Construction guide – power cables

Every year accidents occur on large and small scale construction sites around the country, when due care and attention is not paid to neutralising the threat of un-insulated overhead and underground power cables. We have provided a guide to help you stay safe, whether you’re constructing a 10 storey block of flats, or merely repairing your chimney.

Read our guide here.

Have your say on the August riots

Inside Housing is offering the chance to win £100 in Marks & Spencer vouchers in exchange for your views on the riots.

Shortly after the riots swept England in August, Inside Housing, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation launched ‘The Riot Report’ to find out what steps can be taken to help prevent a repeat of the violence. Now they want to know what housing professionals, who work for social landlords operating in areas that experienced riots, think caused the disturbances. What would they like their organisations to do to address the underlying problems?

Have your say here.

New guidance for contractors over timber frame fire risk

Information has been released by the UKTFA (UK Timber frame Association), with backing from the Health & Safety Executive, following a number of high profile inner city building site blazes. Foremost among them was a large explosion at a buidling site in central Bath.

The Association has advised that contractors have a crucial role to play in specifying the right type of system, indiciating that more expensive products are often required, rather than open pannelled timber frame.

To find out more detail on this story, click here for the full article.

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.

Need a surveyor in Plymouth?

Plymouth Building Surveyors Right Surveyors South West have offices all over Devon and Somerset and can provide all types of property consultancy from experienced and local professionals. For the Plymouth area, Lee Gallon MRICS can produce all types of survey reports, act as an expert witness in court proceedings, mediate in party wall disputes and carry out acquisition advice. He can give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy, and properly plan for, your property purchase

Contact Lee for a no obligations chat about how he can help you in the Plymouth area by following this link to his local website.

New report reveals extent of ‘underused homes’

A study by the Intergenerational Foundation has suggested that the housing crisis is being severely compounded by ‘underused homes’, with their co-founder reputedly suggesting that ‘empty nesters’ should be ‘encouraged’ through a new land tax to downsize. The report represents a new, a controversial, angle in the argument on how to solve Britain’s property problem.

To read the rest of this article and learn about a hotly debated solution to Britain’s housing problems, click here.

Japanese Knotweed – Your guide to identifying and dealing with this silent invader

A recent outbreak that led to the demolition of a £300,000 house has highlighted the damaging effects of Japanese Knotweed, Britain’s most invasive non-native plant. Most people don’t even know it exists until it appears in their living room, but with growth rates of up to 4inches a day and paying little attention to the small matter of walls, this plant can be deadly to properties all over Britain.

To read more about this threat and how you can avoid disaster, click here.