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February 3, 2016

Charity urges review response for tenants’ electrical safety

The Department for Social Development’s (DSD) Review of the Role and Regulation of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) will close on 5 February. So, the charity Electrical Safety First is urging interested stakeholders to respond, if they haven’t already done so. From 2014 to 2015, over two-thirds (67%) of accidental

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New sentencing rules set to ramp up safety fines

From 1 February 2016, the Health and Safety Offences and Corporate Manslaughter Offences Guidelines could mean higher (and potentially unlimited) fines for companies and public sector bodies thar fall short of complying with health and safety law. The new guidelines say that in the event of a health and safety

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Gooee brings world’s first lighting IoT ‘full stack’ ecosystem to life at Frankfurt Light & Building 2016

Gooee is using the Frankfurt Light + Building 2016 exhibition for the European preview of the world’s first ‘full-stack’ lighting ecosystem. An interactive demonstration on its stand will offer delegates the chance to fully experience the key end-user benefits of luminaire products that feature ‘Gooee Inside’, including Environmental Intelligence, Human

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

February 3, 2016

Consumer campaign to promote registered electricians reaches record audience

A campaign promoting the use of NICEIC and ELECSA registered contractors reached a record amount of people. The Stay Safe at Christmas campaign, launched during the festive period last year, warned about the additional electrical dangers that can arise at Christmas time and urged householders to call an NICEIC or ELECSA registered electrician if they had any concerns. The campaign featured on regional TV and radio. It also appeared in national and local newspapers across the UK, making it the most successful campaign by NICEIC and ELECSA to promote electrical contractors yet. In total, the campaign reached a potential audience of 55 million people. “Research carried out last year showed us that the NICEIC brand is the most recognised in the industry amongst consumers,” said Paul Collins, communications manager at Certsure, which operates the NICEIC and ELECSA brands. “It was important for us to build on this and to keep promoting the use of NICEIC and ELECSA registered contractors to homeowners. “This was the largest and most integrated campaign we have ever carried out, focussing not only on traditional media outlets, but social media also.” The Stay Safe at Christmas campaign launched with a series of radio interviews carried out by resident expert Tony Cable and DIY SOS Star Billy Byrne. The duo appeared on 57 national, regional and commercial radio stations – reaching in excess of 36 million potential listeners. A second radio day saw Darren Staniforth carry out 11 interviews on BBC regional radio stations – reaching another 1.3 million listeners. In addition, the story appeared on ITV Granada’s primetime news programme as well as being featured in the Daily Mirror and Daily Star. “Certsure is committed to promoting the use of its contractors to more and more people,” added Paul. “NICEIC and ELECSA registrants now carry out over 89% of all Part P jobs in England and Wales. That is an astonishing figure and one we are very proud of. “We know that these two brands win contractors more work and we will continue to promote our contractors and the benefits of using an NICEIC or ELECSA registered electrician to both specifiers and consumers.”

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Still improving rather than moving – the great home maintenance drive continues

The focus on home maintenance and improvement is continuing apace, according to TrustMark, the Government-endorsed scheme for tradespeople, which has announced that it has recorded another bumper year of helping homeowners. More than 8.1 million search results were provided to homeowners who used TrustMark’s website and telephone helpline to find local firms and expert tradespeople to carry out their home improvements and repairs – an increase of 12% compared to the same period in 2014 and up 55% since 2013. Searches for interior designers, bedroom and kitchen specialists saw the biggest rises last year and have been among the most sought-after trades out of the 38 licensed trades offered by TrustMark. TrustMark is the only Government-backed quality scheme that covers all trades to do work in and around the home, from aerial installers to flood recovery specialists. Carpenters and joiners, followed closely by painters and decorators, have also seen increasing demand, indicating a continuing trend to improve rather than move. There was a 29% increase in search results provided for TrustMark-registered electricians, a 21% increase for plumbers and heating engineers, and similar demands for handymen. Search results provided for carpet and upholstery cleaners leapt by 58% in 2015. Following the major storms at the start of 2014, TrustMark-registered roofers and tree surgeons saw their busiest months during January and February. Unsurprisingly, homeowners began to focus on their gardens when the weather recovered, with fence installers (up 19%), garden landscapers (up 15%) and drive and patio contractors all seeing a significant increase on their searches during the spring and summer. Simon Ayers, chief executive of TrustMark, said, “Homeowners are increasingly understanding the importance of only using professional firms to do their home improvements and repair work, particularly at a time when people are concerned about their finances. TrustMark provides homeowners with extra security, the reassurances they are looking for and the confidence that they are working with tradespeople who are the best in the business. “We continue to work closely with our approved scheme operators and TrustMark-registered firms, as well as with influential consumer organisations such as Age UK, Citizens Advice and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. Together we are all signposting the public to TrustMark. By providing advice and a free list of reputable firms, we can guide people through finding the right tradespeople for jobs in their homes and be a trusted avenue for support as and when needed.” All TrustMark firms work to Government-endorsed standards and are uniquely checked for three cornerstones of quality – their trading practices, customer service and their technical competence. TrustMark continues to expand its database of over 13,000 individual firms in the UK, providing national coverage with more than 21,000 licenced trades searchable on its database. For further information and to stay up-to-date with developments at TrustMark, visit www.trustmark.org.uk

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Charity urges review response for tenants’ electrical safety

The Department for Social Development’s (DSD) Review of the Role and Regulation of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) will close on 5 February. So, the charity Electrical Safety First is urging interested stakeholders to respond, if they haven’t already done so. From 2014 to 2015, over two-thirds (67%) of accidental fires in Northern Ireland were linked to electricity, with some of the worst cases of landlord neglect relating to poor electrical safety. Northern Ireland’s PRS has expanded rapidly and now accounts for over 16% of all housing stock, with the percentage of households in the sector doubling in the last ten years. “We were extremely pleased that the DSD’s review includes questions around the issue of regular electrical safety checks,” explains Phil Buckle, director general of Electrical Safety First. “We believe this safeguard will not only protect private renters, but also their landlords, as it has been conservatively estimated that electricity causes £1 billion worth of damage to property in the UK. “We would urge all key stakeholders to respond to the review and help us ensure the safety of tenants and the protection of landlords’ property.” Electrical Safety First has been working with governments throughout the UK to develop legislation that will protect both landlords and tenants. It has called for mandatory, five yearly safety checks, by a registered electrician, of the electrical installation in all PRS properties – and any electrical appliance supplied with them. The Charity led a coalition of stakeholders to ensure regular electrical checks were included in last year’s Scottish Housing Act and it is hopeful that they will also be introduced in Wales via the new Renting Homes (Wales) Act, which has just received Royal Assent. Current regulations in Northern Ireland simply state that electrics in the PRS must be safe, but do not specify a regular safety review – unlike those governing gas, where an annual gas safety certificate is required.

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New sentencing rules set to ramp up safety fines

From 1 February 2016, the Health and Safety Offences and Corporate Manslaughter Offences Guidelines could mean higher (and potentially unlimited) fines for companies and public sector bodies thar fall short of complying with health and safety law. The new guidelines say that in the event of a health and safety prosecution a fine “must be sufficiently substantial to have a real economic impact, which will bring home to management…the need to comply with health and safety legislation”. According to Paul Reeve, director of business services at the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), the new guidelines underline the need for contractors, of any size, to have an effective approach to complying with health and safety law. Reeve said, “Key legislation for contractors includes the CDM 2015 and Management of Health and Safety at Work 1999 Regulations. The ECA is working closely with the BESA to ensure that building services contractors know what they need to do, and to help them comply. “A key message to contractors is to have sensible and effective, but also proportionate, arrangements for ensuring health and safety, and to have access to competent health and safety advice. These measures need to cover what you actually do at work, no more and no less.” When sentencing for health and safety offences the guidelines now require the courts to consider factors such as: ‘culpability’ – ranging from ‘low’ (the company did not fall far short of the appropriate standard) to ‘very high’ (a deliberate breach of, or flagrant disregard for the law) the organisation’s annual turnover, or equivalent any aggravating factors, such as cost-cutting at the expense of safety, or mitigating factors, such as a good health and safety record. Reeve concludes: “Two ways for contractors to show basic health and safety capability are to meet the technical and safety requirements of their sector trade association and to meet the assessment criteria applied by schemes operating under the SSIP banner.”

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Gooee brings world’s first lighting IoT ‘full stack’ ecosystem to life at Frankfurt Light & Building 2016

Gooee is using the Frankfurt Light + Building 2016 exhibition for the European preview of the world’s first ‘full-stack’ lighting ecosystem. An interactive demonstration on its stand will offer delegates the chance to fully experience the key end-user benefits of luminaire products that feature ‘Gooee Inside’, including Environmental Intelligence, Human Engagement and Product/ Asset Tracking. Environmental Intelligence includes the ability to control and monitor energy data to support predictive maintenance and determine such factors as occupancy, ambient light levels, white colour-tuning and LED performance. Human Engagement provides the ability to personalise the user experience, engaging individuals within a dedicated environment. Product and Asset tracking, the final benefit, allows an asset to be managed and tracked throughout its total life cycle. Advances in technology have made it possible to print circuitry that encompasses power and communication capabilities. These so-called ‘smart labels’, containing RFID or Bluetooth, can be applied to products and assets and be identified within the Gooee ecosystem. Jan Kemeling, Gooee’s chief commercial officer, says that the reaction so far to Gooee Inside has been extraordinary. “There is a consistently high demand for an interoperable, scalable lighting system within the built environment and we are continuing to develop our technology to provide the full lighting solution,” he says. “Managing energy costs and meeting regulatory requirements regarding health and safety are just two of the critical issues for businesses today, and both can be addressed by harnessing the benefit of Gooee Inside.” At the start of 2016, Gooee announced a series of partnerships and working associations with seven Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) including Havells Sylvania, the Aurora Group, Gerard Lighting and John Cullen Lighting.

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