HETAS, the UK’s only specialist organisation approving biomass and solid fuel heating appliances, fuels and services, is urging chimney sweeps to brush up their knowledge and practical skills ahead of the heating season.
In the past year, over 4,000 chimney fires occurred in England and with Chimney Fire Safety Week ( held on September 4-10) fast-approaching, HETAS is turning up the heat on the importance of maintaining high standards of regular chimney sweeping.
HETAS advises chimneys are swept at least once per year – just before the start of the heating season and ideally, a second sweep after the peak of the main heating season. As well as removing soot and tar deposits, chimney sweeps can also identify any obstructions or defects.
In addition to regular sweeping, using clean, quality wood fuel is essential for continuing efficient operation of solid fuel appliances.
Woodsure, HETAS’ partner and the UK’s only quality assurance wood fuel scheme is launching a ‘Ready to Burn’ scheme with the support of DEFRA to highlight the importance of burning dry logs for improving stove efficiency and air quality.
Sweeps are advised to promote logs with the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo which are compliant with EU timber regulations to consumers for the benefit of their stove and the environment.
Working in collaboration with recognised chimney sweep associations, including The National Association of Chimney Sweeps, The Association of Professional Independent Chimney Sweeps, and The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps, HETAS has developed the H009 course.
The two-day course, available at training centres across the UK and Ireland, focuses on practical activities and assesses participants on service and maintenance procedures to sustain high standards of sweeping.
Upon successful completion of the course, chimney sweeps can register with HETAS on servicing and maintenance business registration scheme. Consumers can be connected to HETAS approved chimney sweeps via the search tool on the HETAS website – the HETAS logo assures consumers they can be confident in the expertise, skills and service provided by their chimney sweep.
Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS and Woodsure, said: “As consumers look to have their chimney swept ahead of the heating season, chimney sweeps should look to take this opportunity to refresh their skills and ensure they are HETAS approved.
“HETAS is committed to helping consumers get the most out their appliance by providing recommended maintenance procedures, as well as day-to-day tips for usage.”