Against the backdrop of escalating fuel poverty, WaterSafe has pledged its full support for a new campaign which calls for plumbers to play a more integral role in safeguarding society’s most vulnerable from the cold.
In a new media drive, consumer watchdog, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is calling for plumbers to join with other healthcare staff in tackling problems caused by cold homes.
In principle, the remit is that the UK’s ‘hidden army’ of plumbers will have more kudos in reporting back to the local authority when they identify homeowners at risk from living in cold conditions and help to tackle the problem – from giving advice on energy efficiency, and how to access home-improvement and insulation grants.
This follows a recent report which shows a staggering nine million households in the UK are in fuel poverty. The repercussions are grave; there are approximately 24,000 more deaths in winter compared to other times of year, while many more people are made ill by living in cold homes.
Although still in its early stages, WaterSafe, the UK’s leading consumer plumbing assurance scheme, is already pledging its full support to the campaign and is, in fact, stating that its approved ‘hidden army’ of WaterSafe plumbers are more than up to the job.
Julie Spinks, director at WaterSafe comments: “It is an incredibly sad situation but the reality is that, despite living in one of the most developed economies in the world, there are still millions of people in the UK living in fuel poverty and thus at a grave health risk.
“While the crux of the problem lies in soaring fuel costs, as an industry, it is important we do all we can to tackle this escalating issue. It is therefore great to see this new campaign which places greater onus on plumbers and heating engineers to play a more active role in reporting on people at risk.”
She adds: “As an organisation with a vested interest in consumer well-being,WaterSafe was set up with a similar objective – providing homeowners with the assurance of qualified, approved plumbers every time and, in turn, driving out any rogue traders. The result is a unified source of the UK’s most talented plumbing professionals who are typically the type of tradesmen to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to their customers’ well being."