NACE Seminar Experience on Behalf of LABC & Environmental Health
As editor of Fireplace.co.uk I was pleased to accept an invite to attend a number of recent NACE Seminar / Workshop events held on behalf of both LABC and Environmental Health (enforcement).
The National Association of Chimney Engineers (NACE) regularly provide ‘Chimney, Combustion appliance, and Smoke Nuisance’ workshop events around the country for large groups of highly professional enforcement personnel, the latest workshop events were held at a wonderful Georgian grade 1 listed mansion ‘Himley Hall’ in Dudley West Midlands and at the ‘Canal Side’ Conference Centre, Middlewich . Both events very well attended. These NACE workshops were hosted by NACE Chairman and Technical Director Howard Cane who regularly lectures to around 40+ attendees at a time on average with many more applicants unable to book places. These events are supported with NACE Executive Directors in attendance with senior EH and LABC staff who lead the planning and organisation of each event workshop.
I was astonished at the level of authority present at both event workshops as there appeared to be many senior EH and LABC attendees at each event with a range of interdisciplinary backgrounds covering Environmental Management, Building ControlHealth & Safety, Environmental Health and Enforcement.
The format of each workshop included single lectures, case studies, group discussions and practical demonstrations with those attending offered opportunities to dismantle a real appliance (stove) , handle flexible liners and cowls as well as a large number of industry components. Many myths were ably dismantled in a scientific, logical as well as a mechanically forensic manner so that those attending went away fully appreciative of the need to be ‘better equipped and better informed’
The facilitators with their extensive interdisciplinary backgrounds of Chimney Engineering, Thermal-Dynamics, Installation methods and procedures, Regulatory and Statutory documentation, Fire Risk, Consumer Safety and Compliance, Conservation pre-requisite method statements, Audit trails and Forensic investigation were able present an interactive lively, informative and hands on approach to the day’s well-presented topic areas and make this an enjoyable experience. Each workshop was intensive, with a focus on understanding the processes of combustion and in particular the causes of domestic smoke nuisances, contributing factors such as lack of combustion ventilation, PM release of volatile emissions, poor burning procedures and uncontrollable temperature levels, dew point., defective flue systems, multi-occupancy dwellings, correct chimney / flue system design, meteorological, atmospheric and topographical impacts, incorrect and dangerous installations, what constitutes DEFRA approved appliances, CPS, (competent person schemes) registrant liability all related to consumer use in a domestic environment.
Other very interesting areas explored were; Establishing audit trails, correct fuel use, user operation and how to identify and register defects, failures, and non-compliances in context to a smoke nuisance complaint.
During both seminar / workshops I was able to engage with a number of the participants, the overall impression was of genuine excellence at the content and delivery by the lecturer. Many were astounded at their individual lack of industry knowledge and incorrect assumptions based upon hearsay, these according to one attendee had been adequately ‘‘topped & tailed”
Many of those attending confessed an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of the workshop, as well as the varied backgrounds and experience of the participants, which was reflected in group discussions and exercises through a very busy day. The majority found the case studies, group discussions and reference to physical components useful, insightful and applicable to their day to day responsibilities.
On the whole I have to admit to not only enjoying the interactive environment I actually joined in with a number of my own questions. These technically competent seminar and workshop experiences and those lecturing have left a considerable impression, I am unaware of any other professional body able to undertake this technically competent and incredibly important role as necessary ambassadors for our industry.
I very much look forward to my next round of invites!
The National Association of Chimney Engineers
PO Box 849, Metheringham
Enquiries: 01526 322555
Fax: 01526 888007
I was so impressed by the presentation and delivery of what is substantive theoretical knowledge in its application to everyday practical real life situations faced day-to-day by those within the fireplace industry.
Firplace.co.uk will if the interest is there co-sponsor with NACE a series of workshops for Installers, Sweeps and other industry professionals to help address the many issues which we all recognise are very real and present within our industry and impact upon the daily working lives of sweeps, installers etc.
We are also very keen to develop with the assistance of NACE an interactive letters page where issues of a technical, legal , and regulatory nature can be discussed and bought to the fore. - Phil Cleaver
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