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Home Safety

Home Safety

Safety in the Home 

Homes are generally safe places, however some dangers exist.  A large number of accidents happen in the home every year.  Many of these could be avoided if people followed a few simple precautions such as:
•Don’t leave electric cables or flexes trailing
•Never leave saucepan or pot handles sticking out over the edge of the cooker
•Always use steps if you are getting anything out of a high cupboard or doing a job like changing a light bulb.  Do not stand on chairs, stools etc.
•Always keep medicines, solvents or other hazardous substances out of the reach of children.
•Take care when doing DIY and using tools.  If you are using power tools always use a circuit breaker.
 
Gas
 

Lochfield Park will service any fixed gas fires or central heating boilers in your house every year.  It is essential that you allow the technicians access to do this work.  If you have any gas appliances of your own e.g. gas cooker then you should have it repaired and serviced by an approved tradesman.  You must check that any tradesman is registered with Gas Safe, a body which approves only properly qualified and trained gas installers.

If you want to install any gas appliance, you must first contact Lochfield Park for permission.  It is dangerous (and is unlawful) if you let unqualified person(s) fit, repair or service a gas appliance.

If you smell gas in your home, you should:
•Put out all cigarettes and other naked lights
•Switch off all gas appliances
•Turn the gas off at the mains (the main tap is usually beside your gas meter)
•Make sure you do not turn on or off any lights or other electrical switches including mobile phones (this could cause a spark)
•Phone Transco on the emergency number 0845 111 999
•Open windows to allow any gas to escape
 
Security
 

Many burglaries are done on the spur of the moment.  They can be avoided by following a few steps:
•Always lock your doors and windows if you are going out
•If you are going away, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house.  Make sure you cancel your milk and paper deliveries
•Do not leave valuables lying about where they can be seen
•Do not keep large sums of money in your home
•If you live in a block of flats with a controlled entry system, make sure that the entry doors are always locked.  Do not let anyone you don’t know into the building.
•Relatively cheap items like your door chains and peep holes can increase your security
•All of our staff and our contractors carry identification as do staff that work for Councils, Water Boards etc  If anyone calls at your home ask to see identification before you let them in.  If they don’t have proper identification, or you are not sure about them, do not let them in.  If you are at all suspicious, telephone the Police
•A Neighbourhood Watch scheme can help to reduce the chance of break-ins as people keep an eye on each other’s houses and watch out for anything suspicious in the area.  The crime prevention or community involvement branch at your local Police station can give you advice on setting up a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
•Please make sure you always use the window safety catches properly.  This can help prevent break-ins and make your home a safer place for children.  If you discover that any of the catches are not working properly then let us know and we will get them repaired.
 
Fire
 

Fire can kill.  Many fires are caused by carelessness.  Some of the more common causes of fires are:
•Dropped matches or cigarettes
•Chip pans being left unattended and overheating
•Smoking in bed
•Overloaded electrical sockets or faulty electrical appliances
•Faulty electric blankets
•Drying or airing clothes near fires
•Candles left unattended

Carrying out these few simple checks before going to bed every night could help you to avoid having a fire:
•Empty ashtrays into a metal bin
•Disconnect all electrical appliances, which do not heed to be on overnight
•Make sure all candles are extinguished
 

Smoke Detectors
 

Lochfield Park has installed smoke detectors in all of its properties.  All houses have wired smoke detectors with a battery back-up in case there are any power cuts.

Your smoke alarm will only help to protect you and your family if it is working properly.  To make sure it is working properly you should test it every week by pressing the test button.  You can use a brush handle to reach it.  If the battery is flat, put a new one in your detector.  Never take the battery out of the smoke detector unless it is to replace it with a new one.

Never try to disconnect your alarm, move it or paint it.
 
If you have a fire
 

If there is a fire in your house, you should do the following:
•Close the door to the room where the fire is to stop flames from spreading
•Warn everyone else in the house and get everyone out immediately
•Phone 999 for the Fire Brigade
•Warn other people in the building and your neighbours
•Do not go back in the house for any reason until the Fire Brigade has said it is safe to do so
•Contact Lochfield Park to let us know that there has been a fire, no matter how small
 
Watch out for Winter
 

Although all of our houses have central heating, there is still the risk of frozen or burst pipes during the periods of heavy frost.  Following the few simple steps below should help you to avoid any damage to your home:
•Find out where the main stopcock is
•Report any dripping taps or running overflows to Lochfield Park so that they can be fixed
•Always try to keep your home heated to at least 100C and allow heat to circulate into all rooms
•If you are going on holiday during the winter months it is advisable to leave your central heating on
 
If your pipes freeze
 
•Telephone Lochfield Park for advice
•Turn off the water at stop cock
•Keep your central heating on (your combination boiler will still work but you may not have running water during a heavy freeze)
 
If you have a burst pipe
•Telephone Lochfield Park for a plumber
•Turn off the water at the stop cock or tap
•If the water comes into contact with electrical fittings, switch off the electricity at the mains

Remember, burst pipes can cause a lot of damage.  Lochfield Park will repair your house but we are not responsible for damage to decoration or to your furniture, carpets or other belongings.
 
Electricity
 

If all the power goes off in your home, check to see if it is the power card.  If not then check your fuse box or circuit breaker.

Unplug all electrical equipment and reset your trip switches.  If this does not help, contact Lochfield Park for assistance.
 
Circuit Breakers
 

All of our properties are fitted with circuit breakers instead of fuses.  These are sensitive devices designed to switch off the electricity supply if there is a fault.  They provide extra safety for you and your home.  If a faulty appliance has caused the failure, unplug it and get an electrician to check it.

If you cannot find what is causing the problem, contact Lochfield Park or the emergency number is the office is closed.
 
Insurance
 

We insure the structure of your home against damage.  This is called Buildings Insurance.  Buildings Insurance does not cover your contents, furniture, clothes, bedding, carpets, appliances etc, personal belongings or the decoration of your home.  If you have a fire or flood and you do not have your own house contents insurance you could face a financial disaster.

We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive house contents insurance to cover your belongings for damage or loss as a result of fire, flood or theft.  You should check any insurance policy carefully to make sure that it covers you properly and that you are insured for the correct amount.  Remember how much it would cost you to replace your belongings if you lost them.