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Risky Business: Solid fuel work by non-HETAS CORGI installers

Unsafe solid fuel and wood burning installations are being carried out by CORGI-registered installers who are not HETAS registered says HETAS.
HETAS, the approvals body for solid fuel appliances says installers accredited to its competant persons scheme are being called out more and more to remedy the work of CORGI gas installers who cause safety defects on solid fuel and wood installations.

Engineers who are only registered with CORGI are being urged to stop taking on work which they have not been properly trained for because he/she cannot be aware of every safety implication and cannot self certificate the work in lieu of a Building Notice.

HETAS has approached CORGI about its members training to become a HETAS competant person to ensure they are fully equipped to take on solid fuel installations.

Mark Rolfe, CORGI technical services manager, said 'CORGI has always had a good working relationship with all other fuel sector representations and are currently working with HETAS on the particular issues raised, in order to make CORGI members aware that appropriate competency should always be applied whatever the fuel is used. In fact this competency requirement is reflected in both Health and Safety legislation and the current Building Regulations.

'CORGI, has always promoted a competency ethos to its members for whichever aspect of installation work they undertake and will continue to do so'.

Some of the differences between the installation of gas and solid fuel means different working practices must be adopted particularly in relation to-

· hearth requirement
· chimney type, size and materials
· ability to use conglomerate marble or resin/fillers surrounds
· combustion temperatures
· clearances from combustible materials
· air supply requirements

The building regulations offers two ways to install solid fuel appliances. The first, is to use a member of a competent persons scheme e.g. HETAS for solid fuel installations. HETAS registrants are trained and assessed as competent and can self certificate their work. They notify HETAS of each installation and HETAS notifies the relevant local authority, thus removing the need for a Building Notice.

The second route involves the customer applying to the local authority for a building notice before getting work done and paying £200 to the local authority who inspects the work.
9 January 2008


By HETAS engineer
09 January 2008 00:01:00
What about builders and chimney sweeps also having a go? Why can't HETAS enforce the law like Gas Safe do to stop unsafe work?
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