Staying Safe In Your Home

Staying safe in your home is important to us, in this section you'll find advice about gas, fire and electrical safety, water hygiene, and asbestos.

Gas Safety

If you’re a tenant, we must make sure any gas, oil and solid fuel appliances we provide in your home are safe and in good working order. By law, we must safety check these appliances every year. If you’re a homeowner, you need to arrange to have your appliances checked yourself. However, if this is different for your home, we will let you know.

Our Gas Safe registered contractors will contact you when your safety check is due and make an appointment to visit. You can change an appointment if it is not convenient, but you must allow access for the safety check. If you don't, you could be putting yourself and others in danger. We can’t take that risk so, if we can’t gain access to your home to carry out the safety check, we may have to go to court to gain access. We’d rather not do this so help us to help you by letting our contractors in to carry out the safety check when it is due.

We are not responsible for the maintenance of any gas appliances you own, but we can’t stress how important it is for you to arrange your own service every year. It could save your life.

If you think you have a gas leak, turn off your gas at the meter, don’t smoke, don’t turn any light switches on or off and don’t use any naked flames. Open all your doors and windows and get some fresh air circulating.

Call the gas emergency number 0800 111 999.

If you're concerned that you've not had your annual gas safety test, and would like to know when your next test is due please contact us.

Unsafe gas appliances can leak lethal carbon monoxide gas. The gas can’t be seen and it has no smell.

We supply carbon monoxide detectors. If they detect the poisonous gas, they sound an alarm. If you don’t have a detector, let us know and we will fit one with our next safety check.

Even if you have a carbon monoxide detector, and your appliances are serviced regularly, if you feel ill, or you can smell gas, get fresh air immediately and call your doctor just to be on the safe side. Don’t use the appliance you think is faulty and call us immediately if it is our appliance (or a Gas Safe registered engineer if the appliance is your own).

 

Electrical Safety

We will need access to your home at least once every five years to carry out an electrical safety test. This will make sure all the electrical appliances in your home are safe and working properly. When your test is due, we will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Some homes may need a test more than once every five years, depending on the results of their last safety test.

If you're concerned that you've not recently had an electrical safety test, and would like to know when your next test is due please contact us.

Water Hygiene

Legionnaires disease is a form of pneumonia which can affect anyone.

It is caught by inhaling small drops of water which contain the legionella bacteria. Although it can affect anyone, the elderly or people with chest or lung problems can be most at risk.

All hot and cold water systems in residential properties are a possible source of legionella bacteria growth. The main areas of risk are where the bacteria can multiply and spread in things like, for example, spray from shower heads.

In line with our legal obligations, we regularly check, monitor and carry out tests in certain homes to make sure the water systems are clean.

If you think you, or someone in your home has contacted legionnaires disease, contact your doctor immediately.

Fire Safety

We have a fire safety team, who are continually working to keep our customers safe in their homes. For fire safety advice, including how to reduce the risk of fire in your property, fire door guidance and details on the evacuation plan for your property, please visit our dedicated fire safety page.

Asbestos

Although there may be asbestos in your home, there is nothing to worry about as long as it is safe and undisturbed.

Asbestos was commonly used in the housebuilding industry until the mid 1980s, which is when we were building many homes. It was used because it had many good qualities; it was resistant to heat and fire, it was strong and durable and it didn’t corrode. It was often used in a number of household fittings including roof sheets, cladding, radiators, panels and pipes etc.

Importing and using most forms of asbestos was banned in the early 1980s, and more action has since been taken to ban the import, sale and re-use of all types of asbestos material.

In line with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and Health & Safety Executive guidance, our policy is to leave asbestos where it is unless it is in poor condition, is likely to be disturbed, or where it can be removed as part of a repair, improvement or alteration.

If you think you may have asbestos in your home that has been damaged or disturbed, or any protective coating is peeling away, please contact us straight away.

If you have any questions or concerns about asbestos, please speak to your housing officer.

Lift Safety

If your home or building has a shared lift to help you move between floors, our team is here to make sure it's working smoothly.

We regularly bring in specialists to check and maintain the lifts. If you notice a problem, you can contact our repairs hub. Every lift has an emergency button in case it stops suddenly while you're using it.

If you have a stairlift or home lift provided by Accent, we're responsible for keeping it running.

Our contractor will visit once a year to service your lift, and it will be checked twice a year by our insurance inspectors to ensure it's safe and working well. We'll let you know about these appointments. If the given time doesn't work for you, please inform us. It's important to let our team in to check your lift as it helps prevent issues and keeps your lift in good shape.

Please avoid turning off the power to stairlifts when you're away for a long time. This can cause the internal battery to discharge, preventing the stairlift/home lift from working. The charging system will take care of the batteries and extend their life.

I have been told my stairlift is obsolete and I cannot get parts to repair it.

If you're told your stairlift is obsolete and needs replacement parts, consult with an Occupational Therapist (OT). They'll assess your needs and prepare a report for your local council to grant you a replacement. Discuss this with your repair person during their visit. You can also find advice on applying for a grant on the government website or contact Accent Group's Aids and Adaptation department.

My stairlift is moving slower than usual or it is stopping and restarting during its journey

If your stairlift is moving slower or restarting during its journey, raise a repair with Accent Housing or call your stairlift's approved Warranty Service Provider if you're still under warranty. It might be time for a new battery.

I have just had a new stairlift/ homelift/ mobility equipment installed and I need a repair

For new stairlifts, home lifts, or mobility equipment, contact your equipment provider/installer, such as Bentley Mobility or Stannah, if you need a repair during the warranty period. Once the warranty ends, let us know, and we'll take care of servicing. Please inform us when it's installed, so we can adjust future servicing dates.

I have children visiting, will it be safe with the stairlift?

When children are around, make sure they're accompanied. Stairlifts and home lifts might seem fun, but they pose safety risks. Remind them that this equipment is not a toy. Jumping or playing with buttons can cause damage or accidents. If possible, remove keys from the on/off switch to prevent children from playing with stairlifts

Further Information Leaflets

Using Electric Heaters Safely

We always ask customers never to use portable heaters, but we know you sometimes feel there is no other choice. If you do use them, please follow our guidance to help keep you and your family safe.

Fire Safety Leaflet - General Needs

We take our responsibilities for fire safety very seriously and we want you to feel safe whilst at home.

Fire Safety Leaflet - Independent Living

We take our responsibilities for fire safety very seriously and we want you to feel safe whilst at home.

Water Hygiene Leaflet

As your landlord, it is our responsibility to make sure you know the possible causes and symptoms of legionnaires’ disease so you can quickly spot any problems and report any concerns to us.

Asbestos Leaflet

Some of our homes may still have asbestos in them as it was used in the house building industry until the year 2000.

Health & Safety & Energy Efficiency

Keeping your home safe, warm and energy efficient.

Improving your Home

What you should know about making home improvements

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