You may think that plumbing isn’t as newsworthy as Cheryl Cole’s nuptials and you would probably be right! It doesn’t however exclude it as an interesting hot topic. To show what we mean take a look at these news stories:

Downright dodgy plumber

An Essex plumber has been sentenced to 150 community hours and fined £500 for putting lives at risk. His big mistake was to install a gas-fired boiler into a property, without having had the necessary training and without being Gas Safe registered.

The plumber wrongly attached the boiler to the existing flue without carrying out the vital checks. This meant the boiler was left with an unstable flame, which could have exposed the Householders to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A Government Health and Safety Executive inspector was quoted as saying:

“This plumber should have known better than to accept a job he was not qualified, competent, or legally allowed to do. People can die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and gas explosions. It is therefore vital that only registered gas engineers, who are trained and competent, work on gas appliances and fittings.”

Take note: hiring qualified workers could not only save you money, it could also save your life!

Carbon monoxide warning

House of Lords vote on boiler acquisition

On July 17, a review is being held in the House of Lords by the Association of Gas Safety Managers to look at the acquisition and installation of boilers in social housing. There has long since been a huge mis-management of time and resources spent in the planning and tendering of contracts when it comes to improving fuel supplies to social housing projects.

Claire Hayes, CEO of the Association of Gas Safety Managers, has said:

“Collectively, housing organisations and suppliers spend thousands of man hours in the development, submission and assessment of lengthy pre-qualification questionnaires and invitations to tender, with little value being added to the supply chain for either party, or for the tenant. The figures for cost versus benefit of the current processes just do not stack up.”

It seems at last the stakeholders including:

guided by Lord Redesdale, will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on the best way forward. Lord Redesdale, who is CEO of the Energy Managers Association, summed up the event as so:

“The procurement process appears to have unnecessary bureaucracy and is potentially wasting millions of pounds of public money. A review is much needed and the input from a representation of a wide range of stakeholders is very welcome.”

Bees break boiler

Bees honeycombYes, you read it correctly: a swarm of bees were found to have took up residence in a boiler in Cambridgeshire! The heating engineer, who had been called out to repair the boiler, wasn’t expecting to find a fully populated beehive when he opened the boiler front. After the local beekeepers safely removed the hive, the householders were left with a sticky honey coated boiler.

Now that’s a story worth telling!

(Photos by US CPSC and Thangaraj Kumaravel)