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Home Safety

Gas safety

By law, we must carry out an annual gas safety service for all homes.

It’s very important that you give us access to your property for gas maintenance visits so that safety checks can take place. 

If you don’t provide access then we may have to force entry to your home and costs will be charged to you.

A record of the safety check will be kept for two years and a copy issued to the tenant within 28 days of the check being completed. 

If you’re a new tenant, you’ll be given a copy of the service record before you move in. 

To book a gas service appointment, or to find out more about gas servicing, talk to your housing officer or call us on 0808 143 2002.

If you smell gas and suspect a leak then: 

  • turn off all gas appliances
  • put out any cigarettes
  • open all doors and windows
  • don’t use matches or naked flames
  • turn the gas off at the meter
  • don’t switch on any electrical switches or appliances
  • don’t press buttons on the door entry systems

Call emergency service company SGN as soon as you can on 0800 111 999.

Fire safety

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service offer everyone in Scotland a free home fire safety visit. They can also fit a smoke alarm free of charge.

You can book a free home fire safety visit by speaking to your housing officer or by:

  • texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 from your mobile phone
  • Calling freephone number 0800 0731 999.

To help keep your home safe from fire:

  • Have a smoke alarm fitted on each level of your home and test it weekly
  • Have an interlinked smoke alarm system fitted (if you do not have one or are unsure, please contact us on 0808 143 200)
  • Don’t be tempted to clutter stairs and corridors of your home or building. If fire breaks out, they may be your only escape route
  • Don’t overload plug sockets
  • Ensure that cigarettes are properly put out.
  • Familiarise yourself with kitchen fire procedures e.g. fires with oil or gas
  • Plan an escape route
  • Take care when using candles

Bogus Callers

Don’t let unidentified callers in to your home.

If anyone tries to gain entry to your home or if you’re suspicious, call us on 0808 143 2002 or call Police Scotland (emergency calls, dial 999; non-emergency calls, dial 101).

All of our staff and contractors carry photographic identification badges. Each badge has the Queens Cross logo or our contractor’s logo, the staff member’s name and
a telephone number printed on it.

Always check the identification of any callers to your home. Photographic identification provided by any organisation, such as Scottish Gas, should always have a phone number you can call to check their identity.

Remember you can call us on 0808 143 2002 and check anyone who says they’re from Queens Cross Housing Association or working on our behalf.

Let a member of your housing team know of any attempts to access your home. This helps us stay aware of bogus callers.

Asbestos

Asbestos is a natural mineral made up of small fibres which were added to building materials until it was banned in 1999. 

ACMs (asbestos containing materials) are not a significant health risk if they are in good condition and not disturbed. It is only when ACMs are disturbed causing fibres to be
released into the air that, if inhaled, can cause serious health problems.

Where would I find it?

Asbestos is most commonly found in textured coatings (artex or similar), but can also be commonly found in floor tiles, wall boards, plaster finishes, spray coating to pipework, lagging around pipework/cylinder, water tanks, backboards or boiler/distribution boards or bath panels.

What should I do?

Before carrying out any DIY at home, or if you think you might have damaged or disturbed asbestos in your home, contact a member of our Property Services team on 0808 143 2002.

What are we doing?

We have an Asbestos Management Plan which says how we manage asbestos to prevent exposure. We also have an asbestos register, pinpointing where asbestos containing materials exist in our neighbourhoods. 

If necessary, we carry out a survey to find out whether there are any materials with asbestos in your home and, if so, what condition they are in. 

If any are in a dangerous condition we arrange for them to be contained or removed as soon as possible. However, materials that are not in a dangerous condition will not always be removed. This is because it’s a very disruptive and there’s no risk.

Legionella

The legionella bacteria can cause a pneumonia-like illness called Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionella bacteria is in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems including hot and cold water systems in our homes. The bacteria survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20-45°C if conditions are right.

Although we take precautions on legionella being present in hot or cold water systems in homes, you have an important part to play in preventing a nasty illness.

Who’s at risk?

Everyone’s susceptible to infection however some people are at higher risk including with an impaired immune system. People who have a chronic respiratory system or who are smokers of heavy drinkers can also be affected.

Where is it found?

They are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above. Domestic hot and cold water systems can provide an environment where legionella bacteria can grow. Legionnaires’ disease can be caused by inhaling small droplets of contaminated water containing legionella bacteria.

What should I do?

Follow these guidelines to minimise the risk of Legionnaires’ disease in your home. Most importantly, make sure that:

  • Hot water is kept hot
  • Cold water is kept cold
  • Contact us if the boiler or hot water tank in your home isn’t working properly
  • If your shower is used only occasionally then flush it through by running the water for at least 2 minutes once a week.
  • Clean the shower head at least every three months and descale and disinfect it.
  • Run taps for 2 minutes when you come back from a break when you take a holiday or are away from home for any time, make sure that you run all hot and cold water taps for 2 minutes when you return.

Condensation

Condensation happens when there’s a build-up of moisture in the air and especially during the colder weather.  

People create moisture in homes when they’re cooking, or boiling water, taking baths or showers, and drying clothes indoors.

If condensation cannot dry out it will cause mould to form on walls, in cupboards, on window sills and will cause mildew to form on clothes.

To control condensation you need to ensure that the amount of moisture in the air is not excessive.

Do:

  • Cover pots and pans and turn down the heat when they’re boiling
  • Switching off boiling kettles
  • Dry clothes outside, or in a well ventilated room
  • After a bath or shower, open a window
  • Wipe down where moisture settles

To kill and remove mould, wipe down or spray walls, ceilings and window frame/sills with a fungicidal wash. They’re available at local supermarkets or DIY stores.

To find out more, visit the Health and Safety Executive website and read our Home Safety leaflet.