Monthly Archives: December 2011

  • RoSPA and gas charity launch project

    The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is teaming with Gas Safe Charity to underline the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) releases from flue accessories.

    Both are working together on the Be Gas Safe scheme, which aims to ensure that people are aware of the hazards that CO can bring, as well as the measures that can be taken to prevent them.

    These steps include regular servicing of fuel-burning appliances, good ventilation and the installation of CO detectors.

    Les Philpott, chairman of Gas Safe Charity, said: "Awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide has been improving in recent years, but the number of CO poisoning cases still being recorded shows there is no room for complacency."

    Mr Philpott added that the group is pleased to be working with RoSPA on the programme.

    As part of the scheme, audible CO detectors will be distributed to 10,000 families for free.

  • Make 'small improvements' ahead of house sales

    People should make small improvements before selling their home, rather than going through with major remodelling, it has been advised.

    When considering changes to flue accessories, people should also look at other homes in their neighbourhood, as it is important for properties to be comparable in the market, a real estate broker has recommended.

    Elizabeth Weintraub explained: "If you wouldn't make a renovation when you were planning to stay in the home, don't do it when you plan to move - unless it's adding a bath to a one-bath house."

    Ms Weintraub went on to say that painting a kitchen can help to boost the appeal of a property.

    It follows advice from the Sense of Space Architects, which suggested that efficiency is likely to become a more important factor for property buyers.

    However, buyers are currently more focused on other areas of the home, the group believes.

  • Sustainable development should be 'at heart' of UK planning system

    Sustainable development must be at the heart of Britain's planning system, one organisation has claimed.

    In order to help with the delivery of economic growth, there needs to be a better definition of what sustainable development entails, a representative from the National Trust has argued.

    Ian Wilson, head of government affairs at the group, said: "The planning system is [...] not purely a tool for economic growth – it is something much greater than that. It was created to help manage and deal with the externalities of development."

    Mr Wilson commented that it should be ensured that the economic and environmental costs of installing the technologies are as low as possible.

    Last month, a Policy Exchange report suggested that the government must deliver private sector urban areas in close proximity to existing towns, if it is serious about delivering growth.

    It also urged for wide-ranging reforms to the planning system as a means of allowing good quality homes to be constructed in the suburbs of towns and cities.

  • 'Millions' at risk of home damage this winter

    Millions are at risk of having their flue accessories damaged this winter, despite the mild temperatures witnessed in October and November, it has been claimed.

    In total, 19.7 million Brits will be unprepared if severe weather arrives this season, with 40 per cent of homes set to be vulnerable to problems such as boiler breakdowns and frozen pipes, according to a study by Direct Line Home Insurance.

    Stuart Curson, head of the group, said: "In addition to checking that your insurance covers the cost of emergencies, taking a few simple actions such as lagging pipes and keeping your home well maintained will go a long way to limiting the damage winter weather might cause."

    Mr Curson's comments follow the Gas Safe Register's advice that elderly and vulnerable people should capitalise on free gas safety checks this winter.

    The group has warned that every gas appliance in a household should be checked for safety annually.

  • Lighting can 'make or break' interior design

    Lighting can make or break an interior design scheme, a specialist has insisted.

    This is the verdict of interior designer George Bond, who believes that appliances such as chandeliers can be splendid when placed in the right place, but can look inappropriate if installed in other areas of the home.

    Mr Bond explained: "You can make a small space look so huge, just by putting overhead lighting in and it'll bring the whole thing to life. There are downlights and there are so many different kinds of directional lighting."

    He also stressed that people can develop the worst interior scheme in the world, but bring it to life with the correct lighting.

    When undertaking DIY work, homeowners may want to take the opportunity to check the condition of their boilers.

    Npower has warned people that they may be affected by heating problems during the festive season, so now is a better time than ever to check that their appliances are in a stable state.

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