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HPM April 2015

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com NEWSDESK CO alarms to be made mandatory in rented homes Landlords will be required by law to install working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their properties around the country, under measures announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis last month. The measure, which is expected to take effect from October 2015, comes with strong support after a consultation on property conditions in the private rented sector. England’s 46 fire and rescue authorities are expected to support private landlords in their own areas to meet their new responsibilities with the provision of free alarms, with grant funding from government. This is part of wider government moves to ensure there are sufficient measures in place to protect public safety, while at the same time avoiding regulation which would push up rents and restrict the supply of homes, limiting choice for tenants. Plumb and Parts Center’s Gail van Dijk, is delighted at the news. ‘’We’ve been pressing for the government to change building regulations through our campaign, Make CO Alarms Law, which has attracted thousands of supporters,’’ she said. ‘’We’re pleased the government has acted to make it compulsory for private landlords to install alarms in rental property, which will help save lives. ‘’We would like to see it go further and make it mandatory for alarms to be installed when all carbon-burning appliances are changed, which is already the case in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, we welcome this move as a first step in preventing deaths.’’ The Health & Safety Executive claims that 40 people die every year from accidental CO poisoning and 4,000 people are treated at A&E departments with symptoms, which can lead to brain damage and strokes. But chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, says the number of people affected by sub-lethal exposure is likely to be even greater than those reported. The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted Valbond Management and sister company, Holbond, after an investigation found that vital gas checks had been neglected, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told a Gas Safe registered engineer found a flue joint that had come apart in a ceiling void at one flat, managed by Valbond, that could have been leaking emissions from the boiler for as long as five years. Two further properties in the block, another managed by Valbond and one by Holbond, had gas boilers and concealed flue pipes that were not maintained. Neither company had arranged annual gas safety inspections for the properties, nor had landlord gas safety certificates been issued. Valbond was fined a total of £28,000 and Holbond was ordered to pay £20,000 after guilty pleas. WaterSafe, the UK’s leading plumbing assurance scheme, has launched a consumer campaign designed to encourage more women to take up the trade. The high-profile campaign, ‘Get Girls Plumbing’ is aimed at encouraging more females to take up plumbing roles while, in turn, discouraging age-old gender stereotyping in the trade sector. The campaign launch follows research by WaterSafe which found that 60% of homeowners would feel positive about more women taking up a trade role, while 80% say they are completely unconcerned as to the gender of their plumber and it’s all about them doing a good quality job. What’s more, 20% think that it’s time gender stereotypes were broken and over a third (37%) of women surveyed said that if they started out again they would like to take up a manual trade role citing that it offers a more stable career path. Landlords fined for gas safety breaches Women encouraged to be plumbers Triton achieves zero landfill waste status Triton, The Great British Shower Company, is celebrating the achievement of zero waste to landfill status two years ahead of schedule. Having adopted a long-term strategy geared towards recycling or reusing all waste components and materials by 2018, Triton has already achieved its target. The company’s latest eco success comes less than 12 months after it introduced a number of environmental enhancements at its headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Last year’s introduction of a colour coded waste management system within the company’s factory enabled production staff to ensure the cross contamination of waste is avoided which significantly aids the efficiency of environmentally sound waste disposal. The process has been randomly audited ever since by senior management to ensure continual improvement. The company also introduced a number of ‘Oasis’ segregation points throughout the office and production departments. Each ‘Oasis’ ensures it is as simple as possible for both staff and visitors to play their part in recycling everything from office paper to plastic. Landmark for Gas Access Campaign A campaign to improve gas safety for millions of people has reached a significant milestone. Landlords representing more than two million homes have now signed up to the Gas Access Campaign. More than 270 supporters are now backing the campaign, which aims to improve the gas safety of people living in or near to social housing. There are now 200 housing providers backing the campaign, which hopes to correct a deficiency in the law, which prevents housing associations from gaining entry to tenants’ homes in a timely manner if tenants deny them access. The issue is estimated to cost the sector £50 million each year. 10 APRIL 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY Stopcocks Women Plumbers specifically provides female plumbers to customers


HPM April 2015
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