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Home safety

Tumble dryers

Whirpool have updated advice to consumers in relation to an ongoing issue they have been addressing on potentially faulty dryers.  There is a safety defect caused when excess fluff touches the heating element which has been linked to a fire in a tower block in London.

Anyone who owns an Indesit, Hotpoint, Creda, Swan or Proline dryer that was manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015 should check if their appliance has been affected and then register for a free modification if this is the case.  You can do this by checking the Hotpoint website, Indesit website and Swan website or by phoning a dedicated freephone helpline on 0800 151 0905.  If you believe that your tumble dryer could be affected you are advised to unplug it and not to use it until the safety modification has been made.

Fire safety

Make sure you:
  • have a working smoke alarm
  • test your smoke alarm every week
  • have and practice a fire escape plan
  • know the five main causes of house fire
Before you go to bed:
  • close all internal doors
  • put out cigarettes and candles properly
  • check that the cooker is off
  • switch off unwanted electrical appliances
For more information, call 028 9266 4221 or visit www.nifrs.org 

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that has no smell, colour or taste. It can be released by any appliance that burns oil, solid fuel, wood or gas, including boilers.

When you inhale carbon monoxide it starves your body of oxygen. Low level exposure over a long period of time can cause permanent brain damage and in more serious cases death. Make sure you are aware of the symptoms and how to protect yourself. You should also install a carbon monoxide detector and get all appliances tested yearly.

If you think there are carbon monoxide fumes in your home or suspect that a flue or heating appliance is blocked or faulty, you should switch off the appliance and open your window. You should not sleep in the room.

We can investigate complaints regarding fumes or carbon monoxide entering your property. Call us on 028 9027 0428 for more information. 

For more information about the dangers and symptoms of carbon monoxide, visit the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland website.

Blind cord safety

The Public Health Agency has recently developed and launched a blind cord safety campaign.

It takes only 18 seconds for a toddler to loose their life on a blind cord. If you have blinds fitted in your home, there are simple precautions that you can take:

  • if any blind has a cord or chain that is looped or could form a loop, use a safety device to keep the cord or chain securely tidied away out of their reach
  • do not place a child’s cot, bed, high chair or playpen near to a window blind
  • do not put sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases near a window blind as children like to climb

For more information on blind cord safety, you can watch a short video that highlight the dangers or download the Make it Safe leaflet.

To request blind cord safety devices for your home or a free home safety check call us on 028 9027 0428. 

Book a family home safety check

We offer free home safety checks for all residents with young children living within our electoral area.

The checks offer tips on all aspects of home safety, as well as specialist advice on topics like heating and energy saving.

A room-by-room inspection usually takes around 30 minutes and our advisors can:

  • show you the potential risk areas in your home, for example blind cords or poisoning risks
  • provide tailored advice on how to make your home safer
  • arrange for safety equipment to be delivered to your home*
  • refer you for a free smoke alarm installation.

* equipment is provided subject to the result of the home safety check and stock availability. 

You can apply for a home safety check by completing an application form and returning it to envhealth@belfastcity.gov.uk

Book a home safety check and repair visit for seniors

If you are over 65 you can request a free home safety check, and avail of our repair scheme. We’ve worked with the Public Health Agency and Bryson Energy to develop this scheme which offers reduced handy-person repair rates and a selection of free “helping-hand” aids and equipment (subject to stock availability).

The handy-person may be able to carry out tasked such as
  • fitting curtain rails
  • door repairs
  • fitting door-chains
  • clearing paths
  • fixing floor boards
  • changing light bulbs.

In the winter months they can also lay salt to prevent slips.

The reduced handy-person repair rates depend on each person’s circumstances.

Eligibility group   Charges 
Those aged 65 and over
Home safety check only
Free
Those aged 65 and over in receipt of benefits-
Home safety check and repairs
Free home safety check
£5.00 per hour for repairs
Those aged 65 and over and not in receipt
of benefits- Home safety check and repairs
Free home safety check
£15.00 per hour for repairs
All materials to be supplied by the occupant.
General items such as glue, nails and sandpaper will be provided free of charge

You can email handyman@brysonenergy.org, or freephone 0800 14 22 865.

Contact us
Environmental health
028 9027 0428
Public Health and Housing
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP