With Britain’s ‘squeezed middle’ suffering from equally squeezed household budgets more and more British families are likely to forgo an overseas holiday again this year and take a UK-based holiday – but many of the flats and cottages they will use for holiday lets will have older gas fired boilers.  The Heating Helpline warns of the dangers of an older boiler and urges holiday homeowners and letting agents to have their boilers checked and serviced.

21 April 2011 – Flight troubles, eurozone worries and lack of cash means that the ‘staycation’ will again be upper most in British families’ plans for a holiday in 2011.  Industry analysts (KPMG) say that with the decline in holidays abroad there are signs that a more permanent shift in attitudes is occurring, with almost 50% of the population (and 70% of staycationers) expecting they will take more holidays in the UK than they have in the past.

With hundreds of thousands of British families therefore renting flats and cottages in the British Isles this year the Heating Helpline (www.heatinghelpline.org.uk), the home heating advice service backed by the Heating and Ventilating Contractors’ Association (HVCA), says it’s vitally important that holiday homes with gas appliances have been regularly checked and serviced.

Bob Towse, technical and safety consultant for the Heating Helpline, comments, “Holiday home owners or their letting agents need to be aware that if they have an old boiler or other gas appliances in their holiday accommodation some of these could be potentially dangerous.

“Anyone that rents out holiday accommodation must ensure that gas appliances are maintained in good condition and are subject to annual safety checks; failure to properly maintain a boiler means that, apart from putting holidaymakers’ lives at risk, owners and landlords could face serious punishment because courts have the power to impose severe penalties in respect of each offence.

“Gas appliances in rented accommodation should be serviced annually in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions by a Gas Safe registered installer in addition to having annual gas safety checks carried out on them.

“Anyone renting holiday accommodation in the UK should expect to see a copy of the gas safety certificate that is issued after the annual safety check, and the holidaymaker should not hesitate to contact the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) if the landlord cannot provide this; indeed we suggest that it is in the holiday home owner’s interest to display this certificate prominently for all their clients to see.

“We strongly advise that any owner or managing agent of UK holiday accommodation with gas appliances that are more than ten years old, or which have been infrequently serviced in the past, should contact an HVCA member to get the system inspected”.

As additional safeguards they should supply comprehensive operating instructions for all appliances and should consider fitting carbon monoxide detectors where appropriate.

All HVCA members are independently checked to verify their technical competence and customer service levels.  HVCA members that operate in the domestic sector are all Gas Safe registered and members of TrustMark, the government-backed scheme that makes it easy for consumers to find reliable, reputable trades’ people.

To find a reputable heating engineer and HVCA member in your area, contact the free Heating Helpline on 0800 840 4069 or visit the website at: http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk.


Issued on behalf of the HVCA by Next Step Marketing Ltd

Media enquiries to:  Jon Challis

Tel:  44(0)1256 472020

Fax:  44(0)1256 471010

E-mail:  jon@nextstepmarketing.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Established in 1904, the HVCA is the premier organisation representing central heating contractors across the UK, and exists to promote fair dealing and the sound installation of heating systems.  HVCA members all undergo third-party inspection and assessment of their technical competence and commercial capability every three years.  This process is carried out by an independent certification body with an established industry reputation.  HVCA members who undertake gas installations are registered with Gas Safe – the gas safety watchdog body – and are also members of TrustMark, the Government-endorsed scheme designed to direct customers towards reliable tradespeople.  HVCA operates the Heating Helpline (http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk) to provide consumers with free, impartial advice on every aspect of home heating.

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Next Step Marketing (NSM) is a marketing and communications agency based in north Hampshire. The business is headed up by Denzil Lee. Prior to setting up NSM Denzil spent 11 years as Director of Marketing for National Boat Shows Ltd (London Boat Show & Southampton Boat Show) and before that held other senior sales and marketing roles with two FTSE 100 PLCs. He has been a member of The Chartered Institute of Marketing since 1992, gaining Chartered Marketer status in June 1999. In November 2006 he was made a Fellow of the Institute. Since 1992 he has also been a member of The Marketing Society. We have worked across many different sectors with extensive experience of both consumer and B2B campaigns.