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HHIC advises on home installations

The Heating & Hotwater Industry Council is advising the government on electric and gas installation warnings for UK homes

The HHIC has been part of a working group advising government in regards to new Building Regulations that will now apply to electric and gas installation and repairs.

The Communities and Local Government Committee has decided that labelling on electrical equipment sold by DIY stores must be used to warn that it is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out most electrical works in the home.

In addition, public knowledge about the risk of the odourless, invisible and potentially lethal carbon monoxide fumes must be raised to increase safety in the home, warns the Committee.

HHIC says it has championed the importance of making sure consumers pick an installer who is Gas Safe Registered and also advises that they are part of the HHIC benchmark scheme.

The Benchmark member scheme is a nationally recognised scheme that places the responsibilities on both manufacturers and installers to ensure best practice in installation, commissioning and servicing of domestic heating and hot water products in line with Building Regulations in England and Wales.

To that end the Committee recommends that sockets and other electrical equipment sold by DIY stores for electrical installations should carry a health warning that it is illegal for an unregistered person to carry out most electrical works in the home without checks being completed meeting the requirements of the Building Control service.

The committee will be writing to all the big electrical/DIY stores to highlight this key recommendation. Such labelling is vital to reinforce the important message to the general public that they must use a registered electrician to carry out electrical works in the home.

HHIC deputy director Chris Yates said: “I fully agree with the necessity of carbon monoxide alarms but it must not be a replacement for annual servicing. 

“There are instances where people put them in and think, ‘Fantastic. I don’t need to bother about a Gas Safe-registered engineer coming to inspect my property every year.’ 

“That is a dangerous situation to get into, and it comes back to communication. We must have a consistent message. 

“Part J of the Building Regulations details that because it follows the British standard it cannot be a substitute for annual servicing, and it is very important that they are linked together”`