What is Gas safety week?

Gas safety week is a week where gas engineers and gas related businesses try to spread the word about gas safety in the UK. The week is a great opportunity for all involved to increase awareness and improve standards within our industry.

Why do we need a gas safety week?

Gas Safety Week sees organisations from across the UK working together to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning

Does Gas safety week make a difference?

We certainly hope so. The aim of gas safety week is to improve standards and teach consumers the dangers of using non registered engineers, it also highlights the warning signs of dangerous appliances and helps consumers know when something isnt right, which in turn will save lives.

Cooking on gas safety week

What can I do to help spread the word about Gas safety week?

One of the easiest things you can do to spread the word is follow @JASPlumbing on social media and share any posts to spread the word on gas safety. You never know, you could save someones life. Feel free to contact us to find out other great ways to get involved.

So what Can I do to make sure I am gas safe?

By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.

  • Check your gas appliances every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Tenants – make sure your landlord arranges this. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at StayGasSafe.co.uk.
  • Look out for friends and relatives. Some people may be unable to arrange their own gas safety check or may be unaware of what they need to do to keep safe. Help your loved ones by ensuring that they have their appliances checked and serviced regularly.
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find or check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
  • Check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing e.g. natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and on the Gas Safe Register website.
  • Check for warning signs that could indicate your (or others) appliances are not working correctly. Signs may include lazy yellow /orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out and too much condensation in the room.
  • Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and make sure your friends and relatives have one too. Check they are marked EN50291 and display the British Standards’ Kitemark.

For gas safety advice and to find or check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at GasSafeRegister.co.uk. Alternatively call the free helpline on 0800 408 5500.

test your carbon monoxide alarm this gas safety week

How do I check my gas engineer is qualified?

Check the ID card Only an engineer on the Gas Safe Register should fit, fix or service gas appliances. It is important to check the identity of the gas engineer when they arrive to carry out gas work. All Gas Safe registered engineers carry a Gas Safe ID card; you may prefer to check this card for the person that you care for. All gas work is different, and the back of the ID card tells you if they’re registered for the specific job you need them to do

Gas safe card
Gas safe card back

I am a landlord, are the rules different?

Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants. Landlords must make sure maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. 

If you’re a landlord, you are legally obliged to make sure:

  • Gas pipework, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
  • All gas appliances and flues provided for tenants’ use have an annual safety check. Your tenants can report you to the HSE if you don’t provide one, so it’s important to remember! You can set a free email and/or text reminder so you don’t forget, visit StayGasSafe.co.uk.
  • A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
  • You keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record until two further checks have taken place.
  • Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • All gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.

I am a tenant, can I just leave it all to my Landlord?

By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.

  • Check your Landlord’s Gas Safety Record. By law, your landlord must keep gas pipework, appliances and flues supplied for you to use in good condition. They must arrange a gas safety check of the appliances and flues every year and give you a record of the check. If your landlord refuses to provide you with one, you can report their details to the HSE: bit.ly/LGSRReport
  • Check any gas appliances you own every year. Your landlordis not responsible for gas appliances that you own, so you should arrange for these to be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at StayGasSafe.co.uk.
  • Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find or check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500, or ask to see their Gas Safe ID card when they arrive.
  • Check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing e.g. natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and the Gas Safe Register website.
  • Check for warning signs that could indicate your (or others) appliances are not working correctly. Signs may include lazy yellow /orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out and too much condensation in the room.
  • Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm and make sure your friends and relatives have one too. Check they are marked EN50291 and display the British Standards’ Kitemark.

Thank you for taking the time to read our post, if you found it useful, please share on social media, You might save someones life.

On 8th July, The chanceller Rishi Sunak announced a £2 billion Green Home Grant Scheme. A total of £500 million will be delivered through local authorities to improve energy efficiency.

The green Homes Grant will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps and more. This will help households cut energy bills, but it Doesn’t include boilers.

Builders, plumbers, and other tradespeople across England will need a government-backed seal of approval to provide their services as part of the new £2 billion Green Homes Grant going live at the end of September.

Green Home grant scheme

What’s included in Green home grant scheme?

Householders can claim up to a maximum £5k of funding for a number of eligible improvements. Low income householders can claim up to .£10k. The funding will provide up to 2/3rds of the installed improvement or measure with the householder providing the other 1/3rd.

The scheme is broken down into two levels of carbon reducing measures;

Primary measures comprise of the following measures,

  • solid wall insulation
  • cavity wall insulation
  • underfloor insulation
  • loft insulation
  • room in a roof and park home insulation
  • ground source Heatpump installation
  • air source Heatpump installation
  • solar thermal installation

Secondary measures comprise of,

  • fraught proofing,
  • windows and doors
  • appliance thermostats,
  • hot water cylinder thermostats and insulation,
  • smart heating controls,
  • delayed start thermostats,
  • thermostatic radiator valves and zonal controls.

So long as there is at least one primary measure installed. Householders can claim upto the same amount to fund a secondary measure.

How can homeowners claim the Green home grant scheme?

To obtain the grant the householder must appoint a Trustmark or MCS registered installation company.

The scheme commences in September and the target is to spend the £2 billian amount by March 2021.

Tradespeople must register for TrustMark or Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) accreditation to take part in the scheme. This will cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of low-carbon heating. Examples are heat pumps or solar thermal. These measures could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills.

Worcester Bosch opinion on Green home grant scheme

Martyn Bridges, Director of Technicoduct Management at Worcester Bosch commented; “Although we support any scheme that actively tries to improve the efficiency of UK homes. The fact that upgrading boilers is not included in this grant is an oversight. There are still anything up to 6m non-condensing boilers in operation. So upgrading to a high efficiency condensing boiler would have made a significant improvement to these homes.

“Another concern is that tradespeople need to be TrustMark or MCS accredited registered companies to undertake the work. The overwhelming majority of heating installation businesses are not members as they are small, one-man operated businesses. Therefore, while we will end up with more efficient properties for homeowners. There will be no great job retention outcome for the businesses that are not able to take advantage of this grant.”

“However, it is pleasing to see that if one of the listed primary measures has been installed, then a secondary measure would be eligible for “matched “ funding. The secondary measures include smart controls which again will add efficiency savings to the property.”

Green home grant scheme

Do home owners need the scheme?

While making homes greener is one of the biggest parts of reducing green house gases. There is still a lot of research and development going on with different fuels to find the greenest way of providing heat and hot water. The techology is in the early stages at the moment. In the next 10 years we expect the technology to improve dramatically. Heat pumps and Hydrogen Boilers seem to be at the forefront of this at the moment.

Consumers with boilers should consider insulation and heat pumps to reduce the gas usage but also consider smaller changes to reduce emmissions and save money. Energy savings can be increased by simply:

  • Installing smart thermostats
  • Installation of thermostatic radiator valves on radiators
  • Installing thermostats (heating and hot water)
  • Installation of cavity wall insulation
  • Reducing boiler flow temperature
  • Installing weather compensation (compatible boilers only)

Get in contact to discuss how we can help you reduce emmisions and save money on your bills.

Our conclusion on the scheme

Although this scheme was set up to increase work for tradesmen, It seems that Plumbers have been mostly overlooked. Although it mentions Plumbing and Heating engineers, most plumbing and heating engineers would need to retrain into the renewables sector. They would also have to become Trustmark and MCS registered which is unrealistic in the timescales availble. Meaning that very few installers will benefit from this scheme.

However as a “green scheme” this is a great scheme which will help Consumers look into and see the imporance of heat pumps to the environment. Also consumers will start to look away from traditional heat sources to make the country more suistanable and may help speed up the goverments process of making the country net zero by 2050.

The secondary measures include appliance thermostats, hot water cylinder thermostats and insulation, smart thermostats delayed start thermostats, thermostatic radiator valves and zonal controls, while all of these provide energy savings and can lower bills as well as lowering emmisions, the requirement to do a primary measurement will mean that a lot of these will be installed incorrectly and not set up properly, meaning the full benefits will not be felt by the consumer.

So while we welcome this green home scheme, unfortunately we can not see how it will benefit installers to bounceback after the coronavirus. we are also deeply worried that the full benefits will not be passed on to the consumer. However the scheme will definetly push the country into thinking more about renewables and start the ball rolling for installers to start thinking about re training and consumers to start looking into renewable costs and benefits.

Well the peak has come and gone and it appears that life is slowly getting back to normal, from shops reopening to days out at the zoo, we are all slowly getting used to the new normal. Here we talk about how the plumbing and heating industry has changed following COVID-19 and how we have adapted.

The last few months has been hard for all of us and the full effects of this will not be known for a few more months, but may I take this time to wish everyone the very best of luck over the next few months and we hope you all stay safe.

How has the plumbing and Heating industry changed?

One of the main issues is that as tradesmen we work within peoples homes, these are their safe zones which over the last few months has been a safe haven to protect them and keep them safe from danger. As tradesmen we should all take this into consideration and use the highest amount of protection to reduce the risk and keep our customers safe. Here at J & S Plumbing and Heating we check our employees temperature every day to ensure they dont have a high temperature (fever), we use gloves and masks to prevent the spread and we also wipe down surfaces that we have touched. This is in addition to the usual Protection of property procedures, including removal of shoes/ using dustsheets where required.

What procedures have changed in the plumbing and Heating Industry?

One of the Biggest changes we have seen is that everyone is using technology a lot more, from emailing to taking pictures and whatsapping them across to us directly, Lockdown has really increased the amount of people and the understanding of using technology. As a business we strive to be at the front line of technology and it is great to be able to use these skills in our business to not only help our customers but also to reduce the risk of contact and provide quotes without even entering the property. Of course we still need to visit some properties but generally feel that technology has advanced a long way in the last few months in a way that would have taken years under normal circustances.

What we did during the lockdown.

First of all, we spent a lot of time doing DIY and gardening and even managed to get some free online training, however after a couple weeks, the DIY run dry and so we started to consider some great changes to our business, with the introduction of the business bounceback loan, this made these changes a lot easier to make and we went fully at the new changes and hopefully this will be a great advantage to our business. One of the biggest changes was that we took on another engineer so that I can concentrate on helping people in emergencies. Liam was interviewed over the phone and we were extremely impressed with his attitude along with his 12 years of experience and I instantly offered him the job. Liam started on the fifteenth of June and we hope he will be ready to go alone after a few weeks of training in our systems and expectations.

What else has changed?

Some of the other great changes include the new online boiler installation quote system, which allows our customers to give some minor details and get a rough estimate of the cost of their new boiler without us ever stepping into their property, this helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus as well as giving our customers a clear and conscise guide to prices before we start.

The Local community and economy

We are all feeling the pinch at the moment with the reduction incomes and the unfortunate loss of jobs that have occured. The real effects of the economy downturn may not be known for several months/ years. However we feel strongly about helping our local community and we have also used the bounceback loan to purchase new signs to place around Lincoln, produced by a local sign maker. Our new van which will also be sign written was also purchased from a small family run local Forecourt and we have also had leaflets printed and delivered by a local company. Now is the time to invest in the future of our local business and help each other grow rather then sit back and wait to see what may or may not happen.

What does the future of Plumbing and Heating look like?

As with all tradesmen, we need to work in peoples homes. As people become more aware of the home being their safe haven, we will no doubt be less busy. Along with the reduction in peoples incomes, we will all see an instant downturn in business. Fortunately the Plumbing and Heating business is very stable and there will always be a need for Plumbing and Heating reapirs but with a lot of technology designed to remotely pass information to engineers without them even entering homes, the big question for us is wether the lockdown will speed up the self diagnosiing boilers so engineers will know exactly what is wrong before they even arrive at the property.

What did we learn from our lockdown training?

As part of our training we realised that we couldnt do everything ourselves and so we have teamed up with a lot of local tradesmen to produce a high standard job from now on. Our new additions include an electrician to ensure the work is installed correctly and the whole house is safe rather then just the boiler installation. Joe from JMF electrical has done several jobs for us now and his work is amazing and makes a real difference. We also have a roofer/ brick layer to brick up or install new flues so the work is brilliantly selaed and looks perfect too. Finally with the addition of a plasterer, we now feel our team is completely set up for the majority of scenarios, it has definetly been an eye opener to see the difference it makes by using trained proffesionals in each section of our business.

Plumbing and Heating roofer

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and if you have found it useful or interesting then please can you share it on your social media to help others.

Thank you and please stay safe

Links:

Online Boiler Quote

JMF Electrical

Why choose us?

Jason replaced 2 bathrooms for us. We cannot fault either the excellent work or the professionalism of Jason and his team. Many thanks.

Andrew, Swallow Beck

JAS Plumbing are simply the best in the business and they have never let me down no matter how difficult the task has been.

Peter, Skellingthorpe