Gas Certification Scheme Scrapped

Last month we told you about the new Gas Certification Scheme launched by Capita, the company behind the Gas Safe Register. However, this month it has  been reported in PHAM News that following widespread criticism from gas installers the scheme has been scrapped.

The UKAS gas safety certification scheme from Capita Gas Compliance Services (CGCS) was trumpeted as giving businesses a competitive edge, as well as saving on assessment costs and raising safety standards. In addition, it was claimed that the UKAS accreditation would provide assurance for organisations and employees against the risks of gas safety work.

Announcing the scheme, Matthew Hickman, MD at Capita Gas Compliance Services, said it would give businesses that go ‘above and beyond’ for gas safety work the recognition they deserve among their customer base and create potential new business opportunities. Assessments for businesses looking to achieve CGCS certification were to cover a number of areas, including quality control, supervision policies, service warranties and an on-site gas work assessment of employees and contractors.

In response to the launch, hundreds of Gas Safe registered installers voiced their opposition, concerned that it would confuse customers and create a two-tier system. Over 400 installers joined together to email Capita and express their displeasure. A few days later Capita replied with a short statement that thanked the installers for their feedback and said that the new service had been withdrawn.

Peter Booth (@PBplumber), who received over 500 retweets on his video that asked: ‘Am I not Gas Safe enough?’, commented “It’s great to see what a group of like-minded individuals can do when they get together for a common cause. We didn’t feel this scheme was needed and were vocal about the fact. It seems our voice was finally heard and they have scrapped this unwarranted scheme. Common sense has prevailed.”

Short Lived Gas Safety Scheme

PHAM News Editor, Chris Jones, went on to report:

Towards the end of its reign as the country’s gas registration body, CORGI received widespread criticism for being too commercially minded, upsetting not just installers, suspicious of any ‘money grabbing’ activities, but also other industry trade bodies and exhibition organisers who viewed the heavily promoted organisation as unfair competion. In comparison, Gas Safe, operated by multi-faceted group Capita, has received relatively good press. Restricting its endeavours to the registering, inspection and notification of gas installations, Capita has largely succeeded in avoiding controversy and the wrath of installers, apart from those few who thought they had wrongly been removed from the register. But that all changed in February with the announcement of the new gas certification scheme.

Credit to Capita for seemingly taking the criticism on board and wasting no time in withdrawing the scheme, but a lack of any formal statements and information about how such decisions were made does leave a number of questions unanswered. Not least is how the organisation plans to rebuild its now damaged relationship with the installer community.

At R M Labels, we have been following this story with interest and we will continue to post any further statements that are published.  We are keen supporters of Gas Safe Registered Installers and Heating Engineers. We supply many products licensed by the Gas Safe Register, such as gas certificates, gas warning labels and boiler service labels; we therefore strive to keep up-to-date with all legislation changes in the industry and to make sure that all the products we supply are to the current standards.

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Annual Boiler Servicing and Safety First

Do your homeowners have their boilers serviced annually?

When a heating engineer installs a new boiler, it is important to spend time with the homeowner explaining the terms and conditions of the warranty and stressing how important it is to register the product with the manufacturer.

Boilers require regular maintenance to maximise performance, reliability and safety, meaning it is important that homeowners look after their boilers right from the start, with regular servicing necessary to maintain the validity of the warranty.

Warranty terms usually stipulate only replacing parts with genuine spares and arranging an annual service, which must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Spending time explaining this to the customer is a great way to show the

Annual Boiler Service Label
Personalised Annual Boiler Service Label by R M Labels Limited

aftersales support your company can offer. Place a service label on the boiler so that your customer can see exactly when their boiler was installed and when the next service is due, this will mean they can clearly see your details and easily get in touch with your for their annual service.

Safety First

It’s important to explain to customers that the main reason for an annual service of their boiler is their safety. Consumer awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is still thought to be generally low and it is important that installers explain to their customers that unsafe gas appliances (appliances that have been incorrectly fitted, badly repaired or poorly maintained) can produce this highly poisonous gas.  In the case of a leak, this can pose a serious risk.  Regular servicing of appliances is the best way to tackle this risk, ensuring the appliance will continue to perform as required and run efficiently all year round.  Furthermore, this will help reduce energy costs and the likelihood of breakdowns, saving money for the homeowner and keeping their family safe.

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Danger Do Not Use Safety Warning Labels for At Risk and Immediately Dangerous Situations

Every now and then we come across discussions regarding the interpretation of At Risk and Immediately Dangerous situations, so for our post this week we are referring to the information given by the Gas Safe Register, as detailed on the Help and Advice page of their website:

WARNING LABELS

A registered engineer’s left a warning label on your appliance – what does it mean?

When a registered engineer identifies an unsafe situation there’s a procedure they will look to follow: – the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP):

In the first instance, they’ll look to find the cause of the problem and rectify any faults;

If this is not possible, they will advise you that the fault(s) need to be repaired before the installation can be used again;

If the work cannot be corrected immediately, they’ll look to make the installation safe (after receiving your permission to do so), either by disconnecting it or turning off the gas to the affected part of the installation – this is dependent on the severity of the defects

 

Do Not Use Safety Warning Label

 

Warning Labels and Defect Categories

If a registered engineer has identified a gas related danger in your home, they’ll attach a Danger Do Not Use warning label to the dangerous gas fitting and provide you with a warning notice. The warning notice will show a ‘defect category.’ There are two types of defect category:

Immediately Dangerous (ID):

If an installation is classified as ‘immediately dangerous’ it is considered to be an immediate danger to life and property if left operating. The installation will be disconnected with your permission, and cannot be used until remedial work has been carried out to repair the defect(s). Continuing to use an immediately dangerous appliance could endanger lives.

Should you refuse them permission to disconnect the installation or appliance and the appliance runs on natural gas, the gas engineer will report the situation to the Gas Emergency Service Provider (ESP). The ESP has legal powers of entry to make the situation safe, and are also able to disconnect the gas supply to the property. However, this does not apply to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) installations.

At Risk (AR):

If an installation is classified as ‘At Risk’ there are one or more recognised faults present which could constitute a danger to life or property without further faults developing. The installation will be turned off with your permission, and should not be used again until the fault has been corrected. There are a limited

number of cases in which turning off the gas supply will not remove or reduce the risk. In such circumstances, you’ll be issued with a warning notice and advised on who to contact for further investigation.

 

Personalised Warning Advice Notice Certificates

 

Further information

You may be advised that the installation does not comply to current standards. While this is something to bear in mind, it’s up to you if you choose to act on it. It’s always a good idea to bring an installation up to date, but whether you’d like this done could depend on external factors such as cost or whether you’ll be looking to have the appliance replaced in the near future.

ESP Visits

If the Gas Emergency Service Provider has been out to your property as a result of an emergency visit (such as a smell of gas or fumes) and cannot confirm that an appliance is safe, they may also attach a ‘Danger Do Not Use’ warning label to the installation/appliance and issue you with an appropriate warning notice.

If the ESP has issued you with one of these notices, you’ll be advised not to use the appliance until an appropriately qualified Gas Safe registered engineer has checked it. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure the installation is checked. The registered engineer should keep you (or your landlord where appropriate) informed of the actions they’re taking in the interests of your safety. If you have any concerns over this, you can contact the Gas Safe Register

Gas Safe Register: Help and Advice

At R M Labels we offer a full range of products for identifying gas appliances, where you will find the Danger Do Not Use Safety Warning Labels and Warning Advice Notice Certificates which comply to the current regulations and are licensed by the Gas Safe Register.

Link to website: R M Labels Limited

Related Publications:

Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure Explained

Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure

Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2017 for R M Labels Limited

We are delighted to post the following Feefo press release:

R M LABELS LIMITED AWARDED FEEFO GOLD TRUSTED SERVICE AWARD 2017

February 2017, R M Labels Limited has won a Feefo Gold Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, rated by real customers.

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded to businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews. A badge of honour, this accreditation remains unique as all the awards are based purely on the

Feefo Gold Award 2017 for R M Labels Limited
Feefo Gold Award 2017

interactions with verified customers. This feedback has been collated by the Feefo review platform, with the accolades being awarded based upon performance.

R M Labels Limited met the criteria of collecting at least 50 reviews between January 1st 2016 and December 31st 2016, and achieved a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 5.0.

Linda Thomas, Director at R M Labels commented: “We are delighted to receive the Gold Feefo award. It is our aim to provide our customers with a high quality service and high quality products, together with a quick, reliable turnaround so allowing them to get on with the job in hand. We would like to thank all of our customers that took the time to complete the Feefo feedback, it is very much appreciated.”

Andrew Mabbutt, CEO at Feefo said “We would like to offer our congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Feefo Trusted Service award. We are so proud that so many businesses are putting customer service first. We have been working closely with all our customers to build trust and transparency online, and ultimately helping shoppers buy with confidence and make better decisions.”

Feefo is a ratings and reviews, and customer analytics platform. We collect genuine, purchase-verified reviews on behalf of over 3,000 businesses. Feefo ensures that all feedback is authentic, by matching it to a legitimate transaction; we believe this is the best way to combat the rising issue of fake reviews.

-Ends-

About Feefo

Feefo is a global reviews and customer analytics solution to boost business & build trust. Feefo collects reliable customer feedback to deliver up to date insights so businesses and consumers can make better decisions. Feefo does this on behalf of 3,000 companies, providing reviews and customer analytics for more than 5,000 websites. Clients include Expedia, AXA, The White Company, Moss Bros, Notonthehighstreet.com & Tepilo.

For more information please visit: www.feefo.com

About R M Labels Limited

R M Labels supplies domestic and commercial identification products for the plumbing, heating and building services industries, supplying quality products at affordable prices.

As well as providing a fast, reliable service, R M Labels are happy to discuss any bespoke requirements their customers may have and are happy to work with them to achieve the identification solution they are looking for.

For more information please visit: www.rmlabels.com

Gold Trusted Service Certificate 2017

New gas safety certification scheme launched

HVP (Heating Ventilation & Plumbing) reported this month that a new gas safety certification scheme aimed to serve as a benchmark of best practice was launched on 3 February by Capita Gas Compliance Services (CGCS).

This is a voluntary scheme that will give certified businesses, says CGCS, a competitive edge, as it will demonstrate their ability to deliver a high quality service, having gone through rigorous and impartial third party assessment, confirming that all legal gas safety standards are met.

The scheme is UKAS accredited and recognised by public and private sector organisations. It also offers reduced risks in relation to the delivery of safe gas work as the use of relevant accredited certification is recognised as a mitigating factor in legal processes… read the article in full

In a second article HVP have reported that some engineers feel this undermines the value of being Gas Safe Registered… read the article in full

We believe that whatever business you are in, it is important to offer a

Gas Safety Certification
Personalised Gas Appliance Label

high quality and professional service to your customers. To help you do this, we supply a range of personalised products that can be placed on boilers, cylinders and gas appliances, including products licensed by the Gas Safe Register. This means your customers always have your details to hand and can get in touch with you.

Filling in the date when the next service is due on the personalised boiler service label gives the

New Gas Safety Certification launched
Personalised Boiler Service and Efficiency Test Label

homeowner peace of mind and saves them time trying to remember when they last had their appliance serviced. Your Gas Safe number and contact details are clearly displayed on the label so that it is quick and easy for customers to get in touch with you.

The personalised Landlord/Homeowner Gas Safety Certificates again have all your details

Gas Safety Certification launched
Personalised Landlord Homeowner Gas Safety Certificates

clearly printed and saves you time repeatedly having to fill in your details.

All of the personalised products are competitively priced and available in small or large quantities, aimed at professional plumbing and heating engineers and installers who wish to offer their customers a high quality service.

Our main site: www.rmlabels.com

Saving Water Tips

Following on from yesterday’s post regarding reducing water use, here are some top tips we have come across to help consumers save water:

  • Turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth – a running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute.
  • Purchase a water efficient dual flush toilet, which has a split flush button giving the user the choice of how much water to use – this will be typically 4-6 litres of water opposed to the old style flush systems which use a massive 13 litres per flush.
  • Try to avoid flushing away cotton wall or make-up tissues.  Not only can these items block the system, simply throwing them in a bin will cut down
    Saving Water Tips
    Saving Water Tips

    on the amount of water wasted with every flush.

  • A bath typically uses around 80 litres, whilst a short shower can use as little as a third of that amount.  But beware, since many power showers may actually use more than a bath.
  • Switch to a low flow aerated shower head which reduces the amount of water used by mixing air in with the water to still give the same pressure and feel as a normal shower.
  • Don’t leave the shower running before you get in and try to keep track of the time you spend in the shower by setting a timer alarm on your mobile phone.
  • Take shallower baths – by running a bath just an inch shorter than usual, you can save on average 5 litres of water.
  • You can minimise your water use by reusing your bathwater to water your houseplants or garden.

And Another Water Saving Tip!

R M Labels Stopcock Label
Use R M Labels Mains Water Stopcock valve tag to identify your stopcock so that it can quickly be turned off in an emergency and save wasted water

If you have a water leak in your home, how quickly can you locate your mains water stopcock and isolate the water supply? Knowing immediately where the stopcock in located could save litres of wasted water and also save endless damage to your home.  Seeing a Mains Water Stopcock label hanging on the valve will continually remind you and your family of where it is located and if an emergency arises you will be able to go straight to it and turn it off.  Many plumbing and heating professionals are already installing these labels as part of their service and putting their details on the reverse of the label, so that the homeowner can quickly and easily get in touch in an emergency.

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Rainwater harvesting and reducing water use

In the UK, one third of all domestic water is used for non-potable purposes such as flushing toilets, watering gardens and use in washing machines and does not need to be of drinking quality. Rainwater harvesting makes both financial and environmental sense providing an easy and efficient way to collect rainwater for reuse in and around the home.

Almost a fifth (18%) more of UK consumers are now actively taking action when it comes to cutting back on water consumption compared to this time last year – an enormous rise in just 12 months.

R M Labels labelling for harvesting rainwater
Harvesting rainwater

With more rainwater harvesting solutions being installed in properties, it is important to remember that all associated pipework should be clearly labelled to avoid cross contamination with the drinking water supply.  We are continually helping our customers understand the labelling options available for rainwater harvesting products. These products and the supporting pipework should be clearly labelled up as non potable water from any other source to the latest British Standard BS 1710 2014 requirements for water in the correct colours and sizes.

R M Labels labelling for Harvested Rainwater
R M Labels labelling for Harvested Rainwater

We are always happy to discuss your requirements and offer help choosing the correct labelling solution for your job.

 

Link to our main site: www.rmlabels.com

 

Choosing the right product for the job

There are a large variety of products available for marking up pipework and sometime it is hard to know which product is the most suitable. Detailed below are some of the options available to you:

Pipe Markers
A quick and cost effective solution for marking up pipework that does not require full banding. We have a large range of standard self-adhesive pipe markers to choose from and each marker has an arrow either end allowing you to cut off one arrow, leaving the remaining arrow to indication the direction of flow. You can also add your own text to the pipe markers. Available in three sizes to suit all pipe diameters. The Water Pipe Markers are colour banded for water from the Public Water Supply or Any Other Source and for Potable or Non Potable Water. All of the Pipe Marker colours comply with the BS 1710 2014 requirements. View the Pipe Markers

Pipe Banding
Ideal if you need to mark up pipework with full colour banding. Each piece of banding is available in three sizes to suit all pipework diameters and is long enough to wrap around the pipe. The banding comes with descriptive text viewable from any direction and includes directional arrows, saving time building up full banding with individual rolls of tape. All of the Pipe Banding colours comply with the BS 1710 2014 requirements. View the Pipe Banding

Pipe Identification Tape
A cost effective way to mark up large areas of pipework. Choose from the comprehensive ranges of 50mm wide text tapes and coloured Pipe ID Tapes. The coloured tapes are available in three sizes and can be used together with the text tapes and directional arrow tapes to create full banding to the British Standard requirements. All of the colours for Pipe ID Tapes comply with the BS 1710 2014 requirements. View the Pipe ID Tapes

Engraved Labels and Discs
Produced using a high quality traffolyte engraving laminate, these products are hardwearing and ideal for use in commercial situations such as boiler houses and plant rooms. The standard 42mm diameter discs come complete with chrome plated fixing chains and are ideal for marking up valves; other disc sizes are available. The engraved labels are available in any size and come with screw holes or a self-adhesive backing. View the Engraved Labels and Discs

Valve Tags
These credit card sized durable plastic labels are suitable for domestic use. There is a complete range of standard tags for marking up all of the system’s pipework and valves, including tags for plumbing, heating, oil, gas, solar and reclaimed water. Each tag comes complete with a plastic cable tie. View the Valve Tags

Link back to main site: www.rmlabels.com

Five things you should tell your customers about CO safety

We spotted this article on CO poisoning by Honeywell in PHAM News and felt it is well worth a read:

“Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is still responsible for more than 50 deaths every year in the UK, yet only around one-third of UK households have a working CO alarm. Honeywell have highlighted five points that every installer should be telling their customers:

1 The silent killer

Carbon monoxide is odourless, colourless and tasteless.  Unlike a fire, which you can see and smell, a CO leak provides absolutely no warning. What’s more, depending on the scale of the leak, the homeowner could be suffering from low-level symptoms for months, completely unaware of the cause.

As an installer, communicating the most common symptoms could eventually save a customer’s life. A low level leak could result in headaches, nausea, dizziness, tiredness and shortness of breath. CO poisoning often manifests in such a way that it can be confused with flu or food poisoning, however, it does not cause a fever – an important differentiating factor.

2. A colour change spot detector isn’t enough

You may find that certain homeowners already believe that their CO protection is complete, relying upon a colour change spot detector that works in a similar way to litmus paper by changing colour in the presence of CO.

These detectors are inadequate for a number of reasons. Firstly, no matter how prominently the detector is located, it is unlikely that the homeowner will check the unit every day, so if a colour change is triggered, there is every chance the homeowner will fail to notice. Secondly, if there is a major CO leak during the night, then the detector is effectively useless.

In addition, because the sensors degrade over time, these spot detectors need to be regularly replaced, typically every three to six months, or they become ineffective.

3. Legal compliance does not equal best practice

When completing an installation for a landlord, you may find that whilst their property complies with legal CO requirements, it’s still unsafe. Many incidents of CO poisoning are the result of badly maintained or faulty gas appliances such as boilers or cookers, which are not specifically addressed by the legislation.

In light of this, it’s best to recommend a CO alarm in every room housing a fuel burning appliance, and for proper protection, an alarm in any bedroom above these, too.

4. Siting is crucial

Locating an alarm inappropriately can have a serious impact on its functionality, reducing its efficiency and effectiveness. Ideally, a CO alarm should generally be positioned high up on a wall, typically 30cm from the ceiling, and 1m away from boilers, fires, cookers or heaters. It can be free-standing on a shelf, as long as the recommended positioning requirements are met.

Bear in mind that the location could be different for a gas-fired appliance and a wood burning stove. The nature of  a solid-fuel stove means that the doors will be opened intermittently in order to add further fuel, which means occasional bursts of CO will enter the room, potentially triggering the alarm if it is sited too close to the appliance.

5. Quality matters

It may be tempting for homeowners to find the cheapest option online, but it’s important for installers to communicate the benefit of choosing a well-established brand with BSI certification: EN50291-1 2010/EN50291-2 2010. The difference in price is negligible, and when it comes to safety it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.”

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Understanding banding for pipework containing water

We have found that we are receiving lots of enquiries regarding the BS 1710:2014 requirements for water pipe banding, with many people being unclear on the colour coding required.  Below is a brief description of the BS requirements which may be of help.  We would however recommend contacting the British Standard office or your local water authority for full details.  Since 2014 the British Standard Regulations recommend that all pipework containing water should be clearly banded to denote where water is derived from and whether it is potable or non-potable.  The basic identification colour Green 12-D-45 is still used for the outside bands, together with the centre band being in the safety or code colour Auxiliary Blue 18-E-53 if the water is derived from the Public Water Supply. However, if the water is derived from Any Other Source, ie. a borehole, the centre band should be in the safety or code colour Flint Grey 00-A-09.  In addition, if the water is non-potable (not suitable for drinking) it should have the additional centre band in the safety/code colour Black 00-E-53. This also applies to pipework for Fire Safety systems that contain water and should follow the same format as above, but these have an additional centre band in the safety/code colour Red 04-E-53.  All safety and code colours should be of equal widths and to the minimum requirements for the pipe diameter including any lagging, as detailed in the BSI Standards Publication ‘Specification for identification of pipelines and services’ BS 1710:2014.

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