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1 A t e n a n t s G u i d e t o A s b e s t o s Version Introduction page 3 Our Commitment Page 4 Will I be exposed? Page 6 Where will it be? Page 8 Translation page 12

2 Contents Introduction Page 3 Our commitment Page 4 Why is it used? Page 5 Will I be exposed to asbestos Page 6 Health risks Page 7 Where will it be Page 8 DIY tips Page 9 Further information Useful Contacts Page 11 Translation Page 12 2

3 Introduction Background and Introduction to Ashfield Homes Ashfield Homes Ltd is an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) set up by Ashfield District Council on 1 st April 2002 to manage, maintain and improve Ashfield District Council housing stock. The Company is one of the top performers nationally and has a reputation for delivering excellent Housing Management, Maintenance and Support services. The Company is one of very few housing organisations to have been awarded an excellent three star rating twice by the Audit Commission s Housing Inspectors. In September 2005, Ashfield Homes was the first ALMO in the country to complete its programme of modernisation and repair works to Council homes to meet the Governments Decent Homes Standard over four years ahead of the government s 2010 deadline 3

4 Our commitment The Service We Offer to You When you request our services in relation to an asbestos issue, we will:- 1. Notify you in writing when any works or assessments to your home will be conducted; 2. Undertake any work at a time and date convenient to yourself; 3. Provide proof of identity before we enter your home; 4. Ensure the work is completed to a good standard; 5. Leave your home clean and tidy. This booklet is aimed at providing you with information relating to asbestos and the actions you can take to minimise the effects of this in your home. Should you request our services in relation to this matter, our Responsive & Void Maintenance Section will aim to respond quickly to your requests and offer assistance and advice where appropriate. Please contact the Repairs Call Handling Centre on Tel

5 Why is it used? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral (a fibrous silicate) made up of many small fibres. It is mined from rock and milled into fibres from which a wide range of materials were produced. It has been used commercially for about 150 years because it is strong, flexible and stable. The three types of asbestos used in the UK are:- Crocidolite (blue asbestos); Amosite (brown asbestos) and Chrysotile (white asbestos) Why was asbestos used in the home? Asbestos fibres are strong and resistant to heat and chemicals. This led to their widespread use in a wide range of building materials and products, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s. Asbestos was often used as fireproofing but also as a general building material. Asbestos materials pose little risk unless they are disturbed in some way that allows the fibres to be released into the atmosphere. This will occur if the asbestoscontaining material is drilled, sanded, cut or broken up, but could also occur, if it is in poor or a damaged condition. 5

6 Will I be exposed to asbestos? Where is asbestos likely to be found in the home? Building materials containing asbestos were widely used from 1930 to the mid-1980s, but particularly from the 1960s onwards. So all types of buildings constructed or refurbished around this time, may contain asbestos. Asbestos has been used in some heat-resistant household products, such as:- oven gloves; simmering mats; and ironing boards. The use of asbestos in these products decreased greatly around the mid-1980s. Since 1993 the use of asbestos in most products has been banned. Why is asbestos potentially a problem? There are asbestos-containing materials in about 5.5 million buildings in the UK. Because asbestos has been so widely used, there is a low level of asbestos fibres in the air everywhere. Yet the risk to the public from asbestos in the home is low. If you are at all concerned please contact our Repairs call handling centre on Tel

7 Health risks What are the health risks? Although asbestos is a hazardous material, it can only pose a risk to health if the asbestos fibres become airborne. When asbestoscontaining materials are damaged or deteriorate with age, they can release tiny fibres into the air. Any works undertaken in tenant's homes by Ashfield Homes would include a risk assessment to check whether it is likely the work will disturb asbestos. Where asbestos is found to be damaged or may be disturbed it will be managed safely either by, encapsulation or removal, by specialist contractors. Imported manufactured goods may still contain asbestos. Often asbestos is masked by other materials or is dyed, which disguises its true colour. Remember, products that contain asbestos can look identical to those that don t. 7

8 Where will it be? The picture and list below show some common areas where asbestos-containing materials may be found; the list is not all-inclusive. Exterior: 1) Garage roofing and shed sheets, tiles or roof felt 2) Gutters and down pipes 3) Fascia boards Interior: 4) Partition walls 5) Panels beneath windows 6) Cupboards around domestic boilers 7) Panels behind electrical equipment 8) Panels behind fires or heaters 9) Panels on or inside fire doors 10) Bath panels 11) Floor titles 12) Textured coatings (Artex) 13) Gaskets and rope seals inside gas & solid fuel appliances 14) Cold water storage tanks 8

9 DIY tips DO NOT:- Carry out any DIY works on Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM's) Disturb any ACM Drill into ACM Scrape or sand ACM DIY work can result in brief but high levels of exposure. If you think a material might contain asbestos, DO NOT DISTURB IT - This is why you must ask for permission from Ashfield Homes before undertaking any work Attempt to remove ACM Before undertaking any alterations to your home you must first gain permission from Ashfield Homes. Tel If you are worried about a particular building product in your home, you should bring it to the attention of Ashfield Homes by contacting our Repairs Call Handling Centre on freephone Tel or via our website 9

10 Further information We maintain an Asbestos Register Database which we update when appropriate. If you are planning home improvements or maintenance and think you have asbestos in your home, always ask our permission in the first instance so we can check our records and advise if any asbestos is present, or arrange for a hazardous materials survey to be carried out. Ashfield Homes insists that all asbestos must be removed, sealed or repaired by contractors with a special licence issued by the Government. These licensed contractors have to follow strict regulations to ensure asbestos is safely handled. Contact Details The following will provide further information and advice on asbestos: Health & Safety Executive asbestos/index.htm Asbestos Information Centre The Asbestos Removal Contractors Association ARCA British Asbestos Newsletter What do I do in an emergency? If there is an asbestos emergency, then contact your Repairs Call Handling Centre immediately on freephone Tel

11 Useful contacts Useful Contact Details for Ashfield Homes Services: Ashfield Homes 24hr Repairs Call Handling Centre - Tel Ashfield Homes Housing Services - Tel Ashfield Homes Technical Services (Procurement / Major Works) - Tel Ashfield Homes 24hr Support Centre - Tel Textphone / Minicom - Tel

12 Translation Ashfield Homes can provide information in different formats or alternatively can supply aids to enable you to view our standard publications. Tel for more information. 12 TEXTPHONE AND MINICOM SERVICE If you have difficulty using a voice telephone because you cannot hear what the caller is saying, or you cannot speak back to them, then you may be using a Textphone. Ashfield Homes has a Textphone which allows you to send a typed message instead of speaking and we will reply to your Textphone with a typed response. If you have a Textphone you can contact Ashfield Homes Limited on Tel

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