Get the latest news and updates from what's happening with FirmusHeat here.
As per the government guidelines outlined on https://www.gov.uk/ in regards to which businesses can remain open and which should shut, FirmusHeat are still operating as per outlined in the news update dated 23/03/20.
The government states:
Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.
Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.
No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.
No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.'
Full link can be found here in Section 2: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance
You can find the latest government information from the official list below, this has been written to help consumers in relation to how we as a company are managing our client's responsibilities and how we are attempting to keep our client's safe, not just from the virus, but from the risks posed by gas appliances in your home.
• NHS Direct
• Gas Safe Register
Landlord duties during this pandemic
Landlords have a legal duty to ensure that any property they rent out has it's gas appliances and flues checked for safety at least once every 12 months. This inspection cannot expire , even in the current crisis. Where a landlord allows an inspection to expire they could be fined or face a prison sentence.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the body which manages Gas Safety has released a statement to the effect that there will be no lenience offered on this, even where a tenant is self-isolating.
As such, it is important that tenants provide access to gas engineers to carry out this inspection whether they feel it is appropriate or not, the legal position is that COVID-19 does not provide an excuse to refuse access and from a tenant's perspective, failure to allow access could result in a breach of their tenancy agreement.
FirmusHeat Ltd is working closely with tenants, landlords and agents to mitigate our impact on undertaking this duty, however it is important that tenants be aware, we do still require access if requested to carry out this check.
Managing our risk of contagion
We as a company are running low on PPE, however we are topping up as and when we can.
In order to help stop the spread of the virus during this period, we will prioritise the types of work we carry out.
• Engineers will require access to running water with soap.
• Engineers with any illness is being told to stay at home
• Customers should be requested to keep a gap of 2m between them and the engineer.
• Customers should be requested to retreat into another room of the property once an engineer has been shown where they need to access whilst the works are carried out. We should be understanding to a customer’s personal security concerns, so will be happy for doors to be left open, we just want to maintain the largest gap possible between people.
• Engineers should keep visits to a minimum, all paperwork and follow up work will be completed away from client premises in their vans or when they get home.
• Self isolating and vulnerable customers should be asked to declare this prior to visitation. We will split our workforce so that we have a dedicated engineer undertaking self isolating clients to reduce the risk of contamination for those which are in social distancing.
• Please do not offer your hand to be shaken, and if a customer does so, it should be politely declined
Managing clients in self isolation
If a customer is in self isolation because they have symptoms, have had symptoms within the past 14 days, have been exposed to someone having had symptoms or have been confirmed as having COVID-19 they must inform you immediately. The same applies to the customer, and failure to do so will result in an abortive call and there will be a charge.
Any person showing signs of a cough or sneezing, whether it is likely to be COVID-19 or a simple cold, must tell us prior to attending so we can reduce our risk level by applying additional procedures.
• The occupants within the property will be required to cover your mouth and nose during the visit.
• The engineer should be wearing gloves and additional PPE.
• You may not approach the customer or attempt physical contact with the customer.
• The area around the faulty appliance should be clear from any items that may need to be moved.
• It may not be possible to use dust sheets to prevent surface contamination.
Managing clients with high risk consequences
If the customer is elderly, have heart/lung/chest or immunity issues, then extra care and precaution should be taken during this period of uncertainty. Should you need us to deal with a defective appliance, we will happily do so but please let us know prior to our attendance so we can get the most appropriately exposed engineers to you.
Our engineers asked to attend to vulnerable customers will be cough and symptom free, however this does not mean they are virus free.
• Make sure you have a cleaning product and cloth so we can wipe down all touched surfaces.
• Engineers should be wearing gloves.
• Engineers may be wearing face masks if appropriate.
• If a customer has issues with face masks being worn, then the engineer should be informed. We are aware that some mental illnesses can put clients on edge when they cannot see a face of a person and we are trying to be as sensitive as possible to our customer needs during this period.
• Please keep a good gap of at least 2m from the customer and ask them to retreat to a different room if possible.
The types of call we will undertake won’t change although careful consideration will be made to prioritise different aspects of plumbing and heating works for these in greater need, without jeopardising the safety of our staff.
Charges during this period
In order to keep our business active during this period and on the other side of the pandemic, we have implemented a temporary pricing policy.
• There is a minimum charge of £35 for any visit, whether complete or aborted. This includes visits where we are unable to gain access due to illness.
• We may request payment up front for any labour and/or parts proposed.
I would personally like to thank you for your understanding during these unprecedented times. Us at Firmusheat really appreciate your full support and cooperation during this time.
Gas Safe Register is the official list of businesses that are legally permitted to carry out gas work. Every registered business employs an engineer(s), who is issued with a Gas Safe ID card. Not all engineers are qualified to do all types of gas work – so remember to check their ID card before any work is carried out.
If you need gas work done in your home or workplace - WE ARE HERE.....
We can ensure you that as a business we are taking all precautions to ensure our customers and staff safety.
We have the appropriate PPE and are practising social distancing as recommended by NHS advisers.
Our customers and general house keeping is and will always be , our top priority.
We can also offer our remote service, we will be available 24/7 for on-line and telephone emergency advice and may be able to advise you accordingly with this method .