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
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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.