Latest News

New guidance to enhance e-bike and e-scooter safety

Information around how to safely purchase, charge and use e-bikes and e-scooters has been published by the government to improve consumer safety.

Following extensive consultation with industry, guidance on battery safety for both e-scooters and e-bikes will raise awareness for owners on how to safely purchase an e-cycle or e-scooter, ensure it meets manufacturing requirements and is only bought from reputable sellers. The documents also cover safe storage and charging, the warning signs for fire risk and how to address them, and how to dispose of batteries responsibly.

The guidance also reminds people that e-scooters cannot be used legally on roads unless they are part of an official rental trial.

The guidance can be found here.

BS 9792 Fire risk assessment – Housing – Code of practice

𝗗𝗿𝗮𝗳𝘁 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗣𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗶𝗰 𝗖𝗼𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 (𝗗𝗣𝗖)

The draft Standard has been developed by a drafting panel under FSH/14 Fire Precautions in Buildings. The methodology in this British Standard is intended to determine the risk-proportionate fire precautions required to protect occupants of housing premises and people in the immediate vicinity of the premises.

𝐒𝐜𝐨𝐩𝐞: this British Standard gives recommendations and corresponding examples of documentation for undertaking, and recording the findings of, fire risk assessments (FRAs) in housing premises and parts of housing premises and is applicable to:

a) houses in multiple occupation;
b) blocks of flats or maisonettes (both purpose-built blocks and houses converted to flats); and
c) specialised housing.

This British Standard is not applicable to a private dwelling, to premises during the construction phase, before the building is used as housing, but it is applicable to vacant premises. It is also, not applicable to premises used solely for short-term letting (e.g. of flats), peer-to-peer rented accommodation nor to non‑domestic premises or residential care homes.

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐏𝐂 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐁𝐒 𝟗𝟕𝟗𝟐 𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝟐𝟓𝐭𝐡 𝐉𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝟐𝟓𝐭𝐡 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡

All details can be found on the British Standards website and you can read the document and comment / respond from there accordingly (you may need to register).

Emergency hazards to be repaired in 24 hours through Awaab’s Law

New plans to clamp down on rogue social landlords who fail to provide safe homes have been announced today (9th January 2024), supporting the Government’s pledge to deliver Awaab’s Law.

The two-year-old from Rochdale died from a respiratory condition caused by extensive mould in the flat where he lived, and the Government is taking action to introduce life-changing reforms in social housing to prevent future tragedies.

The Awaab’s Law consultation has been launched by the Housing Secretary, which proposes introducing new strict time limits for social housing providers and force them to take swift action in addressing dangerous hazards such as damp and mould.

It proposes new legal requirements for social landlords to investigate hazards within 14 days, start fixing within a further 7 days, and make emergency repairs within 24 hours. Those landlords who fail can be taken to court where they may be ordered to pay compensation for tenants.

Landlords will be expected to keep clear records to improve transparency for tenants – showing every attempt is made to comply with the new timescales so they can no longer dither and delay to rectify people’s homes.

Read the full press release here.

Consultation

Everyone deserves to live in a home that is decent, safe and secure. As above, Awaab’s Law, which was introduced in the landmark Social Housing Regulation Act 2023, requires landlords to investigate and fix reported health hazards within specified timeframes.

The primary purpose of this consultation is to set those timeframes, and government is seeking views from across the sector. The new rules will form part of a tenancy agreement, so that tenants can hold landlords to account by law if they fail to provide a decent home.

This is part of a package of publications relating to social housing quality, forming a crucial part of the government’s action to eradicate hazards from social homes and improve standards across the sector.

Awaab’s Law consultation will be open for eight weeks and further details on how to respond can be found here.

Building Safety Regulator case studies

The Building Safety Regulator has put together some case studies on residents’ engagement to help those who are likely to become Principal Accountable Persons, or organisations that support them.

The case studies include scenarios such as considering those with additional needs, blocks where multiple languages are spoken, and accessing harder to reach groups.

Download the document here.

The Building Safety Regulator share content designed to bring to life important detail and information about the new Building Safety Regime and will be publishing resources, including case studies, templates and toolkits, as well as shareable email banners, social graphics and factsheets, which can be downloaded and used by organisations.

The BSR is working with stakeholders and partners to understand what kind of resources would be most useful and content is currently under development.

Check their website regularly here: https://buildingsafety.campaign.gov.uk/making-buildings-safer/resources/

HSE update: New vital statistics for 2022/23

Each year HSE publishes a range of statistics relating to health and safety in Great Britain.

This new poster illustrates the key statistics as an infographic, which when displayed in a workplace, serves as a reminder to workers about the consequences of poor health and safety in priority risk areas.

The 2023 statistics show:

  • 1.8 million working people suffering from a work-related illness, of which:
    • 875,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety
    • 473,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder
  • 2,268 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2021)
  • 135 workers killed in work-related accidents
  • 561,000 working people sustained an injury at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 60,645 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 35.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £20.7 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2021/22).

For more information or to order posters, visit the HSE website.

 

E-bulletin: E-bikes & scooters

We’ve collated some information, news and useful guidance for safe charging of lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries have become widely used in society from small items such as mobile phones and tools to larger transport items such as electric bikes, e- scooters and electric vehicles (EVs), but they are also used for storage facilities for renewable energy.

When used properly, lithium-ion batteries are convenient and safe to use but batteries can present a fire risk when over-charged, short-circuited, or if they are damaged. Charging them safely is really important.

Download the e-bulletin here.

Gas Safety Week: Fighting for a Gas Safe Nation

Landlords legal responsibilities – Annual Gas Safety Checks

We are proud to be supporting Gas Safety Week 2023, taking place 11 – 17 September.

Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is coordinated by Gas Safe Register, the official list of gas engineers who are legally allowed to work on gas.

Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly with no warning, as you cannot see it, taste it, or smell it.

Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants. Landlords must make sure maintenance and annual safety checks on gas appliances are carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer to ensure their tenants and wider communities stay safe.

If you’re a landlord, you are legally obliged to make sure:

  • Gas pipework, appliances and flues provided for tenants are maintained in a safe condition.
  • All gas appliances and flues provided for tenants’ use have an annual safety check. Your tenants can report you to the HSE if you don’t provide one, so it’s important to remember! You can set a free email and/or text reminder so you don’t forget, visit StayGasSafe.co.uk.
  • A Gas Safety Record is provided to the tenant within 28 days of completing the check or to any new tenant before they move in.
  • You keep a copy of the Gas Safety Record until two further checks have taken place.
  • Maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer.
  • All gas equipment (including any appliance left by a previous tenant) is safe or otherwise removed before re-letting.

Before any gas work is carried out always check the engineer is qualified to carry out the work that needs doing e.g., natural gas, domestic boiler. You can find this information on the Gas Safe Register website or by checking the back of the engineer’s Gas Safe ID card. Encourage your tenants to also check the card when the engineer arrives at the property, and to be aware of any warning signs that their gas appliance is working incorrectly, such as dark or sooty staining, excess condensation, pilot lights which frequently blow out and and error messages on the appliance’s control panel

For more information and to find or check an engineer visit GasSafeRegister.co.uk.

LEIA Guidance Note: Checks and inspections of lifts for use by firefighters, evacuation lifts, and lifts with recall

The Lifts and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA) have put together this really useful guidance covering ‘Checks and inspections of lifts for use by firefighters, evacuation lifts, and lifts with recall’

If you have a lift in your building you'll find this very useful as it provides practical advice for lift owners/ responsible persons, competent persons undertaking a thorough examination and calling for any supplementary tests, and lift maintenance providers.

Lift owners/ responsible persons might find this guidance of use in fulfilling their duties under regulations such as The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 and The Fire Safety Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010.

This guidance also includes details of checks to address the requirements of The Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 (FSER), Regulation 7, which came into force on 23 January 2023 in England. The FSER have been laid under article 24 of the Fire Safety Order and make it a legal requirement for the responsible person of a high-rise residential building (HRRB) to carry out monthly routine checks of lifts for use by firefighters and evacuation lifts.

Where the responsible person identifies any fault with a lift for use by firefighters or an evacuation lift, they must take steps to rectify the fault. Where a fault cannot be rectified within 24-hours, the responsible person must report the fault (and later when it has been rectified) to the local fire and rescue authority (Fire and Rescue Service – FRS).

The responsible person is required to record the outcome of checks in an open and transparent way that is also accessible to residents.

There’s also a section which helps you to identify the different lift types.

You can download the guide here – we hope you find it useful.

Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

On 23rd January 2023, the Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 were introduced under article 24 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 to implement the majority of those recommendations made to government in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report (and which required a change in the law).

These regulations will make it a requirement in law for responsible persons of high-rise blocks of flats to provide information to Fire and Rescue Services to assist them to plan and, if needed, provide an effective operational response.

In addition, the regulations will require responsible persons in multi-occupied residential buildings which are high-rise buildings (defined in The Fire Safety (England) Regulations as a building at least 18 metres in height or at least seven storeys) as well as those above 11 metres in height, to provide additional safety measures.

In all multi-occupied residential buildings, the regulations require responsible persons to provide residents with fire safety instructions and information on the importance of fire doors. The regulations apply to existing buildings, and requirements for new buildings may be different.

You can find the Government ‘overview’ factsheet here, as well as links to a range of other information.