Have Your Say on Our New Tenant Repairs Health & Safety Guidance leaflet

In our post on 30 June, we advised that we are working on a Health and Safety risk assessment for repairs in tenants’ homes. This is an important part of keeping our tenants, staff and contractors safe.

As a result of this, on Monday 13 July we will seek comments on our draft Tenant Repairs Health & Safety Guidance leaflet through the tenant participation process.

If you have registered to take part in tenant participation consultations, we would welcome your comments as they will be a valued contribution to the safe operation of repairs work in all our tenants’ homes.

If you have not yet registered for tenant participation and want to comment, please email  TenantParticipation@angus.gov.uk and we will do our best to register you in time for the document consultation.  

Keep an eye on your mailboxes!

 

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Gas Safety Checks Continue During Coronavirus Outbreak

Since 17 March 2020 we have been following UK and Scottish Government guidance to avoid any unnecessary contact with others. We have also been encouraging residents to stay home and stay safe.

There are exceptions to this guidance and the Health and Safety Executive, has decided that the balance of risk is such, that it remains a legal duty of all landlords to conduct annual safety checks in relation to gas safety. This is because tenants rightly must be protected from the dangers associated with faulty gas services. Therefore we, as a responsible landlord, will be continuing our annual gas services checks.

Naturally, this is causing anxiety for many of our residents, some of whom are ‘shielding’ because of age or pre-existing conditions and we are now experiencing some difficulties in getting access into some homes to carry out annual boiler checks.

We would like our tenants to understand we want to keep our tenants, contractors and our staff as safe as possible from both COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and also from faulty boilers. We are very aware for the need to observe social distancing as far as is possible.

Therefore, when you receive your letter regarding an appointment to allow this essential gas servicing to take place, please contact the relevant Gas Contractor to let them know immediately if:

  • You or someone in your household is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms
  • You or someone in your household is self-isolating/shielding

WRB contact number: 01382 204030 and covers Arbroath, Brechin, Carnoustie, Monifieth & Montrose.

Saltire call centre contact number: 01698 743647 and covers Forfar, Kirriemuir and landward areas.

In these circumstances, we can postpone the boiler check and we will make an appointment for the work to be carried out immediately after your period of self-isolation/shielding ends. If for some reason we are unable to carry out these works, we must record the fact that it is related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you do not fall into the two categories above, we would ask you to allow this vital work to be completed. Please be assured that our staff and contractors are following government guidance in relation to hygiene and safety. Only people with no symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will be sent out and, when entering homes, they will clean/sanitise hands before and after each job and wipe down all surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes. They will also guide you and your family to assist everyone to maintain a safe distance of two metres.

We do also have protective clothing and equipment to carry out checks and repairs in households where a COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is suspected or confirmed if necessary where an emergency repair is necessary and we would again ask that you mention this when contacting the service.

We are all facing a very challenging situation and by working together we can keep everyone; tenants, staff and contractors safe from both this virus and faulty gas services.

Weekly Fire Testing Continues at Sheltered Housing

Tenants of our Sheltered complexes are used to fire alarm testing happening at the same time every week and this will continue for the foreseeable future.

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We would ask tenants to continue to stay within their homes whilst these tests are carried out to minimise any potential risks to tenants and staff during the current coronavirus situation.

If tenants hear the fire alarm sounding at any other time, they should follow the fire safety guidance issued at their complex. If any tenant wants to check the timings of the fire alarm testing, these are advertised on the notice board in each complex.

Beware – Watch Out for Bogus Traders Claiming to be Council Workers

Residents should be on their guard after recent reports of bogus traders claiming to work for the Council.

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Trading Standards and Police Scotland have had reports of two men in a van going door-to-door in Angus offering to carry out roofing repairs and claiming to work for the Council.

We would ask residents to be extremely cautious about people who call at houses offering to do roofing or other work. We would strongly advise to never to hand money over if approached in this way and never let the callers into your home.

If Council tenants believe the workers have pointed out a genuine issue with your property they should speak to a housing officer.

Council officers and contractors will always carry ID so remember to request ID badges.

If you or someone you know are approached by these people you can report the incident to Police Scotland by calling 101.

We urge family, friends and neighbours to keep an eye on vulnerable or older residents and relatives.

If you are worried about someone who is more vulnerable to scams call our ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778 and ask to speak to Trading Standards.

See the current scam warnings on our website

Keeping Newtyle School Children Safe

Our contractor, Bancon Construction, recently visited Newtyle Primary School to undertake a safety talk with the children at the school. Bancon are building 12 new council houses on a site next to the school.

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Dawn Kane, Business Development Manager at Bancon said:

“Health and safety is our no. 1 priority, not only on site but within our communities.  Safeguarding of the children at Newtyle Primary School is extremely important due to our construction activities taking place next to the school.  The first step in our safety measures was to present a safety talk during an assembly to make the children aware of the works taking place, what they can expect to see and the dangers that will be around them, albeit the other side of the fence! The children will now participate in a competition to design a safety poster to show us what they learned from the presentation. Our industry is experiencing a skills shortage and gender gap and we hope that our work with schools gives some of the children the inspiration to pursue a career in the construction industry.”

The development, which is due to complete early next year is contributing to our target of 120 new supply affordable homes each year. If you would like to see all the current affordable housing developments in Angus, you can visit our Housing Developments webpage.

Are You in the Dark About Housebreaking?

Police Scotland are working in partnership with the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers in an early evening Housebreaking initiative. During the dark winter nights, it is easier for would-be thieves to identify properties which are empty as they may not be lit. This is most common in early evening, just before residents arrive home from work and other daytime activities.

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Take simple steps to improve the security of your property, at very little cost.

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Keep your home secure!

Your home could be a target for would-be thieves if not secured. Housebreakers can take advantages of poor security. Reduce your chances of being broken into by taking a few simple steps:

  • Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else an intruder may easily find them.
  • Always make sure your keys are well out of sight and reach of letterboxes or windows.
  • Avoid keeping large amounts of cash in the house. If you must, then put it in various locations.
  • Secure mark your property with a UV marker pen
  • Don’t leave valuables in view of windows, particularly around the tree at Christmas time.
  • It is advisable to lock your doors and windows, even when you are in the house.
  • Fit timer switches to lights in living areas, such as bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens.
  • Angle blinds so that the light will get out but no-one can see in.
  • Make sure lighting outside of your house covers all aspects, particularly doors and windows.
  • Ensure your shed and garage are always secured.
  • Always be vigilant and report anything suspicious.

For more in depth advice about crime prevention in your home, visit the Police Scotland website. If you see signs of a break-in at your home, call the police on 101 or, if you believe the intruder is still there, dial 999.

Safety Information: Whirlpool Tumble Dryer Recall

Tumble Dryer Recall

It is estimated that up to 800,000 unmodified tumble dryers pose a potential fire risk in the UK.

The recall covers all models of vented and condensing tumble dryers produced between April 1, 2004 and September 30, 2015 and sold in the UK under the Hotpoint, Indesit, Creda, Proline and Swan brands. Consumers who think that they may have an affected model should call the Whirlpool helpline on 0800 151 0905.  Further information about affected models can be found here.

If You Have a Mobile Gas Heater, This Information Could Save Your Life

Unsafe gas appliances can put your life in danger. Make sure you are aware of the potentially dangerous consequences and the warning signals to look out for.

 

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A well maintained gas appliance will burn cleanly and will not produce carbon monoxide in significant quantities. However, that changes as appliances wear out and if they are not maintained in good condition. Carbon monoxide is a poison and works by displacing the oxygen in the blood stream, effectively suffocating the body’s organs. You can’t see it. You can’t taste it. You can’t even smell it. But carbon monoxide can kill without warning in just a matter of hours.

You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:

  • your appliance was poorly installed;
  • your appliance is not working properly;
  • your appliance has not been checked for safety or maintained regularly;
  • there is not enough fresh air in the room;
  • your chimney or flue gets blocked up;
  • you allow an engineer who is not on the Gas Safe Register to install or maintain your appliance(s).

But don’t worry, you can protect yourself and your family by following some simple steps.

NEVER use a gas appliance if you think it is not working properly.

NEVER cover an appliance or block the convection air vents.

NEVER block or obstruct any fixed ventilation grilles or air bricks.

NEVER block or cover outside flues.

ALWAYS test your Carbon Monoxide alarm periodically.

ALWAYS have your appliances checked every year by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

This advice is especially important for mobile gas heaters, like bottled gas cabinet heaters and any flueless appliance.

We do not recommend mobile gas heaters as they pose an unacceptable risk to tenants and property, and it is illegal to store spare cylinders indoors.

Also, for safety information on gas, solid fuel and oil burning appliances, and information on the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, look at the Department of Health booklet Keep Warm Keep Well (updated annually).

Gas safety advice

If you smell gas or are worried about gas safety call the National Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999.

Carbon Monoxide detectors

If your carbon monoxide detector is sounding, call SGN on 0800 111 999.

 

Regeneration of Timmergreens, Arbroath – Safety Advice for Residents

The first phase of the regeneration of Timmergreens has begun at Emislaw Drive and Spitalfield Place where our main contractor CCG (Scotland) Ltd will build 38 new affordable homes. Burnfield Demolitions Ltd have now started clearing the site to make way for the new development.

The demolition works will last for about 16 weeks, and work on the new homes will begin in early 2020. Burnfield Demolitions Ltd have prepared the site in accordance with health and safety requirements by establishing a site perimeter and staff welfare facilities. The demolition itself will happen in stages and every effort will be made to minimise the increased levels of dust and noise which are likely to arise.  Whilst the area fenced off has been kept to a minimum to ensure local residents can still use the adjacent parkland, access to the fenced off site is strictly prohibited

Demolition,fences off site

CCG’s Contracts Manager, John Baggley, and Health and Safety Manager, Andrew Blair, visited the pupils of Timmergreens Primary School on Thursday 4 April to talk about thedemolition works and site safety.

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