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Housing

Home safety

  • Book a home safety check and repair visit for seniors

    If you are over 65, you can request a free home safety check and use our repair scheme. We partner with Bryson Energy and the Public Health Agency to provide this scheme.

    The home safety check includes a room-by-room inspection and can include energy saving and security advice. 

    If repairs are required, we can offer:

    • help with repairs by a vetted handyperson, at a reduced rate; and
    • a selection of free helping-hand aids and equipment (if required and subject to stock availability).

    The type of tasks that the handyperson may be able to carry out include:

    • fitting curtain rails
    • repairing doors
    • fitting door chains
    • fixing floorboards
    • changing light bulbs
    • draught-proofing windows or doors
    • adjusting heating timers
    • fitting carbon monoxide alarms, and
    • clearing and laying salt on paths during winter.
    Eligibility and charges
    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 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 per hour for repairs

    The reduced handyperson repair rates depend on each applicant’s circumstances. All materials need to be supplied by the occupant, except general items including glue, nails and sandpaper, which will be provided free of charge.

    To find out more and to book, email handyman@brysonenergy.org, or freephone 08001 422 865.

    Watch our Safer Homes Handyperson Scheme Video

    This video is one minute and 59 seconds long.

  • Book a home safety check for families

    We offer free home safety checks for all residents with young children living in the Belfast electoral area.

    The family home safety check offers 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 60 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 (subject to eligibility and stock availability) 
    • refer you for a free smoke alarm installation (subject to eligibility)

    To find out more and to book, email envhealth@belfastcity.gov.uk to request a home safety check. We will send you an application form to complete and return.

  • Blind cord safety

    It can take as little as 18 seconds for a toddler to lose their life on a blind cord. 

    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.

    Children love to climb, so having furniture like sofas near a window blind presents a significant risk. 

    • Do not place a child’s cot, bed, high chair or playpen near a window blind.
    • Do not put tables, shelves or bookcases near a window blind.

    For more information on blind cord safety, watch a short video that highlights the dangers (link opens in new window) or download the Make it Safe leaflet (link opens in new window).

    When you book a free home safety check, you can request a blind cord safety check.

  • Fire safety

    The most common causes of a fire in the home involve:

    • cooking and cooking appliances
    • electric supply and appliances
    • smoking

    Follow these tips to keep you safe from fire: 

    • have a working smoke alarm
    • test your smoke alarm every week, and
    • have and practise a fire escape plan.

    Before you go to bed check:

    • all internal doors are closed
    • the cooker and any unnecessary appliances are switched off, and
    • cigarettes and candles are properly extinguished.

    For more advice, visit www.nifrs.org (link opens in new window) or call 028 9266 4221. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also offers a free home fire safety check service (link opens in new window)

  • 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 can cause permanent brain damage and in more serious cases death. Children, pregnant women, older people and those with heart or breathing problems are more vulnerable to its effects.

    It can be very hard to detect, so you should be aware of the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Symptoms can include:

    • headache
    • dizziness
    • feeling sick or being sick
    • feeling weak
    • confusion
    • chest and muscle pain, and
    • shortness of breath.

    You can stay protected from carbon monoxide by: 

    • installing a carbon monoxide detector; and
    • getting all appliances tested at least once a year.

    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 immediately and open your window or go outside. You should not use the appliance again until it has been tested by a registered engineer. You should not sleep in a room if you think there are carbon monoxide fumes.

    We can investigate complaints regarding fumes or carbon monoxide entering your property. Call 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 (link opens in new window).

Public Health and Housing

For more information and advice, get in touch.

envhealth@belfastcity.gov.uk

028 9027 0428

Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast BT2 8BP

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