Policy

Last Updated

February 2024

Asbestos

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Please note this document contains our old name and branding but rest assured the content remains accurate and valid for Salvation Army Homes.

Asbestos information for Website

As part of keeping our customers safe, we hold a record of any areas of our homes that contain asbestos.

Asbestos in the home is not a problem so long as it isn’t disturbed and is in good condition. It only becomes a problem when it’s damaged or is disturbed, for example by drilling or sanding.

That’s why we want to let you know where it’s located in your home, so that you do not damage it by accident or carry out any work that could disturb it.

However, if you are concerned in any way or have some questions to ask then please contact us info@saha.org.uk

What are the different types of asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral fibre. It has many properties, including its strength, its ability to absorb sound, thermal properties and resistance to acid. It was used in construction because of its strength and fire rating properties and if encapsulated, painted, or sealed, or is inaccessible then it’s perfectly safe.

There are officially six different types of asbestos, including:

  • Chrysotile
  • Crocidolite
  • Amosite
  • Tremolite
  • Actinolite
  • Anthophyllite

Where is asbestos found?

You’re unlikely to find asbestos in your home if it was built after 2000. However, older homes may have asbestos in:

  • artex ceilings
  • bath panels, toilet cisterns or seats
  • central heating systems, including boilers, gas fires and electric storage heaters
  • cold water tanks
  • drainpipes and guttering
  • floor and ceiling tiles
  • plasterboard
  • insulating boards for fire protection
  • roof boards and panels
  • insulation panels in some old storage heaters
  • asbestos cement, such as corrugated roof panels, guttering, decorative plaster finishes
  • insulation boards used as wall partitions, fire doors, ceiling tiles & sprayed coatings
  • don’t jet-wash or clean asbestos cement roofs or corrugated garage or shed roofs

If there’s asbestos in my home, isn’t that a risk to my health?

No. Asbestos is only a risk to health if it’s in poor condition, broken, or if you’re actually working on it. It’s like live electricity – a constant presence and quite safe unless tampered with.

What are the dangers with asbestos?

Asbestos fibres can pose a risk to health if airborne, as inhalation is the main way that asbestos enters the body. Small quantities of asbestos fibres are present in the air at all times, and are being breathed by everyone without any ill effects. Most people are exposed to very small amounts of asbestos as they go about their daily lives and do not develop asbestos-related health problems. Finding that your home or workplace is made from fibro products does not mean your health is at risk. Studies have shown that these products, if in sound condition and left undisturbed, are not a significant health risk. If the asbestos fibres remain firmly bound in cement, generally you do not need to remove the fibro.

People who have suffered health effects from exposure to asbestos have generally worked in either the asbestos mining or milling industry, worked in industries involved in making or installing asbestos products, or are from the immediate families of these people. In all of these situations there was exposure to high levels of airborne dust, from either the processes involved or from the clothes of the workers.

If material containing asbestos is in good condition and not damaged, there is not a significant risk of illness from exposure to it. In fact, trying to deal with it may put you at greater risk.

Am I safe to carry out DIY work in my home?

In general, you’re responsible for taking care of your home, which means doing things like:

  • Keeping the inside of your home tidy and in reasonable condition, including redecorating when necessary.
  • Making sure your home is properly ventilated, to prevent condensation and mould.
  • Unblocking sinks, drains or toilets if you’ve caused the blockage.
  • Replacing bath plugs, sink plugs and toilet seats.
  • Bleeding radiators (but do ask for advice if you’re not sure what to do).
  • Taking steps to prevent your water pipes from freezing during the winter period, especially if you intend to be away from your home for more than a couple of days.
  • Replacing light bulbs, including fluorescent strips and starters.
  • Changing fuses and maintaining your own electrical appliances. (remember your local authority can also help with the removal of items such as cookers which may contain asbestos – details are generally found on their website)
  • Changing the outside door locks if you’ve lost your keys, locked yourself out, had your keys stolen or fitted extra locks yourself.
  • Repairing and maintaining your own equipment, such as cookers or washing machines and any fittings you’ve put in yourself.
  • Repairing any plumbing for white goods we’ve not provided (like washing machine or dishwasher).
  • Keeping your boundary fencing in good repair.
  • Maintaining and repairing any garden shed, greenhouses or timber outhouses

Based on the information you can find online; we advise that you do not carry out DIY to any item if you think it may contain asbestos. Please contact us first to confirm and we will offer appropriate advice.

How about major works in my home

You should ask us for approval if you are planning major work in your home. If you think asbestos is present, we can offer advice. However, if alterations are of your own undertaking, then any costs of removing asbestos if it is found will be yours. Major works may include removal of fireplaces, removal of floor tiles, removing textured coating to plasterboard etc.

What are you going to do to get rid of the asbestos from my home?

If asbestos is not damaged or disturbed, the safest thing to do is to leave it where it is. If there’s some damaged asbestos in your home, we’ll immediately assess the risk and then decide the best course of action to deal with it to make sure your family is not exposed to any potential risk.

If you’re concerned about asbestos in your home:

  • leave the asbestos untouched and avoid releasing asbestos fibre in the air
  • don’t put drawing pins, screws or nails in asbestos or apply adhesive tape as this could release asbestos fibres in the air
  • don’t sand, drill or saw asbestos materials
  • always get professional advice before removing asbestos materials
  • Contact Saha straight away.

If you are concerned in any way or have some questions to ask then please contact us info@saha.org.uk

Other Relevant Documents

Transfer Application Form

A form to be used when looking to transfer between Salvation Army Homes properties.

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Annual Accounts 2022 - 2023

Details of our financial performance during the 2022 - 2023 year.

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Whistleblowing Blowing Policy

Our whistleblowing policy for staff and workers disclosing about matters of concern.

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Gender Pay Gap

Our annual report that monitors pay disparity in our organisation.

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T4R Leaflet - A Brief Guide

We want to make sure our services are creative and positive environments, find out how you can get involved in T4R to add your voice.

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