HEATING ENGINEERS’ TRADE BODY WELCOMES NEW CARBON MONOXIDE LEGISLATION IN NORTHERN IRELAND

16 November 2012 Blane Judd, Chief Executive of B&ES, the Building & Engineering Services Association, has welcomed the introduction of legislation in Northern Ireland that makes it mandatory for new homes and any households having heating appliances upgraded to have carbon monoxide alarms fitted.

Blane Judd comments, “We welcome the lead taken by Northern Ireland on this and expect the rest of the UK to now adopt similar legislation.

“Every year dozens of people in the UK still needlessly die from carbon monoxide poisoning – the silent killer – usually caused by old or defective fuel burning appliances like Gas, Oil or Solid fuel boilers.

“We also want to reinforce the message, made by Jim King of the Health and Safety Executive NI, that the first line of defence against carbon monoxide poisoning is to have fuel burning appliances serviced annually and then to fit a carbon monoxide alarm as an important further line of defence.”

This new legislation follows the deaths of two teenagers from carbon monoxide poisoning whilst staying at a holiday apartment in Castlerock.

“Regrettably there have been too many similar such deaths both in the UK and abroad, which is why we have issued warnings to holiday home owners or their letting agents that if they have an old boiler or other gas appliances in their holiday accommodation some of these will be potentially dangerous.

“Gas appliances in all 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 – that is the law” added Mr Judd.

The new legislation in Northern Ireland was introduced at the same time that UK wide research was published showing that only 39% of homes have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted and amongst the homes without one there was obvious confusion with 42% mistakenly believing that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms were the same thing, citing this as the reason why they had not fitted a carbon monoxide alarm.

B&ES operate the consumer advice service the Heating Helpline: www.heatinghelpline.org.uk, which gives free, impartial guidance on heating and energy saving in the home including advice on gas safety.  It also helps UK homeowners find B&ES heating engineers located in their area, with eighteen B&ES members located in Northern Ireland, all of whom are Gas Safe registered and also members of the Government backed TrustMark scheme.  Visit http://www.heatinghelpline.org.uk or call the Helpline free on 0800 810 8303.

Ends

Issued on behalf of the Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) by Next Step Marketing Ltd

Media enquiries to:  Heather Lambert.  Tel:  44(0)1256 472020;

Fax:  44(0)1256 471010; E-mail:  heather@nextstepmarketing.co.uk

Notes to editors

Since its formation in 1904, B&ES, the Building & Engineering Services Association (formerly the HVCA) has represented the interests of companies engaged in a wide range of building and engineering services including domestic heating and renewable technologies.

B&ES members are subject to regular, third-party inspection and assessment of their technical competence and commercial capability, carried out by an independent certification body at least every three years.

B&ES 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.

B&ES 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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