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1 asbestos in your home managing asbestos safely in your home Please note that our Plus Dane customer contact telephone numbers refered to throughout this leaflet have now changed to: [free from most UK landline phones] [local rate from a mobile phone]

2 asbestos in your home We recognise the risk associated with asbestos and acknowledge our responsibility to reduce the exposure of our customers, staff and contractors to asbestos. We have developed an Asbestos Management Plan to manage asbestos safely and minimise risks. Within this plan we will record the location and condition of any materials containing asbestos in our homes. We will also remove any materials that are damaged and pose a risk to health and tell you all you need to know about managing asbestos. What is asbestos? Asbestos is the name used for a range of natural minerals. There are three main types of asbestos: blue (crocidolite); brown (amosite); white (chrysotile). The type of asbestos cannot be identified just by its colour. Asbestos has been used in a very large number of products, many of which have been used in buildings. Some products have one type of asbestos in them while others have mixtures of two or more. All types of asbestos can be dangerous. Any building constructed or refurbished between the 1950 s and 1999 may contain some type of asbestos. Properties built since then are very unlikely to have asbestos anywhere in the building. Is asbestos dangerous? Asbestos does not pose a risk to health if it is undamaged or in a position where it cannot be easily disturbed. The reason for asbestos being dangerous is because it is made up of thin fibres which can break down into much smaller and thinner fibres. The smallest fibres cannot be seen with the naked eye but they can be breathed in. Most asbestos products pose no risk to health, provided they remain in good condition and undisturbed. 2

3 Where might I find asbestos in my home? While there may be asbestos products in your home, they represent a low risk because they are in good condition and are extensively surveyed, recorded and monitored by us. You might find asbestos in these common building materials: Dividing fire breaks in ceiling voids, fire protection of ducts and structural steelwork; Thermal insulation lagging around pipes and boilers; Roofing tiles and felt; Ceiling and Flooring tiles; Decorative textured coatings generally applied prior to 1999; Bath panels; Electrical mains fuse cupboards and certain gas fires; Asbestos cement products, compressed into flat or corrugated sheets, typically used as roofing and wall cladding on garages, sheds etc; Other asbestos cement products including gutters, rainwater pipes, water tanks and flues. What precautions should I take? We will tell you if there is some material containing asbestos in your home so that you can avoid damaging it in any way. If you are moving into a new home which has asbestos we will advise you of this at the start of your tenancy. If we advise you that you have asbestos in your home you should not carry out any work that involves drilling, sawing, sanding or cutting into it that may release fibres into the air. You should contact us before carrying out any works. If you are concerned about any suspect material in your home you should always treat it as if it does contain asbestos until you hear otherwise from us or an asbestos specialist. 3

4 asbestos in your home What are we doing about Asbestos? We manage asbestos in line with the Health and Safety Executives recommendations. This is to leave asbestos in position unless it is in an unsatisfactory condition or likely to be subject to frequent disturbances or where it can be removed as part of a repair, improvement or alteration. We keep a register of all asbestos found in our homes. We have a long term commitment to remove it from all our homes. We do not need to remove all asbestos from our homes in the short term because there is only a risk to health if asbestos fibres are breathed in and asbestos is usually found in locations where it is extremely unlikely that this will happen. We survey all home types so that we are aware of asbestos presence as well as the type and condition. We can then decide what action, if any, will be taken. Unless the asbestos material is damaged we will not normally remove this as it poses very little risk until moved and the safest method may be to seal it. If we find asbestos in your home either during the surveys or during routine repair works, we will advise you immediately. We will also tell you where the asbestos is and any measures you should take in order not to disturb or damage it. We will ensure that the health and safety of you and your family is our main priority at all times and will offer you advice if you are concerned about asbestos. We employ specialist and fully licensed contractors to work with or remove asbestos; this is because of the considerable amount of training required. We will not give you permission to carry out works where there is a likelihood of you removing or damaging any materials containing asbestos. 4

5 Hints & Tips If we have told there is asbestos containing material in your home here are some hints and tints for what you should and should not do: Do contact us immediately in any of the following circumstances If materials that you believe may contain asbestos have been damaged or disturbed; If protective coatings or sealants are peeling or breaking off or special warning labels have been removed; Asbestos cement based products e.g. guttering, shed roofs normally have a hard durable surface are broken due to damage, badly weathered or eroded; Don t Panic asbestos is only dangerous when disturbed; Work on, damage or remove materials containing asbestos. The law requires licensed contractors to be used for all work on asbestos; Sand down or scrape off Artex; Drill, cut or sand materials you may think contain asbestos; Break off pieces or break up large pieces of materials that you believe contain asbestos; Jet wash or clean down asbestos cement products e.g. shed/garage roofs. Carry out any alterations or improvements to your home, before contacting us. Frequently Asked Questions Here are some answers to questions that you may have about asbestos in your home. Q What do I do if the materials containing asbestos in my home are damaged? A If we have told you asbestos is present in your home and the materials containing asbestos are damaged, you must report it to us immediately. Don t deal with asbestos yourself. 5

6 asbestos in your home Q I have been told I have asbestos in my home, why aren t you removing it? A Our decision to remove the asbestos is dependant on the level of risk. Asbestos may be left in place if it is not a danger and unlikely to be disturbed. It can also be sealed with paint or plastic film. Q You have found asbestos in my neighbour s house, when will you survey mine? A If your neighbour s home is of a similar type and age we can assume that the results would be similar and therefore do not need to conduct a survey but we will inform you that your home is likely to contain asbestos and provide relevant advice. Q Why have you removed asbestos from empty properties but not from mine? A When a property is empty, this is the ideal opportunity to remove it with minimal risk and inconvenience. Q I have asbestos in my home; can I decorate and carry out DIY? A Yes but you must take note of the advice we give you relating to any asbestos in your home. If you are planning to carry out any improvements or alterations, you must speak to us before carrying out any works. 6

7 Customer Feedback We value your views and would like to hear what you think about the service you receive from us. If you wish to make a complaint, compliment or make a suggestion you can do so by contacting us on alternatively see our Customer Feedback leaflet. 7

8 Translations available on request Other languages, Braille, audio format & large print available on request plus dane group 172 Park Road Liverpool L8 6SJ 3.4 M Produced by Plus Dane Group communications team January 2012

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