Calls for carbon monoxide alarms in new-build houses

Cardiff Building Surveyors

Campaigners are lobbying the Welsh government to amend building regulations to ensure carbon monoxide alarms are installed in new homes.

The Carbon Monoxide – Be Alarmed group say only 38% of homes in Wales own a carbon monoxide alarm.

As well as new-build regulations, it wants landlords to be forced to provide alarms in properties as part of annual gas safety inspections.

The Welsh government has been asked to comment.

Members of the group will meet assembly ministers at the Senedd at an event hosted by Islwyn AM Gwyn Price.

Campaign spokeswoman, Christine McGourty, said: “There are two simple steps we’d like the Welsh Government to take.

“Firstly, building regulations should be amended so that new homes come with alarms already installed.

“Secondly, providing an alarm should be part of a landlord’s annual gas safety inspection.”

Attending the event will be Adele Forbes, from Blackwood, in Caerphilly county, who lost her five-year-old son McCauley and her grandparents in 2005 to carbon monoxide poisoning.

McCauley Thomas, five, had been staying with Patrick Chidgey, 71, and his wife Gloria, 68, at Pontllanfraith, near Blackwood, in October 2005.

A Newport inquest heard carbon monoxide had built up in the house because of a blocked chimney from a coal fire.

An investigation showed the chimney had not been swept and the boiler not been serviced for “some time”.

Ms Forbes said: “We hadn’t got round to putting an alarm into our home, and I now have to live with that forever.

“Too many lives are lost or harmed each year because people don’t realise the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“I want every parent in Wales to buy a carbon monoxide alarm this week.

“Believe me, spending £20 on an alarm is worth it – it can protect you and your family from permanent brain damage and it might save your lives.”

Gwyn Price AM said he hoped the event would be a “significant first step to achieving the campaigns objectives, here in Wales”.

The campaign group claims 1.8m people in Wales are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because they do not have an alarm.

It says research shows 74% of people are unaware that carbon monoxide – which has no colour, taste or smell – can kill, and only 15% realise it can cause brain damage.

Find a surveyor near you if you think carbon monoxide might be building in your home. Click here to find your nearest Chartered Surveyor.

Source: BBC website.

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Homeless Londoners face move to Hull

A London council is considering rehoming people in Yorkshire following a surge of people in emergency accommodation.

Croydon Council in south London, has seen the number of families it houses in emergency bed and breakfast accommodation rise from 61 families in 2008 to 300.

Caps to local housing allowance, benefit paid to private rented sector tenants, and job losses due to the financial crisis are thought to be behind the increase.

The council is now looking at housing people in other parts of the country where rents are cheaper and there are more homes available. The authority insists it will not attempt to move people to other areas without their consent.

Dudley Mead, cabinet member for housing, finance and asset management, said: ‘We don’t seem to be able to raise the supply of temporary accommodation. I told officers to look outside Croydon to find housing, we will take it from wherever we can.

‘At the moment we are talking about the north and some of the Yorkshire towns.’

More news stories can be found on our article archive here

Source: Inside Housing

Welsh Association increases investment in new homes – Areas like Pontypridd, caerphilly, Cardiff and Barry will all see increased investment in new homes construction, revealed by a new report from Community Housing Cymru. It says Housing Associations spent £802m in 2010/2011, up 16% from 2009/2010 and employed 6,300 people directly.

Read the full article here.

If you are thinking of buying a new property in Wales, think about getting a professional to look it over and give you the peace of mind you need to plan for the future. Keith Batten FRICS has lived in South Wales all his life and is a Chartered Surveyors providing building surveys in Wales. Call now on 0800 880 6264

Construction industry unveils their wishlist for growth this Christmas

In the new Unlocking Growth in UK Construction report, complied by industry leaders and representative bodies across the UK, it is argued that stimulating growth in the construction sector will help solve the wider economic problems facing the UK. The group has compiled a six point focus plan which may help steer the Government’s future policy making.

To read the rest of this article, just click here.

Tenant services authority starts consultation on regulatory framework

The Tenant Services Authority has launched its consultation about the new regulatory framework. The consultation runs until 10 February 2012, and the new framework is expected to take effect on 1 April 2012. The new framework takes account of the new investment arrangements, ministerial directions to the regulator, and the Localism Act 2011.

Find out more on the National Housing Federation’s website here.

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