5 Gas Safety Tips For Park Home Owners

carbon monoxide alarm - gas safety tips for park home owners

Jacqueline Gallazzi-Ritchie is the director of the gas safety and boiler replacement company All England Gas. Here, she shares what park home owners need to know and do to keep themselves safe with her 5 gas safety tips! Gas Safety Week every September sees organisations from across the UK will be working to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly-maintained gas appliances. A lot of this advice tends to be aimed at those with traditional brick and mortar homes, but it’s an issue that also affects those who live in park homes. So, here, I’m going to share my top tips to keep park home owners safe.  5 Gas Safety Tips For Park Home Owners Only use Gas Safe registered engineers  It’s incredibly important that gas appliances are only ever installed or serviced by engineers who are on the official Gas Safe Register — you can check this by asking any boiler engineer who visits your site whether you can see their membership card. This should show a yellow Gas Safe Register triangle (not the orange CORGI registration badge that was replaced back in 2009).  This card will also outline what kinds of jobs they’re qualified to work on. So, for example, someone might be able to fix a boiler, but might not have the necessary skills to install a gas fire.  Make sure your gas appliances are checked every year  Get into the habit of having your boiler serviced once a year. Not only will this give you peace of mind, but it could also help to save money as a Gas Safe engineer will be able to spot any issues or causes for concern. These can then be addressed quickly, before any more damage is caused.  It’s also a good idea to have boilers serviced if you have recently bought a park home, as the previous owner mightn’t have put enough effort into maintaining it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry where gas and boilers are concerned!  Install carbon monoxide alarms  One of the biggest dangers associated with gas boilers is carbon monoxide poisoning, which can occur if a boiler becomes faulty and begins to leak this potentially deadly gas. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home will alert you if it detects the levels rising in the air.  Carbon monoxide detectors can often be picked up from a DIY store for as little as £20 — just make sure your chosen one has a British or European Kitemark, so you know it’s reliable.  Learn how to spot and treat carbon monoxide poisoning  I would also recommend learning how to spot and treat carbon monoxide, just in case. Each year, there are around 60 deaths caused by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales, so you can never be too careful.  The main symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning you need to look out for are:  • Tension-type headaches  • Dizziness  • Feeling and being sick  • Tiredness and confusion  • Stomach pain  • Shortness of breath  If you suspect that someone is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, turn off all gas appliances, open windows and doors, evacuate the home, contact a gas engineer, and make sure those affected get check out by a doctor. You can also call the Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999 if you think there might be a major gas leak in your site.  Address any boiler problems immediately  Finally, if you spot any boiler issues between services, it’s vital that you contact an engineer as soon as possible. If problems are left to fester, they can become much worse and possibly even dangerous. If left for too long, it’s likely they’ll cost a lot more to repair, or you might even be forced to replace a park home’s boiler completely. It’s much better to address any problems you notice sooner rather than later. So, if a boiler is behaving strangely — perhaps it’s making strange noises or not doing its job properly — deal with it as soon as possible.  Check a company’s status on the Gas Safe Register website, or call 0800 408 5500.

Eviction And The Caravan Sites Act 1968

A standard caravan park where the owners have to deal with eviction

Part of running a caravan site involves the collection of debt and eviction of tenants – for a variety of different reasons you may need to remove tenants from your site. Shelter explains that park home residents who have a contract with the owner of a protected site may be protected under the Caravan Sites Act 1968. This applies to all occupiers of park homes who: a) live on a protected site (one which requires a site licence, or would if it were not owned by the local authority), and b) have a residential contract with the park owner (this includes agreements under the Mobile Homes Act 1983). How you remove tenants from your site is of paramount importance and, if not done carefully, could result in a lengthy and costly lawsuit. How residents are protected from harassment is defined in the Caravan Sites Act, as amended by the Housing Act 2004, as any action that interferes or is likely to interfere with the peace and comfort of the occupier, or the persistent withdrawal of services or facilities reasonably required for the occupation of the caravan on the site. These acts must be carried out within the knowledge that they are likely to cause the occupier to abandon the caravan, remove it from the site, or to refrain from exercising any right in relation to the caravan. Park home occupiers covered by the Act are protected from eviction during the period of their contract – and after their contract expires, unless a court order for possession has been obtained. Occupiers are protected against the actions of site owners and their agents.  Offences under the Act are both civil and criminal offences, and action can be brought in the same way as action under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.  If you are having issues with a tenant and they are reaching the end of their contract, or if you feel they have breached the terms of said contract, then get in touch with a specialist legal advisor who can guide you through the process of eviction.

What insurance risks do holiday park customers face in winter?

holiday park in the winter, insurance risks

This month, Leisuredays Business Development Manager Steve Parker looks at the insurance risks faced by holiday park customers in winter. Each winter, both park owners and insurance brokers often brace themselves for stormy weather or freezing temperatures. Unfortunately holiday caravans are not as well insulated as our homes and seaside parks can bear the brunt of turbulent weather. Here at Leisuredays, our most common winter insurance claims are almost always weather-related. Storm damage was the top holiday caravan insurance claim last winter, accounting for 20 per cent of all holiday caravan claims. Other common claims were escape of water and boiler damage, often caused by frozen pipe damage, highlighting the importance of draining down static caravans or lodges from November until mid-March if they’re not in use on your park. Leisuredays policyholders are always issued advice on how to take precautions to protect their pride and joy during these colder, winter months, as well as how parks can help owners drain down and advice on lagging any exposed pipes or adjusting boilers appropriately. It’s also worth checking that owners have taken any outdoor furniture and other outside equipment inside to avoid any external damage when windy weather strikes. Plus, winter can attract unwelcome visitors, such as vermin or in some cases thieves or vandals. “We did deal with a handful of vandalism, vermin and theft claims last winter, so it pays to take steps to mitigate these risks,” said Steve. Here are a few simple things park owners can do to protect their customers before winter weather and other perils strike: • Make sure all your customers are adequately insured and dealing with a specialist and reputable insurance provider. Look for benefits such as debris removal so any badly damaged units can be removed quickly and also for experience of settling claims quickly, with prompt repairs and replacements. • Help customers drain down completely for when your park is closed or how to undertake a simple drain down when the park is open but the caravan is to be left unattended, offering as much support as possible. See our advice for customers at www.leisuredays.co.uk/winter-weather. • Make sure customers lock all doors, windows and skylights, as well as clearing their verandas and decking, and checking seams, seals and guttering. It’s also a good idea to clean their holiday caravans – inside and out – and remove any valuables, food and bedding.  Existing Leisuredays parks can contact their Business Development Manager at any time for support with claims over winter as well as our award winning Claims Liaison Team. If you don’t currently work with Leisuredays and want to find out more about how they can insure your park customers contact the Leisuredays Development Team on 01422 396 772, email development@leisuredays.co.uk or visit www.leisuredays.co.uk/parkoperators.

Club sites invite members to celebrate festivities

Christmas tree - Club sites invite members to celebrate festivities

The Camping and Caravanning Club will welcome campers through to the end of the year. Ten Club Sites in the UK will remain open until early January, while 16 more are open all year-round. Many of these Club Sites are also holding special events to help campers make the most of the festive period. Darren Whittington, Director of Operations, said: “More Club Members are choosing to camp later in the year and we are extending our site opening periods to accommodate this. “The Club is committed to ensuring all our sites are well-equipped for winter touring so that they can continue to stay open throughout the entire year.” What’s more, a number of Club Sites are also embracing the spirit of Christmas. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served at both Blackmore (Worcestershire) and Boroughbridge (North Yorkshire) on Christmas Eve. Darren added: “Our Club Sites offer a warm, Friendly Club welcome where campers will be able to really get into the Christmas spirit.” The Club also has several sites close to Christmas markets that are perfect for a mid-winter break and shopping for gifts, such as Salisbury, Canterbury and Oxford. Camping in the Forest, one of the Club’s brands, also has four sites across the UK that are open year-round. These include Bracelands (Forest of Dean), Setthorns (New Forest), Glenmore (Cairngorms National Park) and Postern Hill (Savernake Forest). In addition to the Christmas camping opportunities, there are several Club Site events for Halloween. The Site Team at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire is hosting a number of Halloween-themed events throughout the October half-term. A spooky treasure hunt, a ‘pimp-your-pumpkin’ session, and a competition for the spookiest site pitch are just some of the activities to expect. The following sites are open throughout the year: •    Blackmore, Worcestershire•    Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire•    Canterbury, Kent•    Chertsey, Surrey•    Conkers, Derbyshire•    Delamere Forest, Cheshire•    Devizes, Wiltshire•    Hertford, Hertfordshire•    Keswick, Cumbria•    Kingsbury Water Park, West Midlands•    Loch Ness Shores, Scotland•    Moffat, Scotland•    Oxford, Oxfordshire•    Tavistock, Devon•    Teversal, Nottinghamshire•    Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire Club Sites with extended opening include: •    Bellingham, Northumberland: Closes 5 January 2020•    Braithwaite Fold, Lake District: Closes 2 January 2020•    Cheddar, Somerset: Closes 5 January 2020•    Derwentwater, Lake District: Closes 2 January 2020•    Polstead, Suffolk: Closes 6 January 2020•    Salisbury, Wiltshire: Closes 3 January 2020•    Sandringham, Norfolk: Closes 6 January 2020•    Scone, Perthshire: Closes 2 January 2020•    Winchcombe, Gloucestershire: Closes 6 January 2020•    Windermere, Lake District: Closes 14 January 2020 For more information on all of the winter camping on UK Club Sites visit www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/year-round-sites.

Glamp-Tankology with Glampsan

Family sat outside of Glampsan pod

At Glampsan, we hope that your glamping business is thriving. We know that your business is all about putting your guests first: after all, they spend their hard-earned cash with you, to relax. Moreover, they want to spend time with family and friends and stay ‘off-grid’ and what’s more, glampers wish for the same home-from-home comforts. So, hot and cold running water, a shower and private flushing toilets is a must. These days getting rid of all that whiffy waste is much more sophisticated than ‘a bucket and chuck it!’ That’s why we’ve got you covered at Glampsan. Glampsan is a division of Plastic Solutions (Aldridge) Ltd – a market-leading supplier of plastic effluent waste tanks, potable water tanks, portable urinals and composting toilets as well as waste pumps and spares for all your sewage sanitation needs and, much more. We have over six decades of collective experience in the sanitation industry within the management team alone supplying our products all over the UK and Continental Europe. Glampsan is a new division providing our wealth of past expertise and amazing products to the growing glamping, camping and caravanning sectors.   Simple and more complex solutions As a new or expanding glamping business, you will no doubt wish to get moving quickly. However, one of your biggest “headaches” might be dealing with all the effluent. It’s surprising how much effluent waste your holiday guests produce in a few days, let alone a week! On average, a glamper can produce around 100-150 plus litres a day of wastewater. That includes a shower and several toilet visits and minimal water for cooking.  Therefore, at Glampsan, we have you covered. We can provide you with simple waste solutions to match your desire to get into the business quickly that require minimal red-tape and few complications. So, our range of sewage Flat-Tanks is a flexible and ideal starting point. Later on, as your glamping site expands, it may need a more sophisticated approach at some point. We have you covered here too with our pumped solutions. Further down the road still, it might then be time to plan for a septic tank or sewage handling plant. Glampsan Tankology Our smallest waste tanks start at 160-320-gallon configurations. Our most popular products, however, are our larger 500, 750 and 1000-gallon Flat-Tanks. All our plastic tanks install quickly and, importantly, don’t need complex planning permissions and very little groundwork preparation either. What’s more, they adapt to all the evolving needs of all varieties of glamping accommodations, caravanners, and campers. Unlike steel tanks, our entire Flat-Tank range is made from sturdy plastics; they are easy to deliver and position. No single-use plastics here! They are durable, lightweight, long-lasting and don’t cost the earth either. Another essential feature is that our tanks are all low profile. That means that they can install easily, unobtrusively and quickly under (or nearby) any glamping unit, not seen or noticed. Furthermore, they can be easily moved around as your glamping site grows in the future. We have a range of pumps as well that effortlessly and silently take waste away to any convenient location near or far. There are no ‘whiffy-waste’ smells either. Our customers love our range of waste handling products, so we think you will like them too. You’ll see a difference straight away. From the very first day of use, all of our waste systems will make you and your customers happy and stay healthy. That means they will come back again and again. Most of all, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business with no ‘whiffy-waste’ worries or ‘nasty-niffs.’ Glampsan – a division of Plastic Solutions (Aldridge) Limited 0800 999 6010 or +44 (0)1922 687545 www.glampsan.com or info@glampsan.com  

Park Holidays UK to host hundreds of free holidays for Thomas Cook staff

Thomas Cook staff on holiday at Park Holidays

Park Holidays UK has invited more than 600 Thomas Cook staff and their families to enjoy a weekend by the seaside so that they can say “a proper goodbye”.  The holiday park group will pick up the tab for their accommodation in fully-equipped holiday homes for up to three nights, and will lay on free entertainment. Scene of the huge reunion party will be Broadland Sands Holiday Park near Lowestoft which the group is opening up especially for the event on 8-11 November.  Park Holidays UK marketing director Geoff Barnes said it would be a chance for staff to swap memories and let their hair down after Thomas Cook suddenly went into liquidation in September:  “The immediacy of the announcement meant that there was little time for many staff at Thomas Cooks’ Peterborough headquarters to say a final farewell,” said Geoff.  “As members of the holiday industry ourselves, we were also deeply saddened by the news and wanted to reach out to try and soften the blow in some way.  “We thought the best way to help would be to open one of our most popular parks, Broadland Sands, for a long weekend and to offer free stays to staff and their partners and children.  “Within one day of making the opportunity known to Thomas Cook staff, we were delighted to have taken bookings for all of the park’s 150-plus holiday homes. “It means that we’ll be welcoming over 600 guests in total for between two and three nights, and we hope it will create a truly memorable experience for everyone.  “I’m sure there will be some nostalgic moments, but overall we simply want all the Thomas Cook team, and especially the children, to share a very happy time,” added Geoff.  As well as the free accommodation, guests will have use of all of Broadland Sand’s leisure facilities,  including a recently opened £1.6 million swimming pool complex. Charges will also be waived on some other activities usually paid for by holiday guests, such as the climbing wall, adventure golf course and Segway Scooters. In addition, Park Holidays UK will be laying on a full no-cost entertainments programme in the park’s clubhouse featuring professional family-friendly acts.  Broadland Sands will be offering a subsidised food and snack menu to Thomas Cook guests throughout the weekend, and a range of drinks will also be discounted. It’s hoped that other businesses will also rally to support the weekend with donations of competition prizes or by providing free activities or pampering sessions such as nail treatments or massages.  Any local firms interested in contributing prizes or services to the event are invited to contact Geoff Barnes at Park Holidays UK on gbarnes@parkholidays.com  Established almost 30 years ago, Park Holidays UK is one of Britain’s largest and fastest-growing holiday park groups with 31 holiday centres across Southern England.  

Working in partnership to create outstanding holiday experiences

Dekboard owners working in partnership to create outstanding holiday experiences

When it comes to knowing what makes the perfect holiday park, the Simmons family are experts. Nestled in the heart of East Sussex, Crowhurst Park Holiday Village has been part of life for the Simmons family since 1949. Budding entrepreneurism saw the family diversify and open the site as a holiday park in 1952, making the most of the beautiful surroundings and welcoming holiday makers to its idyllic location. The park is consistently developed with a long-term view in mind; every improvement has to be sustainable and ecologically friendly.  The current managing partners; Colin Simmons, Susan Cordall and Eunice Simmons joined forces with Premier Parks Services and DekBoard to provide truly robust, sustainable and attractive decking solutions for its customers, helping to create outstanding holiday experiences. Premier Parks Services put a huge emphasis on delivering a first-class service, which is why Crowhurst Park Holiday Village rely on them as their first choice in decking supply and installation. Their partners, DekBoard have 40 years manufacturing experience across 3 factories, and 10 plus years’ experience in the manufacture of PVC and composite decking and share Premier Parks Services’ ethos of providing a professional and reliable service. It is vital to Crowhurst Park Holiday Village that they have reliable partners that share their values and philosophy, to keep their 7000 annual guests happy. Colin Simmons commented “We have worked with Dan King and his team at Premier Parks Services for about 7 years now. They design and install all our decks and verandas as they are our preferred installer of decking and skirting products. They service all our new rental lodges when they are sited and retro fit decks and skirts to some of our older caravan stock.” “They are very professional, and arrive when they say they will, do a good job and leave the area clean and tidy afterwards. They have enough teams on the road that can always call in if any issues occur from an aftersales perspective. Alongside this, DekBoard’s reliable service and quality products enable Premier Park Services to continue their reputation of producing timely and quality decking solutions.” Recent installations at the holiday park have seen Premier Parks Services fitting DekBoard decking and balustrade systems. Colin added “The DekBoard product is well made, robust, colour fast and very slip resistant, probably the best on the market for preventing slips and falls due to the anti-slip nature of the product. The sustainability of the products fits in nicely with our beautiful location and surroundings. Stylish decks allow the holidaymakers to enjoy the extra outdoor space for socialising, and generally enhance their holiday experience”. After the success of last year’s show, DekBoard will be exhibiting at the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show on 6th and 7th November at the NEC, Birmingham. You can arrange an appointment to speak to DekBoard by clicking on the following link: https://www.dekboard.co.uk/caravans-holiday-homes/holiday-park-resort-show-2019

Staying Connected At Holiday Parks & Campsites

Man using iPad - Staying Connected At Holiday Parks & Campsites

As the need for wireless connectivity increases across the leisure and hospitality sector – now a primary factor in booking decisions – holiday parks are no longer an ‘exception to the rule’ when it comes to connectivity. Even those campsites situated in the most remote locations will need some level of guest WiFi. Ranging from simple, low bandwidth activities such as checking emails or social media, through to bandwidth sapping video streaming and video calling, guest WiFi provision is always a bespoke design challenge with basic WiFi set-ups unlikely to make the grade. The problem with connectivity in remote areas is that wireless signal doesn’t pass through water. This can often cause a problem in wooded areas as trees and leaves hold a lot of water. Then there’s power. How do you get power to access points so customers can receive a signal? There are many considerations to take into account and issues you can encounter but worry not, there are technologies that can help. See dlink.com for advice on getting connected.

How one small product is boosting the winter holiday park trade

Floe - the small product that is boosting the winter holiday park trade

A huge problem for the UK holiday industry is, let’s face it, the weather. Not only are outdoor activities more or less off-limits when Mother Nature does her worst over the winter months, but motorhomes, caravans and holiday homes are not geared up for the harsh conditions – or so it was thought. With the introduction of more modern and efficient materials – walls, outer shells etc which keep in the heat – and the introduction of heating in even the most basic of models, winter breaks are now on the cards for millions of caravan owners and those wanting to rent too.  For those parks which close during the winter, the loss of revenue is now somewhat of an unnecessary evil.  “But we drain down for the whole winter,” we hear you cry.  Why? When you can drain down on a more regular basis with a simple and highly cost-effective bit of new technology?  Floë is a brand which has got everyone talking over the past few years – it offers owners of all types of holiday units, from houseboats to lodges, the chance to drain water from the system in just four minutes. The pump takes all the water out out of the system which is liable to freeze or harbour dangerous bacteria, and cleans the boiler as it works.  “It must be expensive!” you protest!  Well, it’s not if you cost out the benefits over five years (the length of time the product is guaranteed for).  The Floë Induratec costs £235, plus £40 if fitting is needed. So over five years, it’s an investment of just £55 a year including fitting. But if people can return whenever and as often as they like to holiday parks over the winter months, this could be paid off well and truly within the year. This opens up a whole new raft of Christmas and New Year business opportunities for holiday parks and their surrounding communities.  So popular has Floë become, the US market are now looking at buying this Northern Irish invention – and company founder Jason Paul tells us: “Our trials in the US have worked well and our order there is underway. We are still growing in the UK too so we’ve been hectic recently!  “The sites are really beginning to come on board and see the benefits to the customer.  “Park managers are thinking about what they’ll get in return – more income for the park, happier customers and a bigger benefit for the local community.”  “How can we be sure it’ll work?” you ask.  There are plenty of solid online testimonials for Floë products such as:  • “This product works so well that it feels like every caravan should have one as standard.”  • “Hi Jason, Just to let you know I fitted the Floë 868 to my static on the weekend. It was very easy and works perfectly. It’s a brilliant product and will make my life so much easier when draining down over the winter period. Thanks for all your advice!”  • “After reading about the Floe 868 and having many problems with frozen pipes over the years and at a vast expense I decided to take the plunge. Contacted Jason who answered my questions putting my mind at ease. Why didn’t I do it sooner – money well spent, so easy to fit, easy to drain down, no more paying to drain down which cost £80 a time. Don’t normally comment on products but this is brilliant, even told a few on the caravan site they’re all interested. Once again Jason thank you.”  • “Fitted it today in under 30 mins, test drained down all taps and showers, and filled back up without incident, this is a fantastic piece of kit!”  • “Thank you Jason for working with us and of course we will recommend the 868 to anyone looking for a drain down system. The season has been extended on our park so I’m sure there will be interest in your product.”  If you’re still not convinced, get in touch with Floë who will answer your questions – before the winter kicks in!