Heating merchants and distributors are being warned about the rise of cheap, imitation fire safety valves from overseas. Engineering specialist Teddington has reported an increase in the number of its customers that are being offered fire safety valves imported into the UK.
The Cornwall based company, which manufactures the KBB fire safety valve, is now warning merchants and distributors to be wary of cheap imitations that may not be industry approved.
Kenneth Maxwell, Teddington Sales Manager, said: “Since the beginning of the year a number of our customers have come to us and said they’ve been offered fire safety valves at a lower price.
“In many cases they look identical to our KBB and even have similar labelling – but they are manufactured abroad and may not be subject to the same quality control checks that we have here.
“We decided to take this step and warn others because we want them to continue to buy from reputable manufacturers, ones that are industry and OFTEC approved. For the sake of saving just a few pounds, it’s not worth the risk.”
OFTEC’s Technical Director, Tim Lock, commented: “If oil equipment is for sale at a significantly reduced price, there is probably a reason why. The oil heating industry prides itself on its safety record and we cannot let imitation products enter the marketplace. We would always encourage people to check with us first if they are unsure of the origin of equipment. We have a list of approved manufacturers and can advise accordingly.”
The warning comes after Travis Perkins Group and Wolseley signed deals to stock Teddington’s KBB.
Dennis Grogan, Commercial Manager, Travis Perkins – Group Spares, said: “The KBB is a quality product that has been protecting homes for 60 years. We’re delighted to have this agreement in place and look forward to working with Teddington for a long time to come.”
Teddington’s KBB is said to provide essential protection for properties using oil fired boilers –stopping the flow of oil and protecting homes against the risk of fire if a set temperature is exceeded.
The device, which is fully OFTEC approved and comes with a three-year warranty, is installed in the oil supply outside the building, with the sensor mounted inside the boiler above the burner. The valve will automatically close if the temperature at the sensor exceeds the set value.
OFTEC regulations state fire safety valves should be inspected annually for any signs of damage or leakage at joints with the oil supply pipe.
The sensory capillary of the valve should also be checked throughout its length for any kinks or damage and to ensure it is adequately supported and protected. The correct operation of the valve should be observed using test equipment such as Teddington’s KBT1000.