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Dodgy installers spark insulation warning

Friday, 19th February, 2010

* Dodgy insulation like this  is making local builders angry and worried for the safety of residents. * Dodgy insulation like this is making local builders angry and worried for the safety of residents.

[b]Batts rort danger[/i]

by Gina Wilson Dodgy insulation is being found in ceilings all around the city - and here's the proof.

In the rush to cash in on the Federal Government's home insulation program, some companies looking for quick jobs are hastily completing work, charging more than what is required and using less insulation product than they quote.

An independent, registered builder, who did not want to be named, told the BDT that operators were endangering the lives of home owners by incorrectly installing insulation. Installers say when done correctly the batts must not cover any timber or any wiring. The builder said fires could start if wiring was covered as the insulation reduces the capacity of the wire to handle heat. "It's a very, very, very dangerous thing."

In one case, a builder had organised to install ceiling insulation on the home of an elderly man. When the installer quoted the job he told the homeowner that 45 square metres of insulation would be required. When the installer arrived at the premises yesterday morning, he found the insulation had already been completed. But when he inspected the insulation he found that it had been "thrown around" inside the roof. The company who installed the batts had receipted the government for 85 square metres of insulation yet the builder found that not even 40 square metres of the batts had been used and that the ceiling space was not fully covered. "It's scary," he said.

"What we want is that people get a fair deal and this is not a fair deal." It's estimated that around 1,000 Broken Hill homes have taken up the offer of $1,200 free insulation under the program. While there is a telephone number that people can call to see if an installer who offers to do the job is registered, builders say home owners should still check the work. They also warned of dodgy operators who complete the job in record time. "It takes between three to four hours to do the job properly," he said. "Some installers are doing it in a half hour to one hour - it can't be done." People concerned about dodgy insulation should contact the Federal Government's Energy Efficient Homes Hotline on 1800 808 571.

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