How we’ve kept our customers safe and our clients gas safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic
September 9, 2021
IT’S more than fair to say that 2020 was a tumultuous year. The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on almost all areas of our day-to-day lives, with restrictions left, right and centre. But what happens when your gas appliances are due their annual service? With Gas Safety Week just around the corner, J Tomlinson’s Steve Kirkland and Dave Fisher outline just how we’ve continued to keep our customers safe during an unprecedented time.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stipulated that there would be no legal relaxation on gas compliance checks during the pandemic. For some, this may seem contradictory, but when you consider that around 60 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning per year, it is clear that organisations cannot simply take a break when it comes to ensuring gas compliance across their domestic assets.
With people spending more and more time at home due to changing work, ensuring that appliances are safe and operating efficiently is more crucial than ever – especially as we begin to approach colder months.
As a leading contractor to the social housing sector, J Tomlinson works over 70,000 occupied homes per year, undertaking 50,000 gas safety checks, and the safety of our customers and our people remains our core priority. As such, we have adapted our processes to ensure we can undertake critical gas safety and compliance checks in homes across the UK whilst maintaining safe social distancing.
Upon booking or confirming a gas check appointment, J Tomlinson takes the time to understand each resident’s specific circumstances, including if anyone in their home has experienced Covid-19 symptoms, if they are shielding or vulnerable, or have been asked to self-isolate.
Following these checks, we explain to each customer what to expect when their dedicated Gas Safe operative arrives for their pre-scheduled gas check, ensuring that residents are comfortable as well as providing the opportunity to ask any questions about the process.
To further help protect residents and families, J Tomlinson recommends that doors and windows are opened during appointments to ensure good ventilation.
If the dedicated operative is medically exempt from wearing a face covering, customers are notified ahead of time, allowing them to request another operative if they’d prefer.
When undertaking a pre-scheduled gas check at a customer’s home, operatives adhere to social distancing guidelines throughout the duration of their visit, keeping at least 2 metres away from residents and wearing personal protective equipment including gloves and a face covering (unless medically exempt). All operatives undertake regular Covid-19 training and understand the importance of practicing excellent hygiene, so you should notice them washing their hands at regular intervals during your gas safety check appointment.
Steve Kirkland, managing director (maintenance) at J Tomlinson, said: “J Tomlinson is pleased to have been able to continue undertaking gas checks at residential properties, helping to ensure appliances are safe and operating correctly and efficiently, and providing critical peace of mind for our clients and their customers.
“Over the past 12 months, we’ve completed 99.99% of annual gas checks within their compliance anniversary date, which shows that our new processes are working effectively for landlords and customers alike.”
“We know that many residents are worried about having someone in their home at this time, which is perfectly understandable. All J Tomlinson staff – from our contact service centre team to operatives – are fully trained in Covid-19 compliance and will do all they can before and during your visit to ensure you and your family stay safe.”
Dave Fisher, Operations Manager, stresses the importance of feeling at ease during your gas check: “If you are unsure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask. Our people are professional and approachable, and they’re really passionate about what they do. They will be only too happy to talk you through what they’re doing and answer any questions you may have about the process.
“All J Tomlinson engineers carry with them a Gas Safe ID card, which they will present upon arrival – if anyone claiming to be a J Tomlinson Gas Safe engineer doesn’t have this card with them, don’t let them in – instead call the number on your gas appointment letter to speak to one of our team.
Remember – this is your home, and your safety and comfort comes before anything else.”
About J Tomlinson – social housing gas servicing and maintenance
J Tomlinson, which primarily operates across the East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire, and Northern England, works with over 20 registered providers to provide a 24/7/365 gas service. Clients include Ashfield District Council, Bromford Group, Futures Housing Group and Birmingham University. 100% of gas work is undertaken by the firm’s directly employed workforce.
For more information about J Tomlinson, visit www.jtomlinson.co.uk
J Tomlinson, which was founded in Nottingham the 1950s, works primarily across the Midlands, Yorkshire and Northern and Central England.
The company provides a range of sustainable building solutions including refurbishment, repairs and maintenance, engineering services, extra care construction, renewable energy, and facilities management, working across a range of key sectors including extra care, healthcare, blue light, social housing and local government.