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Residents are urged to ensure they continue to get essential maintenance work carried out in their homes

Residents are urged to ensure they continue to get essential maintenance work carried out in their homes

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

LANCASHIRE residents are being urged to ensure they continue to get essential maintenance work carried out in their home during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The warning comes amid reports that some people in rented property are reluctant to let tradespeople in their home to carry out important safety checks.

Lancashire Resilience forum, a partnership between the police, fire service and local councils, is encouraging people to ensure that any planned essential repairs and maintenance work are carried out to keep them and their family safe.

Work such as gas safety tests, boiler servicing, electrical appliance checks in rented accommodation, construction work and testing of smoke and fire alarms should continue to be carried out. Failure to do this could have serious consequences.

The government guidance sets out that repairs and maintenance carried out in people’s homes can continue, provided the tradesperson has no coronavirus symptoms. Tradespeople and residents should keep to the social distancing and hand washing guidelines and rooms should be ventilated where possible. However, no work should be done in households where people are isolating or being shielded, unless the work is to address a direct risk to people's safety, such as emergency plumbing.

County Councillor Albert Atkinson, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for technical services, rural affairs and waste management, said: "Testing of gas and electrical appliances and safety checks are vital in insuring people stay fit and well.

“Reducing dangers such as fire, electric shocks and carbon monoxide poisoning is absolutely vital, so it's essential that people let traders into their home to carry out this planned and much needed work if they can.

“It is important to follow the guidelines regarding social distancing, hand washing and isolating when you have symptoms to keep the risk of spreading Coronavirus to a minimum.”

The advice from the county council's trading standards team is to always assess the importance of the work needing to be done and its urgency.

People must never do business on the doorstep. They can use the Lancashire Safe Trader Scheme to access traders who have agreed to abide by a code of conduct and work with Trading Standards in the event of any complaints.

Mark Hutton, group manager for Prevention, Protection and Road Safety at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “In the last 12 months there have been over 170 fires linked to electrical causes in houses across Lancashire, ranging from faulty or poorly maintained appliances, to issues with fixed wiring and distribution panels. The consequences can be devastating.

“We recommend that you use industry approved electricians and gas engineers if there is a fault or if the appliances and supply needs servicing. Having a working smoke alarm installed will reduce your risk of getting injured should a fire occur and we urge all householders to ensure that they have one fitted.”

“For more information on product recalls or how to find an electrician, please visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk”

For further advice and to contact Trading Standards, call the Citizen's Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

To access a trader on the safe trader scheme visit www.safetrader.org.uk

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