Staying safe in your home is important to us, in this section you'll find advice about gas, fire and electrical safety, as well as guidance on water hygiene and asbestos…
As a homeowner, we are not responsible for checking that the gas appliances, flues and pipework in your home are regularly maintained and serviced. However, we would strongly recommend that you do arrange for these to be checked annually, by a Gas Safe registered contractor.
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.
Unsafe gas appliances can leak lethal carbon monoxide gas. The gas can’t be seen and it has no smell. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, we would strongly recommend that you get one installed on every floor of your house. Detectors are generally simple to install, inexpensive to buy and could save your life.
Even if you have a carbon monoxide detector, and your appliances are serviced regularly, if you feel ill, and you think you might have a carbon monoxide leak we would recommend getting fresh air immediately and calling 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).
Accent is not responsible for arranging electrical safety tests in your home. We would recommend arranging a test at least once every five years, this will make sure all the electrical appliances in your home are safe and working properly.
Some homes may need a test more than once every five years, depending on the results of their last safety test.
We are responsible for checking electrics within internal communal areas. We will undertake this at least every 5 years.
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 our schemes to make sure the water systems are clean.
If you think you, or someone in your home or scheme has contacted legionnaires disease, contact your doctor immediately.
Fire safety is a top priority for us. We take our responsibilities very seriously:
- We aim to make sure stairs, landings and corridors in our schemes are clear of tripping hazards. (Any items such as bicycles, mattresses, or rubbish bags etc. which are left unattended in hallways or stairwells creates a fire risk for you and other residents).
- We take reasonable steps to prevent the spread of fire.
- We will remove items which are a fire hazard.
- We manage our communal areas to make sure fire rescue and emergency services have access to the building if a fire or other emergency occurs.
Following our simple precautions could save lives.
To comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire safety) Order 2005, and to make sure we assess fire safety in each scheme, we carry out regular inspections, known as fire risk assessments. These checks and inspections are designed to make sure our communal areas are safe and comply with relevant fire legislation.
You might wonder why we are talking about mobility scooters around fire regulations, but the number of residents using them is rising. We know they can be a vital aid to mobility, but they are also classed as a fire risk. Please talk to us before you buy a mobility scooter, we will need to talk about where it is stored.
Most fire and rescue services offer a ‘Safe and Well visit’ which in some areas is known as a ‘Home Fire Risk Assessment’ or ‘Home Fire Safety Check’. This is an inspection of your home to identify any potential fire risks in your home, help you reduce or prevent these risks, and ensure you have working smoke alarms and an escape plan in the event of a fire. You can book these by contacting your local fire and rescue service.
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 homeownership officer.