DGHP, part of Wheatley Group, strives to ensure that all aspects of your home are safe. To help us do this, we rely on you, our tenants, to support these efforts by helping make sure your home meets the regulations and requirements which DGHP and all RSLs (Registered Social Landlords) must adhere to.
We have outlined your responsibilities to help ensure that each and every home complies with safety requirements – should you have any concerns or questions regarding your tenancy/property, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0800 011 3447.
- Fire Safety
- Electrical Safety
- Flat blocks/High Rise Buildings
- Gas Installations
- Dampness, Condensation and Mould
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used in a wide range of building materials in the UK from the 1950s until 1999 when the all use of asbestos was banned. Any property built prior to 2000 may contain asbestos.
- Asbestos materials in a good condition are safe, unless the fibres become damaged.
- If there are asbestos containing materials in your home do not panic. If it is in a good condition and not likely to be damaged or disturbed then it is best to leave it alone.
- If you are concerned that there is damaged or ageing asbestos in your home, contact us on 0800 011 3447.
DGHP makes every effort to minimise the risk to tenants and complies with all relevant Fire Safety legislation and guidance. Fires can start quickly and can cause damage to your home as well as putting your lives in danger. To keep you and your family safe the following guidance is issued:
- Test your smoke alarms
- Take care when cooking
- Ensure your electrical items are safe
- Have a fire escape plan
We work together with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to help keep your home fire safe; find further information on fire safety in the home here.
While our electrical safety check will assure the safety of your electrical system, the biggest cause of electrical fires in homes is faulty appliances.
This simple advice will help keep you and your family safe:
- Test your smoke alarm regularly.
- Don’t let leads from kettles, toasters or other appliances trail across your cooker.
- Turn electrical appliances off when you’ve finished using them.
- If you see burn marks or notice sockets feel hot, let us know.
- Check cables before using an appliance. If you notice wear and tear, or the plug isn’t securely fastened, don’t use it.
- Never overload electrical adaptors by plugging too many appliances into one socket.
- Never trail flexible cables from appliances under your carpet or rugs.
- Don’t use a bulb with a higher wattage than stated on your light fitting.
Avoiding kitchen fires
According to the electrical safety council, over half of house fires start in the kitchen. Some basic checks can help avoid this:
- Check you’ve turned your cooker off
- Defrost your fridge/freezer at least once a year
- Check your oven is clean
- Check your plug sockets
- Check your wiring
- Don’t leave your washing machine, dishwasher or tumble-dryer on when you’re out of the house. If you leave it on overnight, make sure your smoke alarm is working
- Check that appliances such as microwaves, fridges and freezers have enough ventilation space around them – check the manufacturer’s recommendations
Remember – NEVER USE WATER TO PUT OUT AN ELECTRICAL FIRE
More advice on electrical safety in the home can be found on the Electrical Safety First web site.
Your electrical safety check
We carry out an electrical safety check of your wiring, fuse board and electrical system every five years. You can help us keep you Home safe and sound by allowing us to carry out this check when we write to you.
Find loads more electrical safety advice by visiting the Electrical Safety First web site
Register your appliances for added safety
AMDEA is the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, the UK trade association that represents over 85% of all small and large domestic appliances sold in the UK. They have a database of registered appliances so that firms can contact you quickly should they need to in respect of your appliance.
To register your appliance visit www.registermyappliance.org.uk
Flat blocks/High Rise Buildings
DGHP does not have any properties over 5 storeys in height. Our buildings have passed recent cladding tests and have been designed to prevent fire/smoke spread.
- Keep your building safe – ensure stairwells are clear to protect escape routes and reduce the risk of deliberate fires
- Do not wedge fire doors open
If there is a fire in another flat, you‘ll be safer staying in your own home – stay put until instructed otherwise by the Fire and Rescue Service or Police.
By law, under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, DGHP has an obligation to ensure the health and safety of our tenants – the cornerstone of this is our annual gas service and safety check to your gas, solid fuel or oil heating system.
- Under the terms of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulation 1998, DGHP is legally bound to carry out an annual service of the heating appliances in your home.
- You must allow us access annually – if you don’t, DGHP will have to arrange a forced entry and apply a fixed recharge
- If you smell gas or suspect a leak:
- Open all doors and windows
- Do not use any light switches or naked flames
- Shut off the gas supply at the meter control valve (if you know where it is) and call the Gas Emergency Freephone number 0800 111 999.
Combustible appliances are often in use during the winter months – take a few steps now to ensure your home is safe:
- Keep heaters away from curtains & furniture – never use them for drying clothes.
- Unplug or switch off portable heaters when going out or to bed.
- Secure them in position – avoid the risk of them getting knocked over.
- Only use gas or paraffin heaters in well-ventilated areas.
Questions? View more information on gas safety here.
Legionella bacteria can live in hot and cold water systems used in homes and other residential accommodation.
The risk is low in domestic properties but to reduce the risk even further:
- Use your water system regularly to prevent stagnant water
- Run all infrequently used taps at least once a week for a few minutes to ensure the pipes are cleared
- If your hot water comes through a hot water cylinder, ensure the temperature is set around 50-60 degrees Celsius – cold water storage should be less than 20 degrees Celsius
If you have been away on holiday or not used specific taps for a while:
- Run the water for 2-3 minutes before using
- Immerse the shower head in a basin of water or the bath and run water for 2-3 minutes or
- Remove the shower head and flush; ideally shower heads and hoses should be dismantled and disinfected around 4 times/year.
Find more information on legionella here.
Dampness, Condensation and Mould
Dampness refers to several different problems caused by water in buildings. One or more of these problems can be present at the same time and can cause an impact on health and the condition within your property if left untreated.
Water entering the fabric of a building, such as the walls, ﬂoors and ceilings (external and internal).
Condensation occurs inside a building when water from the air forms on the surfaces of a room and its contents. Water from condensation will run down the surfaces of some materials, such as glass and ceramic tiles. On other surfaces the water from condensation will soak into the material and cause staining, mould or damage to the decorative finish.
Mould is fungal organisms growing on surfaces inside a building. It may be seen as just a few dark coloured spots or a black coating over a wide area. In order to grow, mould requires high levels of moisture vapour. Mould is often found behind items of furniture positioned against a wall or in corners.
How to reduce the risk of condensation and mould
Keep a low level of heating in all rooms in the property and aiming to keep the temperature constant:
- Reduce the amount of water vapour produced by activities in the home
- Ventilate your home correctly to remove excessive moisture vapour – especially during daily activities which produce more moisture
- Keep furniture and other possessions away from walls surfaces, particularly external walls and corners
- Wipe off small spots of mould with a fungicidal cleaner when they first occur
- Wipe off surface condensation from hard surfaces, such as glass and ceramic tiles as soon as it occurs
Heating your home adequately can help:
- Report any faults with the heating system or appliances immediately
- Check the programmer, thermostat and other controls are set correctly
- Ask for advice if the cost of fuel is the reason for not using the heating system enough
- Prevent unnecessary heat loss by closing windows and external doors when they are not in use
- Keep curtains and furniture away from radiators
For more information please read DGHP’s Damp & Condensation Leaflet
We’re always working hard to minimise the risk of the any of the above to our tenants to the best of our abilities. However, if you do have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us on Freephone 0800 011 3447.