The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and boiler manufacturer, Baxi, have joined forces with law firm, Emms Gilmore Liberson (EGL), to stamp out potentially deadly counterfeit boiler parts from entering the market, and being installed in homes across the country.
CIPHE and Baxi have launched a campaign to unite the industry nationwide to stamp out the use of these non-compliant parts and to make sure installers are aware of their responsibilities. In 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that imports of counterfeit and pirated goods were worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, or around 2.5% of global imports, so it is impossible to imagine that they are not hitting this industry.
Paul Harmer, technical director at the CIPHE, said: “We are very keen to bring to light this incredibly important industry issue. We all like to think we can spot a counterfeit part a mile off, but these false products are becoming more and more sophisticated.
“With the rise of the online marketplace, it can be incredibly easy to unwittingly purchase fake parts or have to respond to a consumer who has done so. However, it is a case of buyer beware. Unless you are buying direct from the manufacturer or a recognised UK based merchant, that ‘genuine part’ may not be as advertised.
“We are hoping that this initiative with EGL and Baxi will help educate all installers on the tell-tale signs that they may be dealing with a counterfeit product.”
EGL’s Peter Adkins and Sarah Bingham have taken part in a training video produced by CIPHE, highlighting the legal implications installers could face if found to be purchasing and fitting non-compliant gas parts.
In the video, Peter, director of regulatory services, covers the various ways in which to identify counterfeit products, and consequences the consumer faces, in terms of warranty losses, if found to be using illegal parts. Sarah explains that it is the installers who face liability if these products cause harm, and could face huge fines or even manslaughter charges.
Peter said: “These parts are available to buy online, and this is part of the problem. Many installers and consumers are not aware they are buying counterfeit goods, which can potentially cost lives.
“It is so important that people are aware of the dangers they present, and how to identify them. If packages are unmarked on delivery then this should ring some alarm bells, and so too if the offer seems too good to be true – in most cases it is.
“It is unfair that installers are unwittingly buying these parts, thinking they have delivered a good service while being totally unaware they could face considerable time in prison if the boiler, constructed with illegal parts, blows up and takes lives. The key way to stop their growth is to ensure everyone is aware of the dangers these parts carry, and how to identify them.”
The video, part of CIPHE’s smarttalk Live series, can be viewed on youtube.com.