Keeping You Safe 2018-05-31T14:10:50+00:00

Keeping You Safe

At Bucks Housing, the Health and Safety of our residents is our highest priority. We have provided some information on the main property related risks, how we manage these, and how you can help us deal with them.

If you have any questions, please contact us on 01494 480340 or info@bucksha.co.uk

Gas

Gas is provided for heating and cooking in many Bucks Housing properties.

What’s the risk?

As well as leaks, gas can contribute to fires and create explosions. Less obvious is the risk caused from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which is odourless, colourless and tasteless. If it is not adequately ventilated, it can prevent the body from absorbing oxygen and cause death. It can escape from appliances like boilers and fires if they are not working properly or if a chimney or flue is blocked.

How do we manage the risk?

We inspect all gas systems annually and ensure that all gas appliances under our responsibility are tested every year too. After these tests we will provide you with a certificate called a CP12 or Landlord’s Gas Safety Record, which you should keep in a safe place.

If we come across any damage or fault with the systems we will carry out the necessary repairs. If we cannot fix the issue straight away, we will always make sure everything is safe before leaving the property.

What should you do about the risk?

If you suspect there is a gas leak, please ring the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. If it is safe to do so, turn off the gas supply and open the windows.  Do not smoke. Do not switch on or off any electrical appliances or lights.

Please also do the following:

  • Make sure you keep your gas safety check appointment, or contact us if you need to rearrange it
  • If you are responsible for the gas appliances in your property, make sure they are routinely serviced 
  • Make sure that any vents or flues from your property are not blocked or obstructed
  • Place a carbon monoxide alarm near to your boiler, and be sure you know how it works.

Electricity

We are responsible for ensuring the safety of fixed electrical installations in your home and in communal areas.  

What’s the risk?

Faulty electrical supplies can cause serious injury or death. Damaged or faulty equipment can lead to electrical shocks, fires and explosions.

How do we manage this risk?

We have an ongoing programme of five yearly checks of electrical installations. If we spot any damaged or faulty systems, we will carry out required repairs. In every case, our electricians will always make sure the electrical supply to the property and installations  are safe before they leave the property.

What should you do about the risk?

Please do not carry out your own electrical repairs. If you identify an electrical fault, either in your property, or in a communal area, please report this to us straight away in the normal way.

You are responsible for maintaining portable electrical items within your home. If you think any electrical items in your home are damaged, then you should stop using them and contact a professional electrician for advice. Do not dismantle them yourself.

You should also follow these simple rules:

  • Do not overload your electrical sockets
  • Only use electrical equipment for its intended purpose (e.g. you should not use a hair dryer to defrost a freezer)
  • Do not store flammable or hazardous materials near electrical outlets, or otherwise clutter them
  • Do not allow water, damp or moisture near to electrical outlets
  • Do not leave working electrical appliances, such as the oven or iron, unsupervised.

Fire

This section deals with fire safety and the potential for uncontrolled fire and smoke within our properties.

How do we manage the risk?

We carry out regular assessments of fire risks to decrease the chances of fires starting in communal areas and to make sure that precautions are in place to guarantee residents’ safety if there is a fire. These include fire-resistant walls and ceilings, fire and smoke-resistant doors and smoke detectors and alarms. It is our responsibility to maintain and, when necessary, repair these controls.

What should you do about the risk?

If you live in a block of flats, you should always know the fire safety plan for your building, where applicable, and what actions to take if there is a fire in your home or anywhere in the building.

Most importantly, you must ensure that you do not cause a fire:

  • Never leave burning candles unattended.
  • If you smoke, only do so in designated areas. If you smoke in your property, make sure you dispose of smoking materials safely, and never smoke in bed.
  • When cooking, keep an eye on any hot surfaces or flames. Chip pans are particularly dangerous. If possible use a deep fat fryer.
  • NEVER put water on a chip pan or oil fire, it will explode and cause a serious fire. Instead turn off the cooker and cover the pan with a damp tea towel.
  • Never put water on an electrical fire as this could result in a fatal electric shock.
  • If any electrical items are faulty do not use them.
  • Keep fire doors closed and not wedged open.

We install smoke alarms in all of our properties but where these are battery-operated, it is your responsibility to ensure that the batteries are changed regularly.

If you think there is a fault with a fire door, or a problem with fire precautions in communal areas, please let us know by reporting this in the normal way.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a fibrous material used in some buildings mainly for its strength and fire- resistant properties. Using asbestos as a building material was only banned in the UK in 1999, so any house built before 2000 may contain it.

What’s the risk?

If left alone, asbestos does not pose a risk to health. However, when disturbed, fibres can be breathed in and could lead to severe lung conditions. The fibres may be released if the part of the building containing asbestos is damaged by carrying out general DIY work like drilling, scraping or sanding.

How do we manage the risk?

We regularly inspect the condition of properties which have asbestos containing material in them and keep a register of all assessments. If the material is sealed, in good condition and unlikely to be damaged, we will leave it alone. Where there is any damage, we will take appropriate action. If the damage is minor, we will reseal the area. If it is extensive, we will have the asbestos removed by licensed contractors.

What should you do about the risk?

If you think there could be damage to an area where you think there might be  asbestos containing material, then please let us know by reporting a repair in the normal way.  

In most cases, if you are a leaseholder or freeholder, you are responsible for any asbestos in your property. The best course of action is to leave it undisturbed and to avoid any cutting, sanding or drilling that could damage materials that contain asbestos and therefore release the fibres. If you decide to remove any material containing asbestos this must be carried out by a licensed asbestos contractor.