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National Chimney Academy opens in Suffolk

Specflue has opened what it says is Britain's biggest dedicated HETAS training facility.
Located at the company's head office in Sudbury, the centre will run training courses to make qualified HETAS engineers. The training includes installation techniques to safely install wood burning stoves, fit flue systems, carry out appropriate maintenance and gain information on the stove and flue industry in general to produce the next generation of HETAS engineers.

The centre features a classroom area for theory and written examinations and an example hall fitted with over ten fully working stoves, various flue possibilities and the new Xcel Heat Bank. In conjunction with the new stricter HETAS examinations, the Specflue training centre has a room dedicated to finding faults to ensure those set to receive the HETAS qualification are trained to the highest standard in a practical environment.

Richard Hiblen, national sales manager for Specflue, commented: 'We are thrilled to announce that the training centre is now open. There are many concerns within the industry at the moment that thousands of stoves and chimneys are being illegally installed into properties by unqualified engineers. We are working alongside HETAS to ensure that these figures are dramatically reduced in future by giving those within the industry already or builders wishing to qualify as an engineer a chance to learn in a controlled environment where strict rules and regulations apply.'

He continued: 'In the public's mind it is assumed that many home builders or self-employed handymen are capable of installing stoves and chimneys, however that really isn't the case. Just like Corgi/Gas Safe or Part P Certified electricians, stoves and chimney installers are required to be competent and it is in fact illegal to install a stove without a suitable, qualification unless building control are prepared to sign off and accept responsibility for the installation. We are hoping that our training facility will open the eyes of many builders who don't have the HETAS qualification to show them just how much they are putting people's lives as risk by agreeing to carry out home installations.'

For more information on HETAS training courses visit
16 March 2011


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