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.


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


Festive Fireplace Plans

Festive fireplace plans?

It’s that time of the year where you will be getting ready to deck the halls with boughes of holly. There is every chance you will want to dress your fireplace with some seasonal flourishes, in the traditional way. Be warned, this could prove to be a fire risk!

There’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing, there’ll certainly be parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting. Can you tell that we have started playing Christmas tunes? The mini mince pies are back and no doubt you’ll have your tree up now.

This year make sure you aren’t creating your own fire hazard. Your stove or fireplace can pump out some heat that could lead to decorations catching light.

The instructions for your stove will have clear guidance on safe distances to combustible materials, make sure you stick to them.

Further Reading


Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Here at HETAS we want to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable festive period with your family and friends. Here are some of our top festive tips to help you along the way, including getting your chimney swept and checking smoke and CO alarms.  

Be alarmed!

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an extremely poisonous gas that can be present in the fumes from the combustion of fuel’s which aren’t burnt under the correct conditions. Fuels such as gas, oil, solid mineral fuel and biomass all have the potential to emit CO. The gas cannot be seen, smelled or tasted making it difficult to detect.

Every Tuesday we support the #testittuesday initiative encouraging everyone to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

Head over to the HETAS Facebook page for regular tips and advice.

CO alarms must be in a permanent, fixed position and located in the same room as the appliance, as per Approved Document J of the Building Regulations. The handy picture below identifies the best position for a CO alarm.

Make sure you are aware of the signs of symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, our advice page has some useful tips.

Safely Stored

We have seen it so many times, a pile of logs stacked neatly next to a stove. This can be very dangerous and has led to firewood igniting before it’s even made it into the stove.

As recently as last weekend we were informed of a fire caused by logs being stored too close to a wood burning stove. Click here to find out more.

Earlier this year, logs stored next to a stove ignited and caused a house fire. Read the full article in the Dorset Echo.

Where is your firewood stored? Make sure you keep your firewood a safe distance from the stove.

Keep guard!

As the story above highlighted, an unattended stove can have dangerous consequences. Never leave a stove unattended and make sure the fire has been put out before you head off to bed or leave the house.

You might also have family visiting with younger children or elderly who might not be used to a stove. If the stove is lit, ensure the use of a fireguard.

Bin that ash

Hot and cooling ashes can be a fire and carbon monoxide hazard. Make sure that you leave sufficient time after a fire to let the ash cool and keep the door to the stove closed. Ensure that all disposing of ash is done so with the correct equipment, such as safety gloves. Use a galvanised steel or metal ash can or bucket that can be sealed to collect all the unwanted ash. Take your time to remove the ashes to avoid any ash spreading across your room. Slowly transport the container outside of your house and dispose of in a designated area. Do not allow ash to collect in the bucket inside your house for any period of time.

Take a read of our full article on stove ash at https://www.hetas.co.uk/safe-disposal-of-ash-from-your-stove/

Further Reading


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

[1] https://www.factsmagazine.co.uk/news/how-can-the-van-theft-epidemic-be-tackled/

[2] https://www.driving.co.uk/news/blight-van-man-huge-rise-theft-vans-smart-keys/

[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 info@hetas.co.uk 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 info@hetas.co.uk.

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 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.