Keeping Warm and Saving Energy in the Home

Keep Warm and Save Energy this Winter

Winter 2018 is so far shaping up to be the coldest since 2010 with more snow and falling temperatures expected. Everyone is by now aware of the need to stay warm to avoid falling ill or exacerbating existing health conditions. The problem for many though is how do we keep our homes warm but still prevent our energy bills going through the roof? Here are a few ideas that could help.

Ditch the blinds for curtains

Blinds look great at the windows, but most do nothing to stop heat escaping from the room. Fit curtains instead, preferably ones that are well lined and keep them closed longer in the mornings and close them earlier in the evenings. Curtains will help to keep more of the heat in.

Dig out the draught excluders

It may be an old-fashioned idea, but by blocking off draughts at the bottom of your doors, you’ll help to keep the room warmer. If you don’t already have one, improvise by rolling up old towels or blankets.

Improve the efficiency of radiators

Attach foil to the walls behind your radiators. This acts to reflect heat into the room rather than have it absorbed into the walls or upwards and out through the window glass. Fitting a small shelf above the radiator also helps with this.

Switch off

Because you’ll be spending more on your heating, think about where you could save energy elsewhere in the home. Switch off lights in rooms that aren’t used and turn down the radiator thermostats in these rooms too. Don’t leave your TV and devices on standby; turning these off altogether goes towards saving money as well as energy.

Regulate the temperatures

By setting your thermostat at around 18-20°C, your heating system can regulate and run itself more efficiently. It’s better and healthier to keep an even temperature rather than fluctuating between high and off.

Check your insulation

A well-insulated house is an efficient one, so make sure yours is sufficient. Seal up any gaps around windows and doors using the appropriate sealant. Even a small gap can let in cold air and let out warmth.

If you have a real fire or wood burning stove, make sure the chimney is well swept to maintain the efficiency of the fire.

By making just these few small but essential changes in our everyday living habits, you will be able to shave a few pounds off your energy bills while still being warm and snug.


Carillion’s Demise – Are you affected?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks you have undoubtedly heard talk and news reports focusing on the demise of Carillion. You may not know the full details of the crisis, but if you or your business have been affected then you are likely to be looking for a stopgap solution. This is something we can help with. First of all let’s look at what actually happened.
Who are Carillion?
Carillion provide construction, facilities management and maintenance. They have a large number of private and government contracts, including hospitals and schools, and employ 20,000 people in the UK alone, and double that worldwide.
What happened to Carillon?
Carillion went into liquidation after getting into £1.5 billion worth of debt. It is thought that this debt accrued due to the fact that the organisation was overstretching themselves and taking on too many unprofitable projects. They tried to reach a solution by talking with lenders and the Government but a deal couldn’t be reached.

The outcome of Carillion’s collapse is that the public sector has been exposed to a huge amount of disruption. Most of the work in the public sector is likely to be funded by the Government to protect vital services but projects and regular contractual obligations in the private sector will be left unattended. There will also be an impact on small contractors who Carillion were subcontracting to. For these businesses, late payments and failure of contracts could have a significant negative impact.

What now?
Now you may find yourself without a company to carry out your maintenance after previously relying on Carillion to provide this service. As a trusted building services maintenance company, EMS carry out work in commercial, industrial and domestic buildings. We are available to support anybody who has work outstanding due to the Carillion collapse and are able to take care of your mechanical, electrical or building services problems. We have previously worked in areas such as schools, shopping centres and road tunnel facilities so our remit and level of expertise is wide and varied. If you’d like to find out more about who we are and what we do, please call us for a chat on 020 8289 7178 or visit our website. We’d be happy to help.

Jordan Todd, Essex Gun masters, Hepworth Hall

Essex Gun Masters is a clay pigeon shooting completion held just outside Halstead in Essex, the competition is shot over six days, this year multi world Champion George Digweed took the Number one spot with 191 clays out of Two Hundred. Jordan Todd came second in the Colts with a well deserved 165 out of Two Hundred. Well Done Jordan.

Jordan Todd

Environmental Maintenance services are proud to announce that we will be sponsoring Jordan Todd for the next twelve months.
Jordan is a sixteen year old clay pigeon shooter from Kent who is rising up through the ranks. Jordan can be found on Facebook and any other help or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Energy saving Lighting

We are currently programming two lighting upgrades for Ringway Jacobs Depots in Halstead and Childerditch, we would expect better illumination with a projected cost saving of at least 40%

Remeha Quinta pro 65

We have just been instructed by Central Sussex College to install and commission a new Remeha Quinta 65 Pro to the Brickwork training centre at Haywards Heath

Electrical Periodic Inspection & Testing



What is a Periodic Inspection ?

Electrical Installations will deteriorate over time, therefore, should be inspected and tested to make sure they are in satisfactory condition.  Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘Periodic Inspection and Testing.

On completion you will be issued with an Electrical Condition Report (EICR).

How Often will I need a Periodic Inspection ?

Your electrics should be inspected and tested every:

  • 10 years for a home owner.
  •   5 years for a rented home.
  •   5 Years for Schools, Offices & Shops
  •   3 years for Industrial
  •   1 year for Theatres, Restaurants & Hotels
  •   3 years for a caravan
  •   1 year for a swimming pool.

What will the inspection identify?

  • If any of your electrical circuits are overloaded
  • Find any potential  electric shock risks and fire hazards.
  • Indentify any defective electrical work.
  • Reveal any lack of earthing or bonding.

Tests will also be carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check they are safe.

Who Should Carry Out the Periodic Inspection?

Periodic inspections are best left to an experienced electrician or electrical engineer who holds a City and Guilds 2391 – Inspection, Testing and Verification of electrical installations with relevant experience in the installation types being tested.

What Happens During a Periodic Inspection?

The NAPIT Approved Contractor will check the electrical installation against the requirements of BS7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations ( IEE Wiring Regulations) – as amended, which is the national safety standard for electrical installations, and contains around 850 Regulations.

Periodic Tag

The period inspection will take into account all relevant circumstances including the following factors

• Adequacy of earthing and bonding
• Suitability of the switch gear and controlgear e.g. consumer unit e.g.  an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast iron switches, a haphazard mixture of such equipment is likely to need replacing
• Serviceability of equipment e.g. switches, socket-outlets and light fittings e.g. older round pin sockets, round light switches and braided flex hanging from ceiling roses to light fittings, black switches, sockets mounted in skirting boards may require replacing.
• Type of wiring system and its condition e.g. cables coated in black- rubber, black-rubber was phased out in the 1960s or cables coated in lead or fabric are even older and may need replacing (modern cables use pvc insulation)
• Provision of residual current devices for socket-outlets that may be used to plug in electrical equipment used outdoors
• Presence of adequate identification and notices
• Extent of any wear and tear, damage or other deterioration
• Changes in use of the premises which have led to, or might lead to, deficiencies in the installation.

The Approved Contractor will provide an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) as part of the periodic inspection.

 Will testing cause a lot of disruption to the power?

A short power outage can be expected on each circuit within the system. But because most of the testing is carried out whilst the system is still live, these outages can be planned around your daily activities.

 What is a periodic inspection report?

A periodic inspection report (PIR) now called an Electrical Installation Condition Report is a formal method of recording the findings of the inspection, on at least three pages for domestic installations and six pages for larger installations.

Example of Periodic Inspection Report

The main purpose of a PIR is to report on the safety condition of an existing installation. Box E on page 1 should describe the overall condition as either ‘satisfactory’, in which case no immediate remedial work is required, or ‘unsatisfactory’ which means remedial work is required to make the installation safe to use.  Where a PIR describes the installation as ‘unsatisfactory’, the next thing to look at is Box F on page 2 `Observations and Recommendations for Actions to be Taken’.

This is where any departures from BS 7671 are recorded, and a code to indicate the urgency of the action needed is given.

  • Code 1 Requires urgent attention
  • Code 2 Requires improvement
  • Code 3 Requires further investigation
  • Code 4 Does not comply with BS 7671

Code 1 indicates a dangerous, or potentially dangerous, condition that requires urgent attention to make the installation safe. Once you have had an electrician do the necessary remedial work, an appropriate certificate would be issued to confirm that the remedial work has been carried out in accordance with BS 7671.

The electrician will give you a summary of the inspection in the report, which will give a clear indication of the condition of the electrical installation, taking into account all relevant circumstances.

What happens after a periodic Inspection?

If the Periodic Inspection Report recommends improvements to the installation, we at EMS will provide a quotation for the remedial work to be carried out.




Central Sussex College

We have received a confirmation email the Environmental Maintenance Services have retained the maintenance contract for Central Sussex College following a tendering exercise by the college involving five Building services contractors, the contract involves the heating, ventilation and catering equipment maintenance to four campuses, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham and East Grinstead.

Pro Logic Controller

We have successfully programmed a Pro-logic controller to control 12 bathroom ventilation fans to run in normal operation and change over to operate the standby fan every 24 hrs, should any one of the fans fail it will illuminate a warning and automatically change over to the standby fan, this is the second pro-logic controller we have installed in the same building, the first being a bespoke controller to operate the heating and ventilation in the swimming pool area.

Gas Safety – 10 Life Saving Tips

Here at EMS we thought it may be useful to outline some important Safety tips to keep you and family safe against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

Using a Gas Safe Registered (formally known as CORGI Gas) Engineer.

Gas Safety Tips

Gas Safety Tips

  • The Gas Safe Register – previously known as CORGI is the UK’s official gas safety body and any boiler engineer you use should be on the Gas Safe Register.
  • Any boiler engineer you may use to work on your heating system must have an official Gas Safe Register Membership Card.  If they still have a CORGI card, they are not registered, therefore, any works carried out would be illegal.



Gas Safe Register Logo Always look for this Gas Safe Register Logo on the card of your boiler engineer.

Gas Safety – Top 10 Tips

1. All gas appliances should be checked Annually

For safety and piece of mind you should always have your Gas Appliances checked.  If you are on any benefit or a pension then you may be entitled to go on your energy companies Priority Services Register which will entitle you to a free annual Gas Safety Check.

2.Remember to check your engineer is Gas Safe Registered

Always check that your engineer is on the Gas Safe register before they undertake any work.  All gas engineers have a Gas Safe ID card.

This is the Gas Safe ID Card:

Gas Safe ID Card EMS

3. Did you know that it’s illegal for someone who works for Gas Safe Registered business to do private work.

If someone who normally works for a reputable company, but is doing  his own private work ( say at weekends ) is actually illegal and cannot sign off the work.

4. If you do know or suspect anyone working on Gas you should report them.

You can report them to Gas Safe Register and they will investigate their work.

5. Nominate your Gas work for Inspection.

You can nominate your Gas work for inspection free of charge from Gas Safe to make sure it’s been done properly if you’ve had work done within the last six months.

6. If moving to a new property, make sure you get all appliances tested.

Do not always assume the appliances are safe.  Get them checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

7. Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

The symptoms of exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can be similar to those of many other conditions, such as food poisoning and flu. However, unlike flu, carbon monoxide poisoning does not cause a high temperature (fever).

The most common symptoms include:

Your symptoms may be less severe when you are away from the source of the carbon monoxide.

The longer you inhale carbon monoxide, the worse your symptoms will be. You may lose balance, vision and memory. Eventually, you may lose consciousness. This can happen within two hours, if there is a lot of carbon monoxide in the air.

Long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can also lead to neurological symptoms, including:

  • difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • frequent emotional changes – for example, becoming easily irritated, depressed or making impulsive decisions

High levels of carbon monoxide

If you have breathed in high levels of carbon monoxide gas, it is likely that you will experience more severe symptoms. These may include:

  • impaired mental state and personality changes (intoxication)
  • vertigo – the feeling that you or the environment around you is spinning
  • ataxia – loss of physical co-ordination, caused by underlying damage to the brain and nervous system
  • breathlessness and tachycardia (a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute)
  • chest pain caused by angina or a heart attack
  • seizures – an uncontrollable burst of electrical activity in the brain that causes muscle spasms
  • loss of consciousness – in cases where there are very high levels of carbon monoxide, death may occur within minutes.

8. What to do if you suspect a leak of Carbon Monoxide.

If you suspect there is a carbon monoxide leak in your home, You should immediately:

  • Open all doors and windows
  • turn off any Gas Appliances and Gas at the meter
  • extinguish any naked flames
  • get out the house
  • call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 1119 999

You should treat carbon monoxide as you would a fire – this gas can and does kill in minutes, and just because there are no flames and no physical evidence of the gas, this does not make it any less dangerous.

9. Check the Ventilation.

Always ensure there is enough ventilation for your gas appliances to allow them to burn correctly and make sure you are not blocking any air vents that provide an air supply to the gas appliance.

10. Get a Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

Buy an audible carbon monoxide alarm for your home and make sure it is located near to your gas appliances in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms look like a smoke alarm and are easy to install.


By following these 10 tips you will not only have piece of mind but you and your family will be Gas Safe.