According to Oriel Flues, a laissez-faire attitude towards the safety of people in their homes exists in Ireland, with no actual regulations regarding who can work in the solid fuel industry in force. In addition, installers are not required to hold qualifications to work in a person’s home, unlike when working with gas or electric for heating.
This self-regulating market is dangerous. There are many life-threatening and dangerous situations being created in homes in Ireland due to the lack of education, training and regulations when people decide to install or modify their fires.
A fire used for heating a home carries as many similar dangers as the above home heating methods. Oriel Flues says that, when a tradesman is hired by a private individual, they are putting their lives in their hands. With so many variations and rules to consider, how does an untrained person know what is right and what they are doing is safe? Solid fuel is the most uncontrollable heat source available.
Government policymakers are now acutely aware of these dangers and the necessity to tighten up this industry. There is an acute need for trained, regulated people working with solid fuel fires. With this in mind, Ireland now has its own training academy, based on the UK model, to ensure the solid fuel industry becomes safer.
The Oriel Training Academy provides training for personnel to understand the theory and practicality of installing flues systems for solid fuel domestic heating and Twin-wall systems. The Academy looks forward to the day when all installers/ engineers have completed the new HETAS training courses. These courses will increase professionalism and will mean that all solid fuel installers are installing to current standards, ensuring installations comply with the relevant building regulations and guidelines.
Oriel Training Academy has to date trained over 300 installers whose details can be found by viewing the map on the HETAS training section of the Oriel Flues website. All courses at the centre are tutored by Will Bowen who has worked in the solid fuel industry for 44 years and whose knowledge is irreplaceable.
TRAINING COURSES AVAILABLE AT THE ORIEL TRAINING ACADEMY HETAS CENTRE INCLUDE:
H002 – Introduction to Solid Fuel and Solid Fuel Regulations & Standards – This is a theory awareness course that is designed to introduce candidates to the processes of solid fuel installations. The course is targeted at showroom staff, surveyors, building control officers and architects who need updates on regulations.
H003 – Dry Appliance Installer Course – This includes both theory and practical assessment. Successful completion leads to certification that can be used to show to customers on completion of a stove being installed. This course is targeted at candidates who have relevant work experience. They should have a knowledge and understanding of building regulations and working experience in the construction/heating industry.
H004 – Wet Appliance Installer – This includes both theory and practical assessment. Successful completion leads to certification that can be used to show to customers on completion of a stove being installed. This course is aimed at candidates who have relevant plumbing/heating work experience and have already completed the H003 course.
H006 – System Chimney – This course provides training that is suitable for the correct installation of stainless steel twin-wall insulated rigid flue systems into residential properties. The objective of this course is to deliver appropriate training for the design and safe installation of internal system chimneys, but may also be appropriate for external systems too. The course discusses system components and how they are installed in relation to the various elements of a domestic structure.