New Scottish Smoke and CO Alarms Law, why not England too?

By i-promote | Blog

Recently, changes to the Housing (Scotland) Act have been announced in response to the Grenfell Tower blaze.

The new standard requires smoke alarms, heat alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to be installed.

The changes have the full support of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services (SFRS) who have commented –

The presence of working smoke and heat detectors have been proven to significantly reduce casualties and fatalities occurring as a result of fires within the home. SFRS therefore welcome and support the next steps from this consultation which will undoubtedly improve home safety for all residents, regardless of tenure.www.scottishlegal.com

These new standards, for Scotland only, are being extended from new-build and private rented properties to cover ALL homes in Scotland.


What is changing?

The Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 will be updated to reflect the following new requirements:


  • at least one smoke alarm installed in the room most frequently used for general daytime living purposes,
  • at least one smoke alarm in every circulation space on each storey, such as hallways and landings,
  • at least one heat alarm installed in every kitchen,
  • all alarms should have a minimum 10-year lifespan,
  • all alarms should be ceiling mounted, and
  • all alarms should be interlinked.


This is a massive change affecting thousands of homes, so the question many in the industry are asking is, why just Scotland?

We have been advising all of our customers to have both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted in their properties (private and rental) for years and supply a range of products and options so this comes as no surprise to us.

However, this updated list is not a requirement in England, yet, even for rental properties but with the pressure being put on the Government by the various parties this rule may extend to the rest of the UK in the future.


Want more information?

If you would like to know more about smoke, heat or carbon monoxide alarm options or an idea of fitting costs, please contact us using the form below or by calling the number at the top of the page.


Contact us now for more information:


BBC News – Smoke alarm rules to apply to all homes in Scotland

Scottishlegal.com – New Fire and smoke alarm regulations to apply to all homes in Scotland



Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

By PaulS | Blog

Carbon Monoxide has been in the news recently as “the silent killer” but what exactly is it and what can you do for you and your family?


What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced when burning fossil fuels such as gas, oil, wood and coal.

Normally most of the CO is burnt off but if the fuel does not burn properly excess CO is produced.

CO has no smell or taste and cannot be seen but it is poisonous. When it enters the body (through breathing it in), it prevents your blood from getting oxygen to your cells tissues and organs.


Harm to Health

Even if you are exposed to low levels of CO that do not kill, it can still cause serious harm to health, when breathed in over a long period of time.

Long-term effects of exposure to carbon monoxide include paralysis and brain damage. Even short-term inhalation can cause:


  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • breathlessness
  • collapse
  • loss of consciousness


Carbon monoxide symptoms are very similar to flu, food poisoning, viral infections and simply tiredness, which is why it is common for many people to mistake CO poisoning for something else.


How can I protect myself and my family?

Gas Safe and the Health and Safety Executive both advise 2 steps you should take to reduce the risk of CO poisoning:

1 . Making sure that your fossil fuel burning appliances (and flues) are regularly checked by competent engineers.

These include:

– Your heating boiler, no matter whether it burns gas, oil, wood or coal

– Any stoves or additional fires or heating appliances that burn fossil fuels

– That your chimney is clear and regularly swept.

2 . And secondly that you have a CO alarm fitted near the appliance and/or flue.

In Northern Ireland fitting a CO alarm is mandatory. In England and Wales, the 2010 Building Regulations Part J states carbon monoxide alarms need only be fitted in the same room as new or replacement solid-fuel heating appliances.


What is a CO Alarm?

A CO alarm is similar to a smoke alarm except that it alerts you to the presence of carbon monoxide (a smoke alarm will alert you to smoke and NOT carbon monoxide).

They are small battery operated units, normally with a guarantee of 5 years, which are mounted or sit near a gas appliance.

Unlike the cheaper “black spot” cards, they sound an alarm when they detect carbon monoxide and only need to be periodically checked to make sure the battery is still operating, just like a smoke alarm.

However, a carbon monoxide alarm is no substitute for correct installation and servicing of your gas appliances. So always make sure you get your gas appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer every year.


What alarm should I fit?

Gas Safe Register recommends the use of audible carbon monoxide alarms. It should be marked to EN 50291 and also have the British Standards’ Kitemark or another European approval organisation’s mark on it.

We supply and fit the leading brands such as Honeywell or Fire Angel which are both rated at and above the relevant standards.


Where should the CO alarm be fitted?

The recommendation is to fit an alarm in each room with a gas appliance.

Always follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions on siting, testing and replacing the alarm.

It is important to choose an alarm that will wake you up if you’re asleep, or you may not be aware of early CO symptoms until it is too late.


Is there anything I can do now to check for potential problems?

There are signs that you can look out for which indicate incomplete combustion is occurring and may result in the production of CO:

  • yellow or orange rather than blue flames (except fuel effect fires or flueless appliances which display this colour flame)
  • soot or yellow/brown staining around or on appliances
  • pilot lights that frequently blow out
  • increased condensation inside windows.


Other signs that could point to carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Your symptoms only occur when you are at home
  • Your symptoms disappear or get better when you leave home and come back when you return
  • Others in your household are experiencing symptoms (including your pets) and they appear at a similar time.


What should I do if I experience any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house.

See your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.

If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.

Get a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect your gas appliances and flues to see if there is a dangerous problem.


Don’t assume your gas appliances are safe

Remember, get them checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and have a carbon monoxide alarm installed.

If you would like one of our Gas Safe registered engineers to check your boiler or you would like a carbon monoxide alarm fitted, please contact us on 020 8462 8822 or click here to request a callback.



Turning off your water as easily as turning off your lights….

By PaulS | Blog

The Surestop – turning off your water as easily as turning off your lights….

Burst pipes, leaks and easy access for a poorly situated stopcock are all problems that can cause at the least, inconvenience and at worst water damage and a large bill. In fact, in December 2010 there were over 100,000 insurance claims in the UK for burst pipes and water leaks with an average cost of £6700.00.

In most properties, the stopcock is either hidden away at the back of a cupboard or hidden behind furniture and in some cases, the homeowner may not even know where it is. This can be a problem when you want to turn off the mains but a catastrophe if there is a burst pipe or leak with water cascading down the walls.

With Surestop turning off the mains water supply can now be done with a flick of a switch. With a range of British designed and manufactured switches, both on-pipe and remote, that use nothing more than water pressure to isolate the incoming mains water supply (so no batteries or electricity) there is a Surestop to suit every need.


Benefits for the consumer:

  • Easy access in the case of an emergency.
  • Easy operation, just a simple switch, and no more weeping stopcock spindles and stuck valves.
  • Peace of mind when leaving their property (home, caravan, boat, business etc).
  • No more struggling to turn off a difficult or stiff stopcock.
  • Unaffected by limescale.
  • Can be fitted on the pipe itself or remotely on an adjacent wall or surface.


And here are just a few facts which show the potential for damage:

  • Every year 1 in 8 homes in the UK is likely to suffer a burst pipe or water leak.*
  • 1 in 3 people in the UK do not know where their stopcock is located.**
  • Burst pipes and water leaks now cost the UK insurance industry more than claims for burglary or fire***
  • Some insurers are raising excess levels for water damage to £250 and more.****

Surestop stopcocks are a low-cost solution to the many problems associated with traditional brass stopcocks and a perfect addition to any job of any size that will benefit both the customer and engineer.

* Research undertaken by Halifax Home Insurance.
** Research undertaken by AA Insurance Services.
*** Industry statistics provided by the Association of British Insurers.
**** Figures provided by The British Insurance Brokers’ Association.



Boiler Plus – What is all the fuss?

By PaulS | Blog

The Government has recently launched a new initiative, Boiler Plus which is designed to encourage energy efficiency in domestic premises.

But what does that mean to you?

It means your new installation quote will be slightly higher than before the scheme started as from April 6th 2018 any new boiler installation will need to include:
  1. A boiler rated at or above 92% ErP and include an energy efficient
  2. Time and temperature controls.
  3. If it is a combination boiler it must include at least one energy efficient measure from a list of four available options:


  • Flue gas heat recovery
  • Weather Compensation device
  • Load compensation device
  • Smart heating controls.
The most common options are the load compensations devices (such as compatible Manufacturer controls) or smart heating controls such as Nest or Hive.

What if I do not want a new control?

Unfortunately as this is now part of Building regulations and any installer who fails to install a new boiler in line with these rules will be breaking the law.
Also, any homeowner who knowingly allows non-compliant work to be carried out could also face prosecution and fines of up to £5,000.

Why are these new rules being introduced?

This legislation has been introduced to help the UK meet their carbon emission target by 2020. It is part of a broader ranges of changes that have been added to the existing regulations over the last few years.
For more information, the HHIC have created a consumer guide to the changes which can be downloaded here – HHIC Boiler Plus Consumer Fact Sheet.



Christmas Opening Times 2017 -2018

By PaulS | Blog

We know that things can sometimes go wrong when you least expect or need it, so over this Holiday period we will be open and available (that includes the telephones) on the following days:

Just a couple of things to note –

  1. Although we are open, quite a lot of staff are taking holidays so we will be working with reduced numbers.
  2. All days except the Public Holidays will have the normal emergency engineer out of normal working hours cover.
  3. Days marked with an asterisk (*) may have slightly earlier closing times than normal.
Day / Date Shop Service Installation Puffin
Thursday 21st December Open Open Open Open
Friday 22nd December Open * Open * Open * Open *
Saturday 23rd December Open AM Closed Closed Closed
Sunday 24th December Closed Closed Closed Closed
Monday 25th December Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday
Tuesday 26th December Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday
Wednesday 27th December Open * Open * Open * Open *
Thursday 28th December Open * Open * Open * Open *
Friday 29th December Open * Open * Open * Open *
Saturday 30th December Open AM Closed Closed Closed
Sunday 31st December Closed Closed Closed Closed
Monday 1st January Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday Public Holiday
Tuesday 2nd January Open Open Open Open


* Opening & closing times may vary.

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