• What is asbestos and how do I deal with it if it's within my home?

    Asbestos was commonly used in building materials from the early 1900's until the late 1990's and it can be found in a number of homes.

    Please Click here to read our information leaflet on Asbestos, what it is, where it can be found and for advice on how to deal with this.

  • Am I responsible for fire safety within my home?

    It is important to be aware of possible fire hazards around the home and to take steps to protect you, your family and the people living around you from fire.

    Smoke alarms detect smoke at the earliest stages of a fire, giving you vital extra time to escape. Making sure you have a working smoke alarm fitted is an important precaution to protecting you from a fire.

    Smoke alarms are cheap, easy to fit, and sold in most DIY shops. They should be fitted on every level of your home and the batteries tested once a week. You should never remove the batteries. Remember not to fit them in kitchens or bathrooms where smoke and steam could accidentally set them off.

     
  • How can I reduce the risk of fire within my home?

    • Never keep petrol or paraffin in your home
    • Do not use paraffin or bottled gas heaters
    • Take extra care with hot oil and never leave chip pans unattended on the stove or pour water onto a burning chip pan
    • Never leave children alone in the kitchen when cooking and keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach
    • Make sure candles are in secure holders and never leave them unattended and keep away from curtains and fabrics
    • Do not overload electrical sockets
    • Put out cigarettes and matches and take care with ashtrays
    • Put a fireguard around fires
    • Do not hang clothes around fires, cookers or storage heaters
    • Plan your escape route so you know how to get out in a hurry
    • Never use a lift if there is a fire. Always use the stairs
    • Never tackle a fire yourself – call 999

    Many people are not aware that the Fire and Rescue Service will come and visit your home, completely free of charge, at a time that suits you. They will advise you on any aspect of fire safety within your home and help you devise an escape plan, if you do not already have one.

    Further information on Home Fire Risk Assessments can be found at www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/.

  • Does my front door need to meet certain requirements?

    If your property is located within a larger block that shares enclosed communal corridors, the front door to your property is your responsibility to maintain but if you wish to replace the door into your flat in the future there are certain regulations that you will need to take into account before doing so.

    The Housing Act 2004 and The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 sets out these regulations in order to maintain adequate fire separation between flats and communal areas as a means of escape.

    Any replacement door, door frame and door furniture that you install needs to be a minimum of 30 minutes fire resistant. It is your responsibility to make sure that any replacement conforms to this standard and any current Building Regulations. The manufacturer/installer that you use will need to provide you with the relevant specifications and fire safety standards provided by their products.

    If you are thinking of replacing your front door you can send the specification of what you wish to install to us which we will pass onto Your Homes Newcastle’s Fire Safety Officer who will check the specification to make sure that your replacement door fully complies with the necessary fire regulations.

     
  • What are my responsibilities as a landlord for fire safety?

    On 1 October 2015 a new law came into force called the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 which is designed to help improve fire safety by ensuring that all rented properties are fitted with alarms to detect smoke and carbon monoxide.

    All leaseholders who sublet their properties have to comply with this legislation and could face fines if the appropriate equipment is not installed.

    A smoke alarm must be fitted where it can be heard by everyone and if the flat is on more than one floor then an alarm must be fitted on every floor of the property. The legislation does not specify the type of alarm that should be fitted but YHN’s Fire Safety Officer recommends that a hard-wired alarm is installed so that batteries cannot be removed to stop the alarm from working. If you did choose to fit a stand-alone alarm the recommendation is that this should have a 10 year battery life.

    A carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted if you have any appliances that burn solid fuel and must be fitted in the same room as the appliance. This covers open fires, wood burners and Agas.

    It is the landlords responsibility to ensure that all detectors are fitted and working at the start of each new tenancy.

  • What are my responsibilities as a landlord for gas safety?

    If you have sublet your flat and it has any gas appliances in it, the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 apply to you. This means that as a landlord you have a duty by law to your tenants and you must make sure that a gas safety check is carried out every year and that your appliances are properly maintained.

    Landlords who breach the gas safety laws and put lives at risk face tough sentencing in the courts. You can get further information about this from Gas Safe on 0800 408 5500 or by visiting www.gassaferegister.co.uk. All leaseholders can join the Gas Safety Scheme for Leaseholders. This is run by BCE who are Newcastle City Council’s own building and property maintenance company.

    We recommend that all gas appliances are serviced on an annual basis to make sure they are safe and in full working order.

    For a one off annual payment, or direct debit instalments, you can have the peace of mind of knowing that your appliances are working as they should be.

    Click on the links below for more information and to apply:

    If the lease of your property was granted after 2009 it is also a condition of your lease that you have a yearly gas safety inspection carried out and therefore will be in breach of your lease terms, and the law, if you do not carry out the appropriate safety checks on your appliances.

  • How can I reduce condensation within my home?

    If your property is suffering from condensation please Click here to find out what condensation is, how it occurs and what to do to stop it from happening.