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HHIC gas maintenance guide targets consumer safety awareness

New guidance document produced with wider heating industry input seeks to set out engineering best practice for maintaining boilers and informing consumers of their rights

The Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) has issued new consumer guidance it hopes will build awareness around using Gas Safe engineers and the best industry practice that can be expected when servicing a boiler.

A ten-point customer services charter is outlined in the document, which is intended to support engineers with steps that should be taken when visiting a customer’s property to maintain a heating system.

These recommendations include ensuring accredited engineers show their Gas Safe Register ID cards when arriving for a job, as well as the importance of informing a property owner of any safety defects they identify and further work that may be required. A full record of work undertaken should also be provided to a customer if requested.

HHIC director Stewart Clements said the guide had been produced as part of a wider industry collaboration to ensure accredited heating engineers and consumers have the latest guidance on better quality maintenance and servicing.

He said, “We believe that by outlining what homeowners can expect from their service, it will assist with the message that ‘the cheapest quote isn’t always the best.”

“The reason is simple; as a consumer, it is reasonable to assume when procuring a service of your gas boiler that different providers will all offer a similar, standardised, thorough high-quality service. But what constitutes a proper job? And how can consumers, especially those who might not have any knowledge of the industry, be sure they are receiving what they should?”

Mr Clements said that it was important for Gas Safe registered engineers to communicate with end users and share the guidance documents where possible to help them understand their rights.

Bob Kerr, director of the Gas Industry Safety Group, said that consumers had a right to expect a safe and efficient service to maintain their gas heating equipment. With building regulations currently undergoing an independent review that was announced by the government following the Grenfell Tower fire last year, the guidance is intended to help build end user awareness of gas safety.

Mr Kerr said, “It’s a commitment, right across the board, to offer a quality service but also to make sure customers are aware of what we’re doing for them and why. Many may not have an in-depth knowledge of the industry, so they need to be confident and reassured that they’re getting exactly what they need from a Gas Safe registered engineer.”

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