Although the cold nights of winter are receding, it’s good to be able to turn to a wood burner to take the chill off a brisk evening once the central heating has been turned off. It’s also a good time of year to plan ahead, to think about taking up or reviewing your HETAS training in preparation for a busy period of installation work later in the year.

HETAS is the governing body for solid fuel domestic heating appliances, fuels and services and is responsible for the registration of competent installers and businesses. Schiedel Chimney Systems delivers a range of comprehensive HETAS courses specifically designed for installers of wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and biomass boilers as well as retailers. The courses are held in our purpose-built training centre in Washington, Tyne & Wear.

Safety and Sound Business Sense

The prime motivation for the HETAS training and registration is safety as the dangers of incorrect installation are obvious. As well as fire, there’s real potential for serious health concerns with the possibility of noxious and potentially fatal gases being released into the home if solid fuel appliances are incorrectly installed.

Carbon Monoxide is the most dangerous. This colourless and odourless gas is formed by the incomplete combustion of solid fuel and other fossil fuels. In day to day use, it’s likely that a certain amount of CO will be formed during the normal burning process, with more produced where burning is inefficient. Ensuring that all the gas is evacuated safely up and out of the chimney and doesn’t leak into the home is essential. Installers and their governing bodies must take these potential dangers seriously; indeed HETAS requires that technical qualifications be renewed every five years to ensure that training is up to date.

Safety aside, qualifying as a certified installer also makes sound business sense. The growth of the renewable energy sector has led to an increase in popularity for biomass, wood and solid fuel installations. The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) states that although more than one million UK homes already have wood burning stoves and fireplaces, demand is still high. The SIA quotes recent annual UK sales of wood-burning stoves of more than 175,000 units – there’s lots of work to be had!

There’s scope for further professional opportunities too. Once you have HETAS approved solid fuel installation qualifications (H003 or H004) you’ll be able to go on to register with the HETAS Competent Persons Scheme, which will mean you can self-certify that your work complies with the relevant building regulations, and issue the customer with a certificate of compliance. This will give you a real professional edge as all installations must be subject to a Building Notice that must otherwise be applied for by the householder. If the householder has to apply to the Local Authority for one of these notices themselves, they’ll face fees of up to £300, so you’ll be saving them time and a lot of money.

Training for Retailers

For retailers, we offer training that will help get your staff up to speed. Our specialist HETAS Approved Retailer Course aims to ensure that your staff are qualified to advise customers on a range of appliances and confident in discussing issues such as maintenance, safety, government regulations and fuels. We can offer this in your own showroom if the training group numbers four or more.

We are proud to be approved to deliver HETAS training courses helping to ensure that solid fuel heating engineers in the Newcastle area are working safely and within the law.

Find out more about our training, here.