As lockdown continues in Ireland, OFTEC, that represents the liquid fuel sector, is providing advice for householders in the event of home heating emergencies.
The organisation has issued new guidelines to households to help answer questions on whether maintenance or servicing work can still be carried out in the home during the continued Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
With Phase 1 of Ireland’s Roadmap for reopening launched recently, many households may now be asking whether work can still go ahead on their property in the current climate. In response, OFTEC has answered some of the most common questions to help homeowners comply with government advice and stay safe.
Can work continue in my home?
At present, only emergency and repair work can be carried out by heating technicians in Ireland in your home. If you have an emergency and a technician is visiting, ideally you should stay in another room while work is carried out and the two metre social distancing rules must be followed at all times. If the work is outside your home, non-emergency works can commence but with social distancing requirements continuing to apply.
OFTEC has advised technicians to undertake additional risk assessments and many businesses have indicated that they will only carry out emergency work at present due to the current restrictions imposed by Government.
Are there circumstances when work must not be carried out in my home?
Work should not be carried out in households where occupants are self-isolating or being ‘shielded’. If there is an urgent need to address a direct risk to those living in the property, such as emergency plumbing or repair work, this can go ahead if the tradesperson is willing to do so. Additional precautions may also need to be put in place.
If it is safe to carry out work in my home, what should I expect?
Many tradespeople have introduced additional precautionary measures and it is important to follow these carefully. They may include:
l Asking you to stay in a separate room whilst the work is completed
l Requesting doors and windows are open to increase ventilation
l Adapting payment methods, eg no paper invoices or cash payments
l Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
l Regularly washing their hands and bringing their own towel
l Declining refreshments
Can I still have heating oil delivered?
Yes. There are 680,000 homes in Ireland who rely on oil to heat their homes and the good news is, the price of oil has plummeted which is a welcome relief when many incomes may have been reduced. Oil deliveries continue as normal but please do not approach the delivery driver as they will be observing social distancing. Most if not all will require prepayment by card and it is unlikely that cash will be received.
For further information go to www.oftec.org/consumers