Asbestos safety

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This page has information about asbestos safety, what we can do to help, and what you should do before starting any home improvements.

What is asbestos?

In good condition, asbestos is not a risk to your health.

Asbestos is a strong, naturally occurring material which can resist heat and chemicals.  It was commonly used in building materials between the 1930s and 1980s.  Many buildings built or changed during this period could contain asbestos.

What are the health risks?

You are not at risk if parts of your home contain asbestos, as long as it is undisturbed and undamaged.

You are only at risk if you do DIY, including work such as drilling, sawing, scrubbing and sanding, to parts of your home which may contain asbestos. DIY can result in brief but high levels of exposure to asbestos fibres that put you and your family at serious risk. Exposure to asbestos can be fatal.

What should I do when I want to do DIY at home?

If you’re planning to do some DIY, get in touch with our Health and Safety team first so we can check our records and let you know if any asbestos is present or offer advice. If you are a tenant, we may carry out an asbestos survey if we think it’s needed.

Where can asbestos be found?

Remember – not all homes contain asbestos.

This diagram shows you where you could find asbestos in your home. Click on the image to enlarge.

 What if I think there is asbestos in my home?

  • New tenants: we will let you know if there has been an asbestos survey, what asbestos was found and where, when you move into your new home.
  • Existing tenants: contact us and we will check our records to advise if any asbestos is present. We can arrange for an asbestos survey to be carried out if we think it’s needed.
  • Leaseholders: we can offer you information and advice.  You will need to arrange and pay for your own asbestos survey and any removal that may be necessary.  Always use an approved contractor who is licensed with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
  • You can find a licensed asbestos removal contractor on the HSE and Asbestos Removal Contractors Association (ARCA) websites.

How do I get rid of asbestos in household items?

Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove or work on any items you think may contain asbestos.