Estates UK Covid-19 Policy
As Coronavirus (also known as Covid-19) continues to spread, we recognise that our Company needs to adapt its ways of working to try and reduce the spread of the virus and safeguard the welfare of our employees, customers and families, whilst continuing the operations as normal as possible.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- or sneeze into your elbow.
- put used tissues in the bin straight away.
- wash your hands with soap and water often for a minimum of 20 seconds each time.
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
We request that everyone follow government advice at all times.
Further information can be found by clicking here.
NHS state the symptoms of Coronavirus are as follows:
- A cough.
- A high temperature/fever.
- Shortness of breath.
- We would appreciate your co-operation in trying to control the risk of contracting the virus.
If you suspect that you may have coronavirus or been in close contact with someone who has the coronavirus, please seek medical advice immediately from NHS 111 for further advice. Please also inform ESTATES so we are also aware. Please email; [email protected] or call 01482 493344.
During these unprecedented times we will do our very best to continue to deliver the best possible service we can while constantly monitoring all latest updates.
Have no heating or hot water?
Our engineers attend to appliances every day where call outs can be avoided, please carry out the following before calling to arrange an engineer visit. Charges may be applied if the engineer determines that the call out was unnecessary.
- Have you reset the appliance?
- Have you checked the pilot light is on?
- Have you checked you have gas & electric on?
- Have you checked the water pressure is between 1-2.5?
- Have you checked the thermostat is on the on position?
This link gives you further advice on what to do if you have no heating or hot water.
How many smoke alarms do you need?
The more alarms you have, the safer you'll be, as long as they are working, so make sure you test them weekly.
Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home, it's the simplest step you can take to cut the risk of dying as a result of a fire in your home. You should have a minimum of one alarm on each floor.
If you have a large electrical item like a computer in any of the bedrooms, you should fit a smoke alarm there too.
Maintaining your smoke alarms
To keep your smoke alarms in good working order, you should test them once a week by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds. NEVER remove the batteries apart from when replacing them.
Check your smoke alarm every week it could save your life.
Safety in the home
- Fit smoke alarms and test them regularly
- Never leave cooking unattended
- Plan and practice your escape route
- Switch off appliances before going to bed, including your cooker
- Close all internal doors to prevent a fire from spreading
- Share your fire safety plans with family and friends and look out for the elderly
Damp, mould and condensation guidance
Is your home damp? Damp can cause mould on walls and furniture and make window frames rot. Damp cold housing encourages the growth of mould and mites, as mites feed on moulds and can increase the risk of respiratory illnesses in some people. Some damp is caused by condensation. This leaflet explains how condensation forms and how you can keep it to a minimum, so reducing the risk of dampness and mould growth.
You will need to take proper steps to deal with the condensation, but meanwhile there are some measures you can take right away. Wipe down the windows and sills every morning. Wring out the cloth rather than drying it on a radiator. Condensation channels and sponge strips can be bought at DIY shops. They are fitted to windows to collect the condensation and thus help prevent window frames from rotting and avoid damp forming under sills. Care must be taken to fit these devices properly.
First treat the mould already in your home. If you deal with the basic problem, mould should not reappear. To kill and remove mould, wipe down walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash which carries a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. Dry-clean mildewed clothes, and shampoo carpets. Disturbing mould by brushing or vacuum cleaning can increase the risk of respiratory problems.
After treatment redecorate using a good quality fungicidal paint to help prevent mould. Note that this paint is not effective if overlaid with ordinary paints or wallpaper. When wallpapering, use a paste containing a fungicide to prevent further mould growth. The only lasting way of avoiding severe mould is to eliminate dampness.
The video below gives you further advice on what to do if you notice any damp or mould.
How to work your economy 7 heaters
Storage-heaters work by storing heat generated by cheap night-time electricity and releasing this heat during the day
Most storage heaters are wall-mounted and look a bit like radiators. They work by drawing electricity over the course of a few hours at night, and storing it as heat in a ‘bank’ of clay or ceramic bricks to use the following day. The advantage is that they can consume electricity at night, when it’s cheap, and give out their heat many hours later.
As a consequence they work best if the household is on an Economy 7. This is a tariff in which night-time electricity is much cheaper – typically about a third of the price – but day-time electricity is more expensive. The cheap hours are normally from 12 midnight until 07.00 in winter, and from 01.00 to 08.00 in summer, although this can vary. For more information about Economy 7, click here.
Risks of legionnaires
The information here is to inform you about the risks of contracting Legionnaire’s disease, and how to safely prevent it.
As your Landlord we have a legal obligation to ensure you are aware of the possible causes and symptoms of Legionnaires disease so you can identify any problems easily and report any concern to us.
What is Legionnaires disease?
Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, which can affect anybody. It is caused by the inhalation of small droplets of water from contaminated sources containing legionella bacteria.
Where is Legionnaires found?
All hot and cold water systems in residential properties are a potential source for legionella bacteria growth. The main areas of risk are where the bacteria can multiply and increase to dangerous levels and then spread, e.g. in spray from showers and taps, even in dishwasher and washing machine pipes.
Conditions ripe for colonisation are where water of between 20C and 45C stagnates, and where there is sludge, rust and scale present for the bacteria to feed upon and multiply.
Who is at risk?
Legionnaire’s disease most commonly affects the elderly, or people with chest or lung problems. Not everyone exposed to legionella bacteria becomes ill. Legionnaire’s disease is not contagious and you cannot get it from drinking water.
On average, there are approximately 500 reported cases of Legionnaire’s disease a year.
The symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease are similar to those of flu;
- High temperature
- Fever or chills
- Muscle pain
- Dry cough
There is no need for concern. Legionnaire’s disease is easily preventable by putting in place some simple control measures. The information below will help you identify any potential problems.
What precautions can I take?
- Flush through showers and taps for 10 minutes following a period of non-use (i.e. after you have been on holiday or if a room is not in regular use).
- Keep all shower heads and taps clean and free from a build up of lime scale, mould or algae growth.
- Keep hot water on your boiler system at a temperature of 60C or greater.
What is a home-owner guarantor?
A home-owner guarantor is someone who owns their own home. A guarantor must be willing to sign a form which coincides with the Tenancy Agreement.
The role of the guarantor is to provide a form of security. If the tenant does not pay his/her rent or damages the property then the guarantor is liable for all the outstanding rent and any damage caused plus any interest/fees added on for late payment.
If the tenant breaches his/her obligations set out in the Tenancy Agreement, the guarantor will be held responsible for any monies owed including any subsequent court costs/interest.
If we have to issue court proceedings to recover monies/damages ect, all court costs, possession proceedings and interest relating to this will be added to the debt, we will seek enforcement, by applying for a charge on the guarantors home until the debt is paid in full, this could affect your ability to obtain credit and/or sell your home.
The guarantee covers the Assured Shorthold Tenancy and any other subsequent periodic tenancies thereafter, therefore the duration of the tenants possession of the property.
Detect a gas leak?
Click here for more information or call national grid on 0800 111 999.
Lost pressure in your gas boiler
A loss of water pressure is a good indicator of some common issues that arise with boilers. Low pressure is relatively easy to diagnose, as most boilers have a built-in pressure gauge. Sometimes, it’s possible to correct water pressure yourself.
Understanding water pressure
Constant water pressure is essential to the efficient functioning of your boiler system. Pressure in most modern combination boilers is maintained by cold water flowing from the water mains supply through a mechanism known as the ‘filling loop’.
What causes a drop in pressure?
A number of things can cause pressure to drop. It maybe that there is a leak somewhere in your boiler system. Or, if you bled your radiators recently, it may be that pressure was lost then.
However, you may not be able to tell that you have a problem until you check the pressure gauge. A water leak, for instance, may be tiny and go unnoticed at first, only to develop into a larger problem down the line.
Checking your pressure gauge
Check the water pressure gauge or indicator, which is typically on the front of your boiler. For most boilers, this should be set around the 1 bar. The position set when the boiler was installed is sometimes shown by a red indicator needle.
If you have noticed repeated drops in your boiler pressure, make sure you check the gauge regularly. A drop in pressure is a good indication that there is a problem with your boiler.
The valves can be opened either by tap handles, or by using a flat headed screwdriver. Open both valves to allow the cold mains water into the system. You should hear water filling the system. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge until it reaches 1.5 bar, then close off both valves, one after the other.
Problem with your pipes?