Heating engineers need to carefully check the spares they fit this winter in case they aren't the real deal, according to the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC).

“Unfortunately, just like cigarettes and handbags, there are a lot of heating spares that are fake, with many carrying a CE mark and claiming to be an exact replica of the manufacturer’s own part,” warned Roger Webb, director of HHIC. “But these fakes won’t have been through the rigorous testing process or be made of the correct material – which at best invalidates the boiler warranty and at worst could be dangerous.

“If a problem occurs as a result of using them, the installer is liable. Heating engineers are liable for all of the work they carry out and this liability extends to any replacement parts they purchase and fit.

“So, we are calling on all installers to stay ‘fake free’ this winter and take action by calling the local Trading Standards office if they come across any fake heating components.”