We had a wonderful visit to Tanfield Lea Community Primary School today to deliver High Viz vests for children who will be taking part in the schools Anti-Bullying Champions campaign. The vests are supplied and branded for 3 Schools: Tanfield Lea, Brandon Primary School and Langley Moor Primary School. As with our previous support with Fatfield Academy, this is to help the Anti-Bullying Champions stand out in style as they help at playtime.
We were lucky to have such wonderful models! – a big thank you to the children taking part.
Children from Tanfield Lea Community Primary School Modelling the Anti Bullying Champions Vests
Further to our compliance with GDPR in 2018, Arktek are pleased to announce that we have gone one step further and have now been accredited with ISO 27001:2013.
ISO 27001 is the international standard that describes best practice for an ISMS (information security management system). An ISMS is a systematic approach consisting of processes, technology and people that helps us protect and manage all of our stored information through effective risk management.
The Difference between ISO 27001 and GDPR ISO 27001 mandates that organisations conduct a thorough risk assessment by identifying threats and vulnerabilities that can affect an organisation’s information assets, and to take steps to assure the confidentiality, availability and integrity (CIA) of that data.
GDPR specifically requires a risk assessment to ensure an organisation has identified risks that can impact personal data.
Business continuity ISO 27001 addresses the importance of business continuity management, whereby it provides a set of controls that will assist the organisation to protect the availability of information in case of an incident and protect critical business processes from the effects of major disasters to ensure their timely resumption.
ISO 27001 compliance means that Arktek is constantly reviewing and updating our ISMS in line with changes to the threat environment and business developments.
The Benefits of ISO 27001 Compliance include:
Increased reliability and security of our systems and information
Improved customer and business partner confidence
Increased business resilience
Alignment with our customer requirements
Further improvement of our management processes and integration with corporate risk strategies
Carbon monoxide is one guest you don’t want to invite into your home this Christmas season. It’s silent and deadly.
Carbon Monoxide symptoms can be hard to spot because they resemble flu-like symptoms. The six main symptoms to look out for are headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide, commonly referred to as CO, is an invisible, odourless, colourless, toxic gas.
How is it produced?
Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of common fuels such as gas, coal, natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene and methane, or any other combustible material such as wood, cloth or paper. Fuels burn incompletely when there isn’t an adequate supply of oxygen.
What are the potential sources?
Potential sources found in your home and garage include:
Clogged chimney flues
Gas space heaters
Wood and gas stoves
Charcoal grills and barbecues
Vehicle exhaust fumes
Vehicle exhaust, especially from attached garages or vehicles parked close to ventilation intakes
How can I prevent it?
The risk of poisoning reductions significantly when appliances are frequently maintained and correctly ventilated.
Fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, stoves and fireplaces, as well as chimneys and vents should be cleaned and inspected every year before cold weather sets in.
Vents for fuel-burning appliances should always be clear of debris.
Gas and charcoal barbecues should be used outside, away from all building openings.
Portable fuel-burning generators should be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from building openings. Portable fuel-burning heaters should be vented properly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Other ways to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
Never using the stove or oven to heat your home.
Open the flue for adequate ventilation before using a fireplace.
Never run a vehicle or other fuelled engine or motor inside a garage, even if the garage doors are open.
Always remove a vehicle from the garage immediately after starting it.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Where can I purchase a Carbon Monoxide alarm?
Modern CO alarms are similar in design to smoke alarms (which do not detect CO) and can be purchased from around £15.00 at most major retail outlets including DIY stores and supermarkets.
What should I do if the alarm goes off?
Follow the steps below if you or anyone in your home is suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Get everyone out of the home immediately.
Call 911 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
Do not return to your home until an official advises that it is safe to do so.
If your alarm sounds and no one is suffering from symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing or the alarm has reached its end-of-life before calling 911.
How do I test and replace the alarm?
Alarms should be tested monthly by pressing the test button.
Replace batteries every year.
Replace alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
What should I do if I suspect CO poisoning?
Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and leave the house.
See your doctor immediately or go to hospital – let them know that you suspect CO poisoning. They can do a blood or breath test to check.
If you think there is an immediate danger, call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
Remember, the risk of poisoning reductions significantly when appliances are frequently maintained, contact Arktek today on 0191 516 6911 to arrange a Gas Safety Check to protect your home against Carbon Monoxide.
We are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2018, taking place 17– 23 September.
Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.
Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly with no warning, as you cannot see it, taste it or smell it.
By taking care of your gas appliances properly you are taking care of your home and your loved ones. Follow these few simple checks to keep you and your family safe.
Check your Landlord’s Gas Safety Record. By law, your landlord must keep gas pipework, appliances and flues supplied for you to use in good condition. They must arrange a gas safety check of the appliances and flues every 12 months and give you a record of the check.
Check any gas appliances you own every year. Gas appliances should be safety checked once a year and serviced regularly by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Set a reminder so you don’t forget at co.uk.
Check your engineer is Gas Safe registered. You can find or check an engineer at gassaferegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.
Check your engineer is qualified for the type of gas work you need doing g. natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the back of their Gas Safe ID card and the Gas Safe Register website.
Check for warning signs that your appliances aren’t working correctly, such as lazy yellow /orange flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks on or around the appliance, a pilot light that keeps going out and too much condensation in the room.
Know the six main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness.
Have an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.
For gas safety advice and to find or check an engineer visit the Gas Safe Register website at GasSafeRegister.co.uk.
Ever since the moment the images of a whale in the Antarctic mourning her poisoned calf were shown on the BBC’s Blue Planet II, the issue of how much damage plastic is doing to the planet has been of constant attention. An estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in oceans each year, and it is everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads. Plastics are everywhere we look including our homes and our workplaces. It has been speculated that the human race is so dependent upon plastic that we cannot live in a world without it. However, we can certainly have a world in which we use less.The UK government has committed to a £61.4m fund to support Commonwealth countries in fighting the increase of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans whilst also announcing a ban on the use of plastic straws and other single-use plastic products.
While most people do want to help with reducing the amount of plastic going to land fill, not everyone is clear on how to do so. For example, only 46% of people know that plastic bags can be recycled at supermarkets up and down the country at their special collection points. This would also include the plastic wrap used on magazines. Morrisons are also introducing brown paper bags for their loose fruit and vegetables and have already introduced a scheme where customers can bring their own containers to use at the meat and fish counters and they will get 100 loyalty points each time they do. Morrisons, along with Aldi, Asda, Lidl, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose have signed up to the UK Plastics Pact and have pledged, along with many other things, that by 2025 100% of plastic packaging is to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
What is the UK Plastics Pact?
It is an initiative that brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain in collaboration to change in the way we design, produce, use, re-use, dispose and reprocess plastics. (www.wrap.org.uk). Members also include: Birdseye, Boots, Britvic, Coca Cola European Partners, Danone, Lakeland, McCain and Nestle. The set of pledges to tackle pollution over the next 7 years include: Eliminate difficult or unnecessary single use plastic packaging through better design, make sure 70% of plastic packaging is recycled or composted and to ensure 30% of packaging is to include recycled material. The pact has been praised and welcomed by many environmental groups.
What can you do to reduce your plastic footprint?
Bring your own water bottle – Try using a refillable bottle instead of buying bottled water.
Reconsider using black plastic – Even though they are recyclable, pure carbon-black plastic is sometimes not picked up by the infrared sorting machines at recycling plants in the UK and is then rejected and sent to land fill
Screw lids back on – By screwing plastic lids back on to their bottles and pushing straws back into the cartons it helps them to make their way through the recycling sorting machines. On their own they are too small to make it through.
Recycle your bags and plastic film – By taking recyclable plastic film and left-over carrier bags back to recycling points at the supermarket.
Foil instead of Cling Film – Unlike cling film, foil is fully recyclable. So next time you’re planning a picnic or even if you’re just wrapping your sandwiches for your lunch try wrapping them in foil.
Freshen your breath with mints instead of chewing gum – Chewing gum, surprisingly, contains plastic and is not degradable. This then ends up littering our streets and beaches.
Reuse plastic containers – Could you put leftovers in an old ice cream tub or reuse an old margarine tub to store things in the fridge or freezer?
Buy loose fruit and veg – Try using paper bags to pack your groceries or just load them straight into your reusable shopping bags.
Reduce your online shopping – Packaging from internet shopping is a major source of waste. Even the smallest of items come in a large box surrounded by plastic, paper and polystyrene.
Say no to plastic straws and stirrers – These are the items mostly found on beaches and in oceans. They also break down further to become harmful micro plastics.
Use a reusable coffee cup – Can’t live without your caffeine fix on a morning? Try taking your own reusable coffee cup. Some coffee shops even give you a discount on hot drinks for doing so.
Use a reusable bag – Many companies have reusable shopping bags to hand out to customers in an attempt to help reduce plastic waste. We even have them here at Arktek Group Ltd. Please contact us if you would like a reusable bag by using our contact form or by calling us on 0191 5166911 to request one. Hurry while stocks last!
Plastic pollution is a continuing problem and the solution starts with us. By purchasing more eco friendly alternatives to plastic or just purchasing less stuff we have the can start to make a difference.
Boiler servicing is one of those tasks that is often easily forgotten about. You may get a notification at the start of spring advising that this is due, you make a mental note to book it in and before you know its just another thing forgotten. When you eventually remember again it’s the middle of Christmas, you have the whole family staying over and you have more important things to worry about and then all of a sudden, the boiler goes.
It’s easy to think that the boiler does not get used during the summer months, but whilst you may not use your heating during the summer, the chances are you are still using hot water regularly. The boiler could then be running into issues and these would go unnoticed until the winter when the boiler is being used excessively. Having the boiler serviced annually means that the engineer will identify any potential issues and fix these before there is any major damage. Servicing your boiler probably costs less than you think and it would definitely cost less than replacing your boiler completely.
Maintaining your boiler and getting it checked regularly will keep the boiler running efficiently and because you’ll catch any issues early on, your boiler will be less likely to break down later. A healthy and well-maintained boiler will most likely last longer than a boiler that has not been serviced.
Getting your boiler serviced regularly can actually help to save money on your gas bills. As part of your service, the engineer will carry out all the necessary checks to make sure that your boiler is running efficiently. The more efficient the boiler is, the less energy it will take to run.
According to the Department of Health and Social Care, 4000 people go to A&E each year with carbon monoxide poisoning and because the symptoms can easily be mistaken for other illnesses (headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapsing and loss of consciousness) sometimes it is not caught in time and can be fatal. Every year there are about 25 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales. Servicing the boiler gives you peace of mind that it is running safely and puts you at ease that your family is safe.
Another reason to get your boiler serviced regularly is to ensure that you do not void any guarantee that you may have. Boiler warranties will only apply if the boiler is serviced on an annual basis. If you don’t service your boiler this will void the warranty and if it does break down you would not be able to claim any money for the repairs.
Have you serviced your boiler in the last 12 months?
If you haven’t had your boiler serviced in a while, now may be the perfect time to book this in. There are a wide range of reasons why you should do this annually and for a small charge it really could be the difference between life or death.
Arktek Group Ltd have fully accredited gas engineers on hand to provide annual boiler services and gas safety checks to your domestic premise. Why not find out more by visiting www.arktekheating.co.uk or call us on 0191 516 6911 and speak to one of our customer services team.
There are many ways energy can be saved in your home, these include:
Switching off lights when leaving an empty room could save on average £15 a year on electricity bills.
Close your curtains to help keep heat in and stop it from escaping through the windows. Ensure the curtains are not draped over any radiators that are underneath your windows.
Switch off appliances fully where you can and don’t leave them on standby.
Defrost fridges and freezers regularly to keep them running efficiently and to stop ice building up. Appliances uses more power if they have to work harder.
Run washing machines on a full load. Using economy setting and running the washing machine at 30 degrees can also use less energy.
Take a shower instead of having a bath. Showers are usually faster, cheaper and more efficient.
Turning the thermostat down on your boiler by only 1 degree can save up to £80 a year on the average gas bill.
Running your heating for an hour less each day will also save energy and still helps to take the chill off enough through the winter.
Check all your radiators regularly to see if they need bleeding. Radiators that aren’t working to their fullest can make your boiler work harder meaning it will use more fuel.
Use a washing up bowl to clean your dirty dishes rather than running the water.
Use energy saving light bulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs.
Make sure your mobile phone chargers are switched off when not in use. These still use energy when they are plugged in, even of they are not in use.
Use the microwave instead of the oven – It cooks food quicker.
Don’t hang clothes on your radiators to dry, it makes your boiler work harder than it needs to.
Insulating your home can save up to £250 a year on heating costs. Insulation will help to retain the heat circulating around your home.
If you have an old inefficient boiler, look into upgrading this to a newer boiler. This will last longer and work much more efficiently. Call the Arktek office on 0191 5166911 to discuss boiler options available and to arrange a survey with our fully qualified gas engineers.
Arktek Directors Nigel Jones and Mark Bewick enjoyed an eventful afternoon at Fatfield Academy as they attended the Summer Fair this afternoon.
Arktek sponsor the school’s Play Leaders and Play Pals as part of the initiative to improve support at break and lunch times and were there to present the children with their new uniforms. The children all received hi-vis vests and caps to help them stand out in style as they help at playtime. Staff were also there to talk to the children about energy saving and handing out balloons displaying Archie the Arktek Owl and prizes for their participation. It was great to see so many smiling faces and so many children interested in the stand – nothing to do with the sweets of course! We look forward to supporting the school in future ventures and hope to be invited back some time soon.
Arktek would like to introduce our new mascot – Archie
Archie is the product of a competition held by Arktek staff to come up with the idea for a mascot that would help communicate our core values and relate to our brand, and yes if we are truthful, help soften our brand a little.
Out of many different ideas for animals (and other items!) we collectively felt that our owl – which our staff have named “Archie” best reflected our brand.
Arktek staff and a number of our customer have certainly taken to Archie – we hope you too! – He is after all, a very friendly little chap!
We are sure you will be seeing a lot more of him in the future!
This week has been a cold reminder of just how unpredictable Mother Nature can be. The polar vortex has been making its presence felt all over the UK and even the more fortunate parts have noticed a drop in the temperature.
With the “Beast from the East” set to stay with us for the rest of the week and with some parts of the country under amber alert, here are some of our tips on how to keep yourself warm and cosy until the cold snap passes.
1. Make use of your curtains
Although this week the sun was a rarity, it’s good practice to keep your curtains open during the day in order to let the sunlight in and make use of its free heat. As the night settles in, shut your curtains as they will act as another layer of protection and help keep your room warm. If you are able to, check that you don’t have any gaps that will allow condensation to form and the warmth to be lost.
2. Block out the draughts
There are many simple DIY solutions that can help you preserve the heat in your home. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that DIY draught-proofing your doors, windows and cracks in the floor could save you £25 per year. Check your doors and windows and make sure they are properly sealed. If you notice any problems, using self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught excluders can help reduce the heat that is lost and keep the cold air out.
3. Bleed your radiators
Sometimes air gets trapped at the top of your radiator stopping the hot water from rising. This in turn reduces the efficiency of your radiator and makes you spend more to be warm. Using a radiator bleed key open the valve on the top and you will hear air hissing. The moment water starts to drip close it.
4. Service your boiler
Gas appliances must be serviced annually in order to ensure their warranty and safety. Having an expert check your boiler will not only prolong its life but it will also help maintain its efficiency. You should never ignore your service date as the cost of repair will most likely be higher than the cost of a service.
5. Insulate your property
Whether it is a room in roof, a wall or a loft that needs to be insulated it is a good idea to check if your home needs it. Up to 25% of the heat in your home is lost through the roof and around 35% through uninsulated walls. That means that if your homes insulation is not up to standard 25 to 35% of the money you send on your energy bill is going down the drain.
6. Get an electric heater
A cheaper alternative to turning the heat up way past your normal level is to buy a small electric heater and place it next to where yourself. The latest electric heaters have to conform to new efficiency standards making this an affordable yet temporary solution.
These were our choice of tips on how to keep your property warm. The polar vortex is expected to pass after this week however the lesson here is to always be prepared. Don’t wait until next December to start thinking about how you can make your property more energy efficient. If you have any questions or would like to know more about how we can help give us a call on 0191 516 6911 or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org