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Category: DISABLED ENTREPRENEUR

Smoke Alarm Testing Residential Properties & Hearing Loss.

Smoke Alarm Testing Residential Properties & Hearing Loss.

I am a private tenant and have lived at this property (a two-bedroom flat) for the best part of 24 years. It seems a lifetime I know, and I could have bought a house but I have never been in a position to invest. Instead, I invest in digital real estate.

My article is about the hearing loss I have due to the extremely loud smoke alarms and heat detectors.

I have had two smoke alarms (landing /living room) and one heat detector in the kitchen in the last 3 years installed and have endured other incidents by an incompetent electrical company that has scammed my landlord and caused me monetary loss as well as health issues.

Does spraying smoke from an aerosol need to be done by a qualified electrician or can anyone do it?, it is laughable: Smoke Alarm Tester Sprays. To think my landlord has been charged for this and then passes the cost on to the tenant with rent rises.

My Digital Real Estate I Own.

Living in a residential property that does not belong to you, limits you with what you can and can’t say. The company that is scamming my landlord thinks I know jack sh#t about the law.

As a website designer, digital marketer, and content writer, I make it my business to learn about regulations.

I am actively promoting my client www.electricianswales.co.uk by coincidence is on the first page of search engines namely Google for the search terms ‘electricians wales’ and landlord ‘safety checks’.

So my grievance is with an electrical company that my landlord hires and has caused me considerable emotional distress, health issues as well as monetary loss. https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2021/01/21/electrical-safety-5-year-checks/ It rattles me that not only have I had hearing problems which are documented in other articles I have written, I now have to have my morning disrupted because my word is not good enough to confirm my alarms and detector are working properly.

This is my client which I highly recommend.

SMOKE & CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS

This is what the government says:

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into force on 1 October 2022. From that date, all relevant landlords must:

1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where a room is used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.

2. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation that contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).

3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty.

The requirements are enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000 if a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

This booklet provides information about the requirements, who they apply to, and how they are enforced. It is designed as a Q&A to cover the most common situations but it is not intended to cover every scenario, nor should it be seen as a substitute for reading the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2022.

These regulations should be considered alongside other relevant laws on fire and carbon monoxide safety in rented homes such as the Housing Act 2004, the Fire Safety Act 2021, and the Building Safety Act 2022.

It is the department’s intention to ensure this booklet is updated whenever there are changes, but it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that they are applying the relevant laws correctly.

If, after reading this booklet, you are not clear whether or how the requirements apply to your individual circumstances you should seek legal advice.

Separate guidance is available for local authorities.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022: guidance for landlords and tenants – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

EDITORS COMMENTS

So in the last 2-3 years, I have had this company, ‘ come to the property I rent, and this is what a sh#t show they have done up to now (or should I say have not in some cases).

  1. Carried Out a landlord safety inspection but did not provide a copy of the report to me because I could easily have argued and could have pulled them up about the fact my chandelier and the dimmer switch were never tested in my living room plus other things in the list. I do not use it as a consequence and just have floor lamps).
  2. The extension lead from the back of my washing machine was never hardwired. So if the washing machine sprung a leak there is an electric cable extension trailing on the floor.
  3. They failed to notice the hotspot behind my cooker which caused me a lot of money in takeouts one Christmas (Documented).
  4. They scammed the landlord by installing two lights on my landing on the same loop so when one lightbulb goes, it trips the second light, defeating the object of having to change a light bulb above a 30ft drop as it is situated directly on top of my stairs.
  5. They installed two smoke alarms on one floor and a heat detector in the kitchen (saying I needed a heat detector in the kitchen, a smoke alarm in my on the landing (10ft apart) as well as in the living room by law). Another scam for my landlord. It makes no sense to have a heat detector in the kitchen because the kitchen does get hot from the cooking especially if you have the hobs and oven on at the same time.
  6. They insist on checking each smoke alarm once a year even though it should be checked by anyone who is competent (insinuating I am not).

My smoke alarms work especially if we are cooking and when this happens, all three alarms go off at the same time.

Where do smoke alarms need to be located?

According to the GOV.UK Regulations it does not stipulate where the alarms should be placed.

At least one smoke alarm should be installed on every floor used as living accommodation.

Landlords should follow the individual manufacturer’s instructions when installing the alarms. However, in general, smoke alarms should be fixed to the ceiling in a circulation space, i.e. a hall or a landing.

Your local fire and rescue authority may be able to provide further advice on installation or you can download fire safety information from www.gov.uk/firekills

Can Smoke Alarms & Heat Detectors Damage Hearing?

Since having these alarms installed my hearing is not so good, I experience headaches and a constant humming noise in both ears. The volume on my devices has to be turned up to the max for me to hear. I cannot hear my doorbell which tells me my hearing is damaged.

The sheer volume of noise isn’t everything and the distance you are from the source of the sound and how long you are exposed to it is just as important as the noise.

Sound intensity doubles with every increase of 3 decibels so even though the sound of a car horn may not sound twice as loud as a vacuum cleaner, the intensity levels make it seem so. That is why, if you are working in a noisy environment with sound levels in the region of 80-85dB, you should be wearing protective hearing headsets. 

For sounds in the region of 110 – 120dB, short exposure is enough to cause lasting hearing damage.

Prolonged and repeated exposure to loud noises can damage your hearing and if you stand next to a smoke alarm for a long period of time, it can damage your hearing (I am about 10ft away when I am sitting down and working, and have to switch/reset all the alarms which may take a few minutes because both my daughter and I are disabled and cannot move very fast and cannot reach because the ceilings are very high.

Though the point of a smoke alarm is to get you out of the vicinity of a fire so this is rarely an issue. The louder the noise is and the longer you are exposed to it, the higher the risk to your hearing.

https://www.hf-group.co.uk

My Landlord.

On the imminent appointment (which I could do without), scheduled tomorrow to have my alarms tested because I am obviously not trusted or capable enough to test them myself, I not only will have to contend with the deafening noise of 3 x 85 decibels = 255 decibels, but they will have to disconnect my electricity because the alarms are connected to the flat below me. (I would not be so p#ssed if it was one alarm but there are three that will go off simultaneously and one of the alarms is about 10 feet away from where I work. When these alarms set off they hurt my ears).

How can I protect my health and work at the same time?

I am keeping a record of everything that happens with this company and my landlord.

My alarms work fine because there is one heat detector in the kitchen which is very sensitive and sets off all the rest. I have reduced my cooking because of the price rises in the cost of living but that is another story.

Update 26/08/22

The electrician arrived and knocked on my door and when he did not get an answer he opened the door and came to my stairs. (My daughter was a witness).

I normally do not lock my flat door because the flat is a terraced house converted to two apartments and there is a front door that is locked before anyone can get to my door. You would think I should feel safe in my home, but obviously, people that do not get a response from knocking think they have a license to just let themselves in…

No word of a lie he puffed an aerosol can on the alarms, waited for them to go off, and left. He did not switch off the electrics like the last guy a year ago. It most probably took the guy today all of two minutes from start to finish, I wonder how much he charged for this?

How should a tenant test their alarms to check they are in working order?

Testing of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms does not require specialist skills or knowledge and should be straightforward for tenants to do.

Landlords should consider providing residents with a demonstration and/or instructions to support residents’ understanding of how, and how often, to test their smoke alarms and make sure they are in working order. Landlords should follow the individual manufacturer’s instructions for testing alarms and consider sharing these instructions with tenants to support regular testing.

Screenshot.

www.gov.uk

Would I recommend this company to anyone to anyone? most definitely not, they are a bunch of cowboys!

They do not know what they are doing, they are not on the first page of search engines and their website looks like an amateur has done it which tells me they are not making much money otherwise they would afford a Professional Website Designer.

This now gives me the perfect opportunity to promote and market my client who is professional and knows what he is doing. If I could dictate to my landlord who he should choose to hire then I would most definitely have recommended my client.

For those of you that are in need of a Landlord Safety Inspection, I highly recommend www.electricianswales.co.uk

Update 28/11/22

I think this muppet company (E+- (abbreviated), am not disclosing their business name for legal reasons) is out to scam landlords because, from the original post date of this article in August of this year, I was surprised the same muppets turned up at my property unannounced to say they were doing a smoke alarm test. I replied you did one six months ago but in reality, it was three months ago and the electrician’s reply was that they have to very six months (good luck with that in three months’ time because I bet you a bottom dollar I am not letting them in).

I told my landlord’s assistant who said she had texted me over the weekend. If I did not reply that would have meant I did not get the text.

But what shocked me was that this electrician entered my flat without waiting to be invited. What would have happened if I was not in? he could have had free reign and helped himself to my valuables. What if I had just had a shower and was half-dressed? You do not enter rented accommodation without acknowledgment from the tenant. I did not acknowledge the text because I never received it.

On further investigation, this company does not have a cookie banner on its website, so if they track you with Google Analytics cookies you are none the wiser. They have a simple landing page with no privacy policy or terms and conditions. The quality of the website speaks volumes about the quality of their workmanship. I personally believe they are not credible and I by rights should be reported to ico.org.uk for breaching GDPR.

#landlordsafetyinspections #electricianswales #smokedetectortesting #smokealarmtesting #hearingloss #smokedetectorhearingloss #dodgytraders #dodgyelectricians #electricianscardiff

Unprofessional Cardiff Gas Engineers – No PPE.

Unprofessional Gas Engineers.

UNPROFESSIONAL GAS ENGINEERS – NO PPE.

(As per date of publication).

This is a personal experience I have endured with a local Cardiff Gas Engineers today.

I had an appointment yesterday for a consultation and re-scheduled all my appointments to fit in with the engineer arriving as I have a fault with low pressure and my combi-boiler cutting out at least twice a day.

(I do not like conducting my business in front of my landlord or contractors he sends out, even though I once specifically asked the landlord not to turn up because I had an important call, he purposely ignored my request and turned up anyway. He did not forget because I reminded him half an hour earlier and he agreed he would not, yet he still turned up).

The engineer yesterday was a no-show, they never phoned or texted they could not make it. So I lost a day’s work waiting for them (I do not like discussing my business in front of contractors).

Seeing as I was not paying for the call-out I was not going to chase them and thought no more of it until a day later, as the matter was not urgent or an emergency, and I attempted to go about my day, trying to catch up from the day before.

The Gas Engineer Broke The Law!

I gave strict instructions if they were outside my property to phone or text me as I have a problem with my hearing and cannot hear the doorbell if I am on my own.

However today my daughter was with me and she would hear the bell if it were pressed, (which was not), I will come to this in a moment.

So my daughter and I are in the middle of working when she hears someone walking up our stairs calling my name (I could not hear anything as I am partially deaf). She answers and goes to see who it was, and a man she did not recognize is on our stairs inside our property. He never rang the bell or knocked on the door, just walked in unexpectedly and unannounced.

Entering a property unlawfully is called trespassing and one cannot just enter uninvited or pre-arranged unless it is an emergency or in the case of the Police, a warrant. *The thing is I have a witness and I made an unofficial complaint to the building contractor the following day.

DISRESPECT

I then got up and realized it was the engineer. I immediately said you were supposed to come yesterday and he replied “oh, was I”, with no apology or anything…(totally ignorant and rude). I did not want to kick off and say “have you never heard of knocking”?

NO FACEMASK (Regulations at the time of publication of this article)

I noted he was not wearing a facemask and I said hold on I will go get my facemask to which he replied: “do you want me to put one on”.

It is actually mandatory to wear a facemask when visiting residential properties, whereby the resident is present: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gas-safety/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

I suspect they were trying their luck hoping no one was in.

The landlord should not have given them keys so I think this was planned because why else would they have had keys to the property if they knew 100% someone would be in?

There is something quite off with this now that I am thinking about it.

NO SOCIAL DISTANCING

The engineer told me to show how low the pressure gauge drops but that meant I had to be less than a foot away from him as my kitchen is a confined space with only room for one person. I was reluctant to go anywhere near him but had no choice to comply with his wishes.

CONTRACTOR COVID REGULATIONS

A contractor must wash their hands and sanitize them before touching anything and that did not happen. In fact, he even leaned on the banister touching freshly washed clothes with his outer clothing that could have potentially cross-contaminated any pathogens he may have carried on his uniform. My daughter after he had gone had to re-wash her clothes and sanitize all the surfaces he had touched including the boiler.

ANIMOSITY

At this stage, I did not want to make waves and went to put my mask on even though he should have had one on without asking me if I wanted him to or not. I felt had I insisted he wears his mask it would have caused animosity.

BEING PERSONAL

I explained the problem I was having to adjust the pressure twice a day every day and this is where it got personal. I have known this engineer for the length of time of my tenancy and over the years I have told him I suffer from OCD. I am not ashamed to say it and I am an advocate and editor for mental health on my online journal www.disabilityuk.co.uk and this is where my daughter and I picked up on his insensitive and rather rude remark and what he said: “are you sure you that you have to adjust the gauge twice a day or are you just saying it because you are high on your meds” he continued to say, although I did not hear him say it, however, my daughter did “I must be special or a lunatic”.

I have a witness to what he said.

People who have mental health issues should not be humiliated and made a mockery of, not everyone with mental health issues is going to be a patient of mental asylums in which I felt was what he was insinuating.

I am so tempted to name and shame him and the company he represents and give them bad press.

THE CONSULTATION

He insinuated I was making things up told my daughter to make track of how many times I adjusted the boiler without telling me and also insinuated that both my daughter and I were lying about the leaking radiator, which was not leaking in front of him. He did however state he would be coming back next week to fix the radiator that was hanging off the wall in another room.

MY WORK

Considering he turned up unannounced and I excused myself and said I had to get back to my work and he went “yer right” like I was making it up or something and he did not believe me.

PAST HISTORY

It was approximately a year ago that he came out to install my cooker I bought that could not be fitted at the time of delivery because I had a problem with my “Hot Zone” in the kitchen whereby another local Cardiff Electricians (I am not mentioning any names but I did tell my landlord about their incompetence at the time when he had to rewire my electrics) failed to notice the problem when they did an electrical inspection. When I mentioned this to the Gas engineer he too did not know what a “Hot Zone” was either until I sent him a link.

He told me I should not report the electricians and should not start making waves. I took that he was threatening me in some way.

Also when I mentioned that I may have had a leak in the pipes last week over the phone to the gas engineers director, he said floorboards would have to be pulled up and I corrected him and said a thermal camera would spot the leak which costs about £700 and he said no one in Cardiff has anything like that. Some people do not like being corrected and a gadget like that is an investment to any plumber and they should have it as part of their tools.

So for me not to have a cooker over Christmas and New Year 2019/2020 as I could not get it fitted because the electrics needed re-wiring was not a big problem to anyone other than me who spent £1,500 on take-outs over a period of two months for myself and my family as I could not cook any food. Who is going to compensate me for this? This is why I am documenting everything and I have receipts.

INTIMIDATION

I feel I am being humiliated and intimidated by these engineers as they are friendly with my landlord and anything I say to any of the contractors goes back to my landlord.

EMOTIONAL DISTRESS

This type of disrespect, humiliation, and intimidation is causing emotional distress. Who can I complain to about rogue contractors and unprofessional traders? This is why I am unwell because people do not abide by rules and Covid Regulations and are very judgemental. Some people simply think they are better than you and will try to ridicule you as in the case today.

FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR

I will not mention this company other than they are not on the first page of Google for the search terms “Cardiff Gas Engineers” and have a hyphen in their domain name. But what I will do is document everything and go out of my way to help one of their competitors because they should not be making waves with me.

I have in fact most recently renewed the domain name www.cardiffgasengineers.co.uk and originally was going to make the domain into a directory of “Cardiff Gas Engineers” purposely to exclude them, but now I will help any company other than them.

People underestimate me and what I do and am capable of.

It is unprofessional to be personal to a tenant and make a mockery of their disability regardless of whether their disability is physical or mental.

I once had a detective (CID) demoted to police constable for entering my property unannounced and without a warrant, and I still suffer PTSD from that which has brought back memories. This is added to my emotional distress.

Also, one is not exempt from wearing facemasks, even though some may think they do.

It is not the first time other engineers working for the same company in question have visited my property without wearing facemasks and I have complained previously. But if I was to again I suspect I would be complaining about the partner of the business as I believe he is and also a friend of the landlord and I guess he feels invincible.

If he mocked me about my mental health and medication he would have also mocked my landlord who also suffers from mental health problems.

I feel if someone complains too much is then deemed as a nuisance, so I have to keep my mouth shut but have learned over time to document everything.

BREACH OF TERMS OF AGREEMENT

Imagine if my daughter and I were not home and he let himself in, my insurance would become void.

Another scenario could have been, my daughter or I could have been half-dressed coming out of the bathroom or bedroom as was the case with the detective many moons ago.

24 HOURS NOTICE

A landlord, the contractor, or letting agent needs to give you 24 hours’ notice before entering your rented premises unless it is an emergency. They cannot walk in unless they have notified you first when they are arriving and even then, they cannot just walk in if they know someone is present. The resident needs to agree and give consent.

https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/repairs_and_inspections_access_to_your_rented_home

When you rent a property from a landlord it becomes your home. A landlord, contractor, or letting agent, should only enter the property without you being there, if you have given prior permission for them to do so, or if it is a genuine emergency.

While your landlord, contractor, or letting agent will need to gain access to the property to carry out inspections, repairs, and maintenance, the law says that they must give you 24-hours written notice.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70/section/11

https://www.plazaestates.co.uk/news/can-my-landlord-enter-my-house-without-me-being-home

REPORTING A LANDLORD IN WALES

Should you wish to make a complaint about your landlord and you live in Wales, you should contact “Rent Smart Wales”:

https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/contact/

https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/faqs/

REPORTING A GAS ENGINEER

If you wish to make a complaint about a Gas Engineer visit the following site:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/gas/domestic/newschemecontract.htm

https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gas-safety/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

FINALLY

Remember whatever you do there are consequences to your actions. If you report your landlord he /she may serve you an eviction notice. The same goes with engineers they may try to sue you, so you have to have the evidence documented and have a plan A and plan B before you start complaining.

LEAVING

Oh, I forgot to mention as he was leaving he said to my daughter I had successfully wasted his time. Even though he recognized the radiator needed fixing and said he would and I quote “have to book it in”, yet had no regard that I had to pay people yesterday to manage the chat widgets on my client’s sites and could not monitor them properly this morning as I was rudely interrupted, in fact, I had a missed chat today and my client noticed which does not look good for me. So wasting my time is fine?…

UPDATE

13/01/21

I made an indirect complaint to the contractor that came to work in my bathroom today, something different from the gas engineer’s job yesterday, knowing that my disdain will get back to my landlord. Even the contractor agreed the Gas Engineer was out of order and that I should make an official complaint. Let’s see what transpires next week when he has to return to fix the radiator in one of the bedrooms, I will be having words with him one to one, and I will record him in stealth mode if he bothers to turn up.

24/01/21

As you can imagine he failed to return.

#landlordsandtenants #renting #yourrights #rentsmartwales #mentalhealth #unprofessional #gasengineers #gasengineersppe #ppe #facemasks #washinghands #handsanitizer

Disabled Entrepreneur UK www.disabledentrepreneur.uk Rebranding.

Disabled Entrepreneur UK is a speaking website to help people both with physical and mental disabilities find inspiration and share their stories. It has a vast list of organizations and charities to contact.

At “Disabled Entrepreneur UK” the aim is to include a forum a job search, a social media app, a gift shop, and also a periodical in the near future.

Disabled Entrepreneur UK is in the process of rebranding as we have found not many people can spell ‘entrepreneur’.

We are looking to make our domain name short, easy to spell, and memorable.

We will update you in due course and will keep the domain name www.disabledentrepreneur.uk but have the new domain forwarded to it.

If you have any questions or would like to add feedback please use the form below to contact us.

#disabledentrepreneur #disabledentrepreneuruk #disableduk #disabilitiesuk

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