HETAS – the UK’s only specialist organisation approving biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels and services – is urging chimney sweeps to brush up their knowledge and practical skills with the H009 Service and Maintenance Course ahead of the heating season.
In the past year, over 4,000 chimney fires occurred in England and with Chimney Fire Safety Week [4th –10th September] approaching HETAS is turning up the heat on the importance of maintaining high standards of regular chimney sweeping.
HETAS advises chimneys are swept at least once per year – just before the start of the heating season and ideally, a second sweep after the peak of the main heating season. As well as removing soot and tar deposits, chimney sweeps can also identify any obstructions or defects.
In addition to regular sweeping, using clean, quality wood fuel is essential for continuing efficient operation of solid fuel appliances. Woodsure, HETAS’ partner and the UK’s only quality assurance wood fuel scheme is launching a ‘Ready to Burn’ scheme with the support of DEFRA to highlight the importance of burning dry logs for improving stove efficiency and air quality. Sweeps are advised to promote logs with the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo which are compliant with EU timber regulations to consumers for the benefit of their stove and the environment.
Working in collaboration with recognised Chimney Sweep Associations – including The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS), The Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps (APICS) and The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps (GoMCS) – HETAS has developed the H009 course.
The two-day course is available at training centres across the UK and Ireland. It focuses on practical activities and assesses participants on service and maintenance procedures to sustain high standards of sweeping.
Upon successful completion of the course, chimney sweeps can register with HETAS on servicing and maintenance business registration scheme. Consumers can be connected to HETAS approved chimney sweeps via the search tool on the HETAS website – the HETAS logo assures consumers they can be confident in the expertise, skills and service provided by their chimney sweep.
Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS and Woodsure, comments: “As consumers look to have their chimney swept ahead of the heating season, chimney sweeps should look to take this opportunity to refresh their skills and ensure they are HETAS approved.
“HETAS is committed to helping consumers get the most out their appliance by providing recommended maintenance procedures, as well as day-to-day tips for usage. In collaboration with DEFRA, Woodsure is launching a new ‘Ready to Burn’ scheme aimed at educating consumers about the importance of using clean, quality logs on their stoves to improve air quality. After all, a stove is only as good as the wood it burns.”
The ‘Ready to Burn’ initiative by Woodsure, the UK’s only wood fuel quality assurance scheme, will give reassurance to consumers purchasing logs with the scheme’s stamp of approval that the logs are dry enough to be ready to burn. Wood fuel suppliers joining the scheme ensure that the wood fuel on offer is dry and will therefore reduce emissions, helping to protect the consumer’s stove and the environment.
For more information on HETAS, please visit www.hetas.co.uk.