You are entitled to live in a rented property which has safe appliances. If you have concerns about the safety of your accommodation you should contact your landlord/agency straightaway.
You have a right to have safe appliances and equipment in the property you are renting.
Look out for the danger signs listed below:
- hot and/or scorch marked plugs and sockets
- broken plug sockets
- fuses that blow continually for no obvious reason
- lights flickering and/or lights that blow the bulbs continually
- loose switches
- exposed or bare wiring
- sparks from electrical appliances/sockets
- broken and damaged or cracked fittings
If you are living in a property and have concerns about the safety of your electrics then you should contact the landlord or agency as a matter of urgency. If you are living in a UWE managed property then speak to Accommodation Services (0117 32 85678). If you have any concerns and feel the landlord is not acting on them, come and see an adviser.
The legislation that will cover your property depends on what type of property it is.
Tips to reduce fire risk:
- If you don't already have them, get some smoke detectors. They're cheap, available in loads of shops such as DIY shops and even some supermarkets and they're easy to install. Test to check that they are working every month and replace the batteries every six months.
- Check before you move in what fire-fighting equipment comes with the property and that it is in good working order.
- Look out for fire blankets in the kitchen and water and Carbon Dioxide extinguishers and make sure that you know how to use them safely.
- If you use an extinguisher or fire blanket, tell the property owner and get it replaced immediately.
- When you move in, make yourself familiar with escape routes.
- If the property has self-closing doors, don't prop them open or take off the closing mechanisms.
- If there is a fire alarm system, make sure that you know how to use it and don't cover up heat sensors.
For more information on fire safety and your rights as an occupier contact the Environmental Health Department of Bristol City Council on 0117 353 3871 or 0117 903 8704.
All furniture and furnishings provided as part of a rental agreement have to comply with basic fire resistance standards.
Furniture that meets these regulations will have a permanent safety label attached that clearly states that the furniture complies with the 1988 regulations and has passed flammability tests - so look out for these labels on sofas, chairs, cushions, nursery and bedroom furniture.
If you are concerned, get in touch with the Trading Standards Department of Bristol City Council via the mainswitch board on 0117 922 2000.
Gas and Carbon Monoxide
Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be caused by faulty gas and fuel burning appliances which haven't been properly installed or regularly safety checked. It can make you very seriously ill or even kill you.
Carbon Monoxide has no smell, taste or colour and is difficult to detect, so make sure you remember the danger signs. If you have any suspicions about any appliances in your home, or suspect that you smell gas, then call the free 24-hour National Grid Gas Emergency Helpline on 0800 111 999.
Look out for the following on gas appliances:
- Sooting or staining marks on or around the appliance
- A yellow or orange lazy flame - not crisp and blue
- Condensation in the room where the appliance is installed
Things You Can Do To Protect Yourself:
- Ask the property owner to show you the Gas Safety certificate when you view the property.
- Never block any ventilation provided for a gas appliance.
- Know the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning and watch out for them - they include drowsiness, weakness, headaches, nausea and pains in the chest.
If you have these symptoms whilst using a gas appliance, stop using it immediately and don't use it again until it has been investigated. Get yourself checked out by a doctor.
If you suspect that you smell gas or fumes, turn off the gas at the meter, open windows, extinguish naked flames, do not switch on any lights and call the National Grid Gas Emergency Helpline immediately on 0800 111 999.
For further information visit http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk.