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Consumer news, Trading Standards prosecutions

Rogue stove installer pleads guilty

Posted on: 23 January 2019

An unqualified stove fitter from Somerset who lied about his certification and installed an appliance so badly it produced carbon monoxide whenever it was lit, has pleaded guilty to 15 offences.

On Tuesday 22 January Daniel Park, 26, of Langmead Square, Crewkerne, attended Yeovil Magistrates Court for sentencing in a prosecution brought by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service.

Park had pleaded guilty to the offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 at a previous hearing.

Yeovil magistrates’ called Park’s work ‘very dangerous’ and ruled that the case was so serious that it should be referred to Taunton Crown Court for sentencing.

Park operated under the names ‘Flaming Burners’ and ‘Flames & Flues’, fitting solid fuel burning stoves and log burners.

The court heard that over an 18-month period, Park carried out substandard work throughout Somerset and failed to issue the correct certification.

It’s a legal requirement to have fuel burning stoves certified to demonstrate compliance with building regulations.

This is important because the installation is checked to ensure that it is safe to use and has not damaged the fabric of the existing building. If it’s not done, the homeowner can be liable.

In fact, Park was never properly qualified to carry out the certification and when contacted by consumers to resolve issues, he failed to turn up to rectify the problems.

On more than one occasion he failed to properly install carbon monoxide alarms with potentially serious consequences.

Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas that is highly poisonous which is produced by all devices and appliances that produce combustion fumes including wood burning stoves.

One stove fitted by Park couldn’t be used as it set off a carbon monoxide alarm whenever it was lit.

Over the same period Park mislead customers in Chard, Crewkerne, Shepton Mallet and Yeovil about his qualifications and certification. On his website and Facebook, he said he was able to certify work when he was not.

He took an image of an installation carried out by a legitimate trader and misleadingly presented it as if it was an image of his own work.

Park is now due to appear at Taunton Crown Court on 15 February 2019.

Rachael Holden, Devon, Somerset, and Torbay Trading Standards’ Group Manager for Business Support and Innovation, said: “The installation of this sort of equipment needs to be done or checked by a professionally qualified person, such as those on the Hetas register or ideally, someone in the Buy With Confidence scheme where traders are vetted by trading standards.”