Safety Notices & Guidance

HETAS Technical Notes & Guidance

Chimneys in Thatched Properties

HETAS has developed an updated Technical Note on chimneys in thatched properties. Guidance for HETAS registrants is available in the HETAS Technical Area.

Carbon Monoxide

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. This regulation comes into force in England from 1st October 2015. Click here to view the draft Statutory Instrument or click here to download the MHCLG Guidance booklet.

HETAS Position Regarding CO alarms – 1st August 2013 Update – Click here for further info.

Reporting unsafe work

Where unsafe work is identified the first and most important action is to inform the user that continued use could be dangerous so not to use the appliance. Where possible, identify what work can be done to rectify defects and advice the owner/user.

If the dangerous work appears to have been done by a HETAS installer, give the user our contact details ; 01684 278170 and ask them to contact us. If it seems unlikely that they will follow up the complaint, please let us know what you consider the problems are and we will check registration details and investigate further.

Click here to view the HETAS Complaints Policy.

If the work was not by a HETAS registrant and there is no other means of pursuing the installer we may still be able to help by giving advice and further contact details. Again, contact the HETAS team for further advice.

Health & Safety

Health & Safety in Biomass Systems

This health and safety guide is written for clients, designers and those who operate and maintain commercial or industrial (i.e. non-domestic) biomass systems using wood in the form of pellets or chips. Those involved in the procurement, design, construction and the ongoing operation (including maintenance) of biomass systems have duties to co-operate and share relevant information required for the development of a safe system.

Safety Alert issued by the Health & Safety Authority on risk from Wood Pellet Feed Hoppers/Tanks

The Health & Safety Authority have issued a safety alert aimed at installers, manufacturers, inspectors and consumers on fuel storage safety of Wood Pellet feed Hoppers & Tanks. The alert follows a fatal incident involving a homeowner entering a hopper tank.

HSE issues Safety Alert on risk to occupiers from the installation of modular, stone and artificial stone fireplace surround

HSE is aware of several instances where heavy stone components forming part of a modern fireplace surround have fallen causing damage and injury. These incidents have happened because the fireplaces were not securely, mechanically fixed in place. Read more here

In support, HETAS have also issued guidance in our Technical Bulletin, to remind installers of the requirements relating to installation of open fireplace component in domestic properties. Article can be found here

HSE issues Safety Alert on scalding risk from domestic hot water systems

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued a safety alert aimed at homeowners, tenants, landlords and the plumbing industry following two strikingly similar fatal incidents in four years where a large volume of near boiling water poured through bedroom ceilings onto occupants sleeping below.

Risks from redundant solid fuel back boilers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) together with assistance from HETAS has issued safety guidance  following several incidents in the last five years, three of which resulted in serious injury, and sadly in one case, a fatality. The redundant solid fuel back boiler had been left in a sealed condition and sometime later, when a coal or wood fire was lit in front of the boiler, the unit heated up sufficiently for the internal pressure to cause the boiler casing to explode.

Other Guidance

BFCMA General & Installation Guidance

These guides have been produced by the BFCMA to provide advice and general guidance on the selection and installation of chimneys and flues for maximum performance, safety and durability. It is important to ensure that the chosen chimney and the heating system, as a whole, are suitable for the purpose intended and conform to the relevant regulations and standards.

UK Pellet Council Storage & Handling Guidance
UKPC Guide

To ensure you get the most from your pellet boiler, it is important that your storage and handling system is correctly designed and constructed.  This ensures that pellets arrive in your boiler in the best state to achieve optimum combustion to provide you with economical, trouble-free heating and hot water.

The UKPC has a pellet storage and handling guidance document which comes from over twenty years of wood pellet experiences in Germany. See further info here.

Additionally, recommendations on the design, installation and operation of fuel stores for pellet heating appliances can be found via ENPlus.

Party Wall Act – 1996

 The HETAS Technical helpline has received calls from installers pertaining to party walls and shared chimneys. Please follow the link below to find useful guidance on the Part Wall Act 1996.

Types of Work HETAS Registrants can Notify

Appliances, flues, chimneys are the most commonly notified works. In the last year the Government Department MHCLG has changed the standard wording for notifications – where an installer has the necessary qualifications/experience, he/she may notify from the list below. N.B. The provision of (or building of) masonry chimneys must go through the local authority Building Control Department:-