these penalties will get heavier:

  • Businesses in breach will see a dramatic increase in fines. Penalties can reach an upper limit of €20 million (or four per cent of annual global turnover if that is higher).

As well as regulatory fines for non-compliant businesses, bear in mind the possibility that individuals might also sue you if they suffer as a result of how you handle their data.

The GDPR’s implementation on 25th May happens before the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, so all businesses will definitely need to be compliant with the GDPR. Although the UK’s data protection status after Brexit is still unknown, the government has suggested that it intends to implement equivalent GDPR rules post Brexit (see the Data Protection Bill announced in the 2017 Queen’s Speech) to make sure frictionless movement of data between the UK and the EEA continues.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website has a vast range of tools to help small businesses, including a self-assessment toolkit created with small organisations in mind. You can use the checklists to assess your compliance with data protection law and find out what you need to do to make sure you are keeping people’s personal data secure. Click here to view the ICO self-assessment toolkit. Further useful links are outlined below.

Some of the official documentation is still being developed – for instance, detailed interpretation of the rules for establishing consent from individuals. The ICO expects the Article 29 Working Party to finalise their guidelines by the middle of April.

Many resources are available to support small businesses. Here are some links you may find useful:

The ICO also has a helpline specifically for GDPR enquiries. Call the helpline on 0303 123 1113 (local rate – calls to this number cost the same as calls to 01 or 02 numbers). If calling from outside the UK, you may not be able to use the 03 number, so please call +44 1625 545 700. Their normal opening hours are 9 to 5 Monday to Friday.

HETAS has been registered with the ICO as a Data Controller since 2016. HETAS will be reviewing the terms and conditions we apply to our registration schemes, to reflect the GDPR, and will publish any changes through our website.

You can contact the HETAS team on 01684 278170 or click here to email.

Fireplace Surrounds Update

Fireplace Surrounds Update

Fireplace Surrounds UpdateBack in 2013 The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published a safety bulletin drawing attention to a number of deaths caused by incorrect ­ fitting of stone ­fireplace surrounds. Tragically there are still occasional incidents, and the HETAS Technical team is revisiting an article published in Technical Bulletin #1 in 2013 to remind installers of the best practice.

Whilst it may seem implausible that an inert stone block can kill, stone mantels can be very heavy and their design means they are often seated on vertical jambs with the mantel having a large overhang that makes them unstable and close to the point of toppling. Whilst any death or injury is unacceptable, what makes this situation worse is that the deaths have happened to the most vulnerable in our society: young children. Toddlers learning to walk often use furniture to pull themselves up onto their feet. A young child pulling on an insecurely fixed stone mantel can easily load the mantel beyond the point of stability and cause it to topple onto themselves.

Bonding the surround’s back to the wall isn’t considered a suitable method of fixing as bonds can break or be weakened by the thermal movement between the chimney breast and surround. Correct mechanical fixing is the only safe option, with the surround being fixed in place using brackets that are designed to take both the dead load of the surround components and any imposed load from objects placed on the mantel, and children or adults pulling up on it.

Manufacturers have been instructed by HSE to take the necessary measures to ensure the surrounds are securely ­fixed, giving the following guidance for the information that should be provided to the installer of the surround:

  • Which wall/floor types the fire surround may be suitable for and those on which it should not be mounted (e.g. non-structural walls such as demountable partitions or lightweight metal stud walls, etc).
  • How the surround is to be assembled including the correct sequence.
  • The recommended bonding products and the extent of their application (e.g. area and joint thickness) to bed the individual stone components together, and the recommended method of using the bonding product – given the type of stone involved (e.g. pre-wet porous or impervious).
  • How the fireplace surround should be secured to different forms of wall construction and finish.
  • The number and type of mechanical fittings to be used, where they are positioned, and how they are to be fixed to both the stone components and to the wall to hold and secure the stones in position.
  • The curing time before the fireplace can be used with a lit fire or appliance.
  • Any additional information for the home-owner e.g. how much weight may be placed upon the mantel.

To help strengthen the requirements for fixing fireplace surrounds BS 1251:2015 Speci­fication for open-­ replace components was redrafted to include extra guidance on fixing both cast stone and cut stone fire surrounds.

For more information visit the HSE bulletin Risks to occupiers from the installation of modular, stone and arti­ficial stone ­ replace surrounds.

Download the Stone Federation of Great Britain’s guidance on fixing fireplace surrounds which was published in 2013 and revised in 2015:,%20data%20sheet%20January%202015.pdf

Alternatively contact the HETAS Technical Helpline for advice on 01684 278194 or email

You can access HETAS Technical Bulletin #1 and all of our other bulletins in the HETAS Technical Area (login details required).


Recent Trading Standards action

Recent Trading Standards Action

HETAS continues to work with Trading Standards in bringing about enforcement action against installers who fail to comply with the standards expected. HETAS understands that reputable installers want to see action taken against bad installers and we are working hard to make this happen.

In one case a wood burning stove installer was ordered to pay more than £7,000 after he was prosecuted by Caerphilly Trading Standards for falsely claiming he was registered with HETAS. At a hearing in January this year the business owner was fined a total of £3,920, ordered to pay costs to the council of £1,518.75, compensation to consumers of £1,538.40 and a victim surcharge of £73.

Additionally, a trial set in case of Fife man accused of carbon monoxide risk from badly fitted stove has been adjourned a number of times. The latest trial of the case brought under consumer protection legislation related to alleged incidents at two separate properties between June and August 2016. A new date is yet to be advised. The length of time taken in this case highlights the complexities with enforcement action, however, HETAS will continue to work with Trading Standards in pursuing installers who do not meet the required standards.


The team also wanted to remind our registrants that the whistleblowing process has been in place for a number of years, enabling you to raise concerns that you have identified in your daily work.

The whistleblowing helpline is led by Registration Manager Jo Courtney-Wiggins. Used to ensure consumer safety and prevent bad installations, the whistleblowing helpline is a great resource for those seeking both action and solutions.

Jo says: “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 and regulations. 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 with HETAS.

“We’re proud to have the support from various sectors, manufacturers and organisations in the industry. Working alongside influential organisations such as BFCMA, SFA, SIA and sweep associations (APICS, The Guild and NACS) allows us to provide the most up-to-date information and informed advice.”

Primary Authority

Bruce Allen, CEO, says: “Enforcement against rogue traders and those pretending to be registered has become more common in recent years, aided by HETAS entering a formal Primary Authority relationship with Trading Standards. We partner with Trading Standards and our registration team have provided numerous and regular Witness Statements to support legal enforcement nationwide.

Bruce continues: “Talking to HETAS installers every day, we know the frustration they can feel about installers who undertake very poor work whether registered with us or not. This year, several businesses have been suspended and/or removed from the registration scheme as a direct result of the whistleblowing procedure. Conversely, when we receive complaints about installers that are not justified we have been able to support installers and present a clear case to the customers concerned. Where there are safety concerns we always want to hear about them and will either act or advise as appropriate.

“Sadly there are times when non-registered businesses misuse the brand and mislead customers. Through our Primary Authority partnership with Trading Standards, HETAS has developed a robust process for dealing with logo misuse. If you are aware of someone misusing the brand, please let us know so we can initiate our processes. In more complex cases we work with Trading Standards and we have several recent cases of enforcement by Trading Standards. Get in touch with the team on along with evidence of brand misuse.”

Bruce concludes: “Ultimately, our aim is to be recognised as the go-to resource for any solid fuel, wood and biomass heating related queries so that we can continue to encourage the improvement of products and promote high standards of quality, design, safety and efficiency. We are very proud of the work we do and always willing to share our insight and expertise.”

Get in touch

The complaints process is available by clicking here. Get in touch with Jo or the team direct to discuss whistleblowing on 01684 278170 or email

Chimney Safety Group

Chimney Safety Group Formed

Chimney Safety GroupOrganisations responsible for the safety and maintenance of chimneys and flues have come together to form a Chimney Safety Group to promote and offer solutions to chimney related problems in the UK.

HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing & Approvals Scheme) is joining forces with APICS (Association of Professional and Independent Chimney Sweeps), The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) and The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps to influence legislation, organisations, government departments and standards committees.

The group will draw on the strengths of the independent organisations and will meet to deal with common safety concerns and support awareness initiatives, such as Chimney Safety Week. The unique access of chimney sweeps will be used to influence consumer safety and awareness.

The partnership of equals creates a stronger voice for educating the UK public on chimney and flue issues, with the core aim of reducing air pollution and chimney-related accidents.

CO Alarm Positioning

CO Alarm Positioning

HETAS Technical Note on CO Alarm Positioning GuidanceA number of installer calls received on the HETAS technical helpline relate to the suitable positioning of an appropriate carbon monoxide (CO) alarm and which types of alarms available on the market are suitable for use with solid fuel technologies. Any CO alarm should be permanently affixed in the same room in which the appliance is situated and should conform to the essential requirements of the applicable BS EN 50291:2010 CO alarm manufacture standard.

To aid registrants further in identifying best practice positioning of a regulatory CO alarm and to allow the consumer the highest possible response time should the CO alarm activate HETAS has developed the downloadable Technical Note 0022, providing guidance on alarm selection and positioning, as well as the responsibility of landlords and the importance of educating the consumer on how a CO alarm can save lives if positioned correctly.

Technical Note

The Technical Note should be used as a reference point in conjunction with the UK Building Regulations, as well as appropriate standards. Further guidance can be obtained by contacting the HETAS Technical Helpline on 01684 278194 or email

Visit the HETAS Technical Area to download this latest Technical Note.

Your Technical Area

Your Technical Area

Your Technical AreaTechnical Area update – make use of the HETAS Technical Area

Have you made use of your Technical Area? Launched in 2016, the Technical Area is the go to resource for HETAS Registrants. From Bulletins to Technical Notes through to useful links and documents. Recently uploaded is the Ready to Burn Bulletin.

The HETAS Technical Area is a free to use benefit for HETAS registrants and contains a wealth of information to support the guidance provided through your training, helpline support and Technical Handbook.

In the Technical Area you will find:

  • All of the HETAS Technical Bulletins
  • The recent
  • Technical Notes – from thatch guidance to CO alarm positioning
  • All of our e-newsletters (from 2013 onwards)
  • Detailed guidance on Energy Labelling Requirements

In addition this dedicated platform offers useful links, guidance documents and documentation to support registrants in their daily work. Useful links include:

  • COSHH guidance
  • CDM Regulations
  • Working at Height
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Asbestos
  • Guidance from Which? Trusted Traders

Back in January the requirement for Energy Labelling for roomheater stoves come into force. Click here to find out more or visit the HETAS Technical Area for detailed guidance.

Click here to access the HETAS Technical Area now.

Your Route to a CSCS card

Your Route to a CSCS card

HETAS is pleased to be working with The Joint Industry Board for the Plumbing Industry in England & Wales (JIB-PMES) in providing HETAS Registered Installers with an affordable and accessible route to achieving a CSCS card. The JIB-PMES is a not for profit organisation existing for the benefit of everyone in the Plumbing Industry. They seek to provide registration services quickly and inexpensively and to resolve any problems in a fair and professional manner.

About the JIB UK-PHMES CSCS scheme

Registration cards are becoming essential for all trades people working in the Plumbing and Heating Industry. The card shows site managers, employers and other trades people that you are qualified for the work you are doing, and have passed a Health & Safety Test. The Health & Safety Test ensures that you have been trained to the required legal standard, and have the knowledge and competence to keep you and your fellow workers safe and healthy.

Cards are available for all trades and related occupations in the plumbing industry. Your card depends on your qualifications and your occupation.

Plumbing Related Occupations Registration Card

Cards are available for all trades and related occupations in the plumbing industry. Your card depends on your qualifications and your occupation.

To be issued with a registration card you must be able to show that:

  • You have the relevant qualifications, either UK or overseas.
  • You have passed a Health & Safety Test or an approved course with a Health & Safety module. Health & Safety tests and exemptions
  • You are working in the Plumbing Industry, or are an apprentice or trainee.
  • You must be residing in England or Wales. If you are living in Scotland or Northern Ireland you should contact the Scottish & Northern Ireland JIB

Blue cards are for operatives with a full Level 2 NVQ Diploma or equivalent. Gold cards are for operatives with advanced qualifications – Level 3 NVQ Diploma qualifications or equivalent.

In addition to the availability of the plumbing cards, a specific dual branded JIB/HETAS card is now available for all HETAS Registered Installers.

To apply for your card visit the JIB-PMES website and download the application form or to discuss your options in more detail, contact JIB-PMES directly using the details below.

The card is valid for up to five years.

For more information visit

Health and Safety Test

All JIB-PMES CSCS card applicants must meet the JIB’s Health & Safety requirements. The card will only be issued on the basis that you have passed the CITB Health, Safety Environment Test in the Construction Industry. Click here to view the routes to achieving the requirements of the Health & Safety test.

How much does it cost?

A card through JIB-PMES costs £35 (standard application, including Smart Card). Click here for the full list of fees.

Contact the JIB-PMES now to discuss your route to getting a CSCS card and quote ‘HETAS’.

Tel: 01480 476925


Events and Exhibitions

Installer 2018Events and Exhibitions

With the heating season still in full swing, we wanted to let you know about the events and exhibitions where you can catch up with the HETAS team over the next few months and throughout 2018. Read more.

The HETAS team has a busy couple of months coming up with events and exhibitions around the country. Make sure you take some time out of your busy schedule to meet the HETAS team and see what else is on offer at some of the industry events in 2018.

Chimney Sweep Exhibitions

First up in 2018 we have the two chimney sweep exhibitons. At the start of March (Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd) we will be joining the Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps at the Oxford Belfry for their annual exhibition. The exhibition itself takes place in the College Suite and will be open during the following times:

  • Friday 2nd March 9:30 am – 4.30pm
  • Saturday 3rd March 9:00am  – 3.00pm

Following the exhibition the Guild will have their Annual General Meeting. Please note attendance to the AGM is only available for Guild members.

Find out more on the Guild website.

Following shortly after we head over to the Crowne Plaza in Stratford-upon-Avon for the National Association of Chimney Sweeps Exhibition. Being held on the 13th and 14th April this event will be open to industry and members of the public from 9.30am – 4.00pm on both the Friday and the Saturday.

For hotel room reservations, please ring the hotel directly on 01789 279911 and quote “The National Association of Chimney Sweeps” for the preferential rates.

For more information on the NACS Exhibition click here.

Installer 2018

Bringing together over 3,500 visitors and more than 100 brands, Installer2018 will once again deliver the UK’s plumbing and heating professionals with an event focused totally on them and their businesses – providing solutions to everyday issues that affect the industry.

Taking place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, Installer 2018 runs from the 8th to the 10th May. The doors open at 10am each day.

Allowing installers to get hands-on with the products they use on a daily basis is at the heart of Installer2018, which has lots of show features designed with heating and plumbing engineers in mind:

  • HELPDESK – Boilers & Smart Controls
  • Demonstration Zones
  • Live discussion groups involving industry experts
  • Live skill challenges
  • Show-only offers on products
  • A VIP evening

For more information and to sing up for your free tickets head over to the  Installer 2018 website.

Later in the year we will also be attending Hearth & Home and APF alongside Woodsure. More on these events closer to the time.

Keep up to date with our events in the HETAS Events Diary.

Van Insurance

Van InsuranceVan insurance

Your job would be difficult without a vehicle, you need a reliable way to arrive at the worksite with your tools. Motor insurance is a legal requirement if you drive a van on the road. At HETAS Insurance we pride ourselves in providing you with the same great service in commercial vehicle insurance as we do with your business insurance. Read more

Our dedicated team are here to deal with your enquiry, and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to commercial vehicle insurance. Our offer to members includes:

  • Discounted premiums with select insurers, specifically for HETAS members.
  • Mirrored no claims discount – already receive a no claims discount on an existing vehicle?

We can apply the same discount to any subsequent vehicle. Subject to T&C’s.

  • Unlimited windscreen cover (subject to policy excess).
  • 24/7 claims emergency service (provided by insurers).

In addition to our standard cover we have a number of useful optional extras such as:

Motorists’ legal expenses – designed to give you every assistance following a motor accident.

  • Vehicle breakdown – this includes many benefits such as roadside recovery, home start and European cover, no vehicle age restriction and any driver cover.
  • Keyback cover – providing cover in the event your keys are lost, stolen, or broken. Offers up to £1500 annual cover, and claims don’t affect your no claims bonus on your van policy.
  • GAP (Guaranteed Asset Protection) Cover – If your van is written off or stolen and not recovered there is likely to be significant difference between what you paid and what it is worth, or any outstanding finance amount. GAP cover is there to make up the difference for up to £25k, putting you in a much better position. As well as many other policy features this is available for new and second hand vehicles up to 8 years old.

Our panel of insurers may be able to offer you an improved product or save you money.

Get in Touch

Need van or commercial vehicle insurance?

Call: 01386 712129 or why not drop us an email at


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

Hetas Insurance Services is a trading name of Jelf Insurance Brokers Ltd (Reg No. 0837227), which is part of Jelf Group plc (Reg No. 2975376) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Registered address: Hillside Court, Bowling Hill, Chipping Sodbury, Bristol BS37 6JX (Registered in England and Wales). Not all products and services offered are regulated by the FCA. JIB308.12.17