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Helpful advice

The content of this page applies to the Department of Infrastructure Public Sector houses, although the other housing authorities apply similar rules and guidelines. If in doubt, contact your housing authority.

There are many things a tenant can do to prevent problems occurring in a home. See below for useful tips on a variety of matters.

Gas leak

What you should do if you smell gas:

  • Turn off the gas supply immediately
  • Contact the gas emergency service (see below)
  • Extinguish all cigarettes
  • Do not use matches or naked flames
  • Do not use electrical switches
  • Open doors and windows
  • Check if a gas tap is on and turn it off and
  • Let us know what has happened

Call the Manx Gas 24 hour freephone emergency service on +44 0808 1624 444.

Or, contact Manx Gas (in case of a leak) on +44 1624 644444 (press 1 when prompted)

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen if:

  • a gas appliance is not working properly
  • the appliance was not put in properly
  • the appliance has not been checked for safety and maintained regularly
  • there is not enough fresh air in the room, or
  • your chimney or flue gets blocked

You should look out for signs that indicate a problem, such as:

  • yellow or orange flames
  • soot or stains around the appliance and
  • pilot lights that regularly blow out

Early symptoms can include:

  • tiredness
  • drowsiness
  • headache
  • chest pains and
  • stomach pains

Important safety issues:

  • Never use an appliance if you don’t think it is working properly
  • Never cover an appliance or block the air vents
  • You should keep any fixed ventilation grills or air blocks clear and
  • Never block or cover outside flues

Solid fuel

Make sure that your chimney is swept at least once a year. If you burn wood regularly, you should get your chimney swept twice a year to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.

The use of portable gas heaters is illegal in flats, and should not be used in other types of home as they cause excessive moisture and condensation.

Minimising the risk of electrical problems in your home

You should ensure that you:

  • do not overload your sockets
  • do not take electrical appliances into the bathroom
  • do not plug electrical appliances into light fittings
  • do not use a socket or light switch that is cracked, damaged, or charred
  • have frayed flexes and damaged cables replaced by a qualified electrician
  • pull out plugs on appliances that are not in use
  • check that fuse sizes are appropriate according to manufacturer’s instructions and
  • report any electrical faults immediately

In case of fire

IMPORTANT: In the case of a fire you should:

  • evacuate the building
  • close all doors behind you (this slows the spread of the fire)
  • call 999 for the Fire Brigade
  • alert your neighbours
  • do not go back into the building and
  • inform us if a fire occurs in your home

Reduce the risk of fire by:

  • using a fire guard in front of all fires
  • not airing clothes near a fire
  • putting matches out of children’s reach
  • never leaving chip pans unattended
  • closing doors at night to reduce the spread of fire and
  • ensuring that smoke alarms are properly maintained

Burst pipes

Avoiding burst pipes:

  • during cold weather try to keep your home reasonably warm at all times, particularly where water pipes are close to outside walls and
  • if you are away from home and do not want to leave your heating on, turn off the stopcock, turn on the cold taps in the bath and sinks and flush the toilet to empty the system. Remember to turn these taps off before you turn the main stopcock on again. If you are away from home for longer periods, you should also turn off the boiler and drain the hot water system by turning on the hot taps.

If you do get a burst pipe you should:

  • turn off the main stopcock immediately
  • turn on all the cold water taps
  • turn off the central heating boiler
  • inform the Department of Infrastructure Public Estates and Housing Division as soon as possible

Condensation

Condensation can cause black mould to grow. To see how to identify, prevent and treat the problem, please read the maintenance page.

Crime prevention

Help protect yourself and your home by taking a few simple precautions:

  • Always lock your doors and windows when you go out
  • Do not leave notes on your door saying that you are out and when you will be back
  • Never leave valuables lying around
  • If you are out late at night try to leave a light on where it will be visible from outside, for example, hall or landing
  • Beware of strangers calling, especially if they ask to enter your home, and always ask for identification if you do not know the caller - if you have any doubts, call the police and
  • Ask the police if there is a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in your area. To find out more see the Neighbourhood Watch page
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